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Avtron plans to add sensors jobs behind Third Frontier award

Avtron Industrial Automation, with roots in aerospace testing equipment, is flying a little closer to the ground these days. With some help from Ohio's Third Frontier, the company is developing encoders for use in wind turbines. The encoders sense position within 360 degrees.

Worldwide, Avtron has about 400 employees, 350 of which are in Cleveland. The remaining employees work in New Hampshire and Beijing. Spurred by the $1-million Third Frontier award, Kosnik says the company plans to add another 30 jobs by 2014.

The company makes drive systems, load banks, aerospace test equipment and incremental encoders for measuring speed and position in industrial control systems. Users of the encoders include heavy industry, the wind turbine industry, and offshore oil platforms. Overall, company sales have been strong, says Don Kosnik; Director R&D (Engineering), about doubling over the last three to five years.

Over one third of Avtron's staff are technical personnel with four-year degrees or higher. Most have backgrounds in electrical and mechanical engineering, electronics or computers. Many of its product design engineers come from Avtron's Field Engineering Department.

Avtron Aerospace, Inc., Avtron Loadbank, Inc., and Avtron Industrial Automation, Inc. are part of Avtron Holdings, LLC. Their customers include 95 percent of the Fortune 500 and nearly every major airline in the world. The company has been in business since 1953. In 2007, Avtron was acquired by Morgenthaler Partners, LLC, a private equity company with assets under management of approximately $3 billion.

Source: Don Kosnik; Director R&D, Engineering
Writer: Patrick G. Mahoney

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