Record growth, new products spur need for additional space
SANTA ROSA — PNI Sensors Corporation has leased 13,671 square feet of industrial and office space at 2331 Circadian Way in the Santa Rosa Corporate Center that will become the new home of the firm’s research and manufacturing operations — and eventually all company staff groups.
The manufacturing function for this developer of magnetometer and sensor fusion technology for the military, scientific and consumer markets will be first to relocate in June and July followed by remaining personnel starting in September.
Reasons behind the move include the need for a total of 6,500 square feet of production area (the new site has more than 2,000 square feet of additional space), plus a 1,000-amp continuous power supply and backup generators already in place.
The company plans to retain its current location at 133 Aviation Boulevard, or sublet some or all of the existing space, until the lease expires in July 2015. The firm, with annual revenues of $8.9 million, has been at this address since 2009.
Since filing its first patent in 1987, PNI has been at the forefront of innovation in the design, development, and application of sensor technologies tailored to the spatial orientation and recognition needs of the mobility market. The company is known for having the world’s highest performing magnetic sensor at its price point.
As the global economy and its population become increasingly mobile, mobile devices (such as cell phones, tablets and GPS) need integrated sensing devices that let the device know its orientation in space. This is in addition to the local and regional networks’ detection of where users are located so that a wealth of new and innovative location based applications can be enabled.
“Demand for our small form factor magnetic sensing technology is increasing rapidly among original equipment manufacturers and makers of consumer products alike,” said George Hsu, founder and chairman of PNI Sensors Corporation, who has more than two decades of experience in the development of orientation sensing technology.
PNI’s patented magneto-inductive (MI) low-power reference sensors, systems and sensor suites provide accurate and reliable information for a wide range of applications, including: robotics, surveying, navigation, as well as oceanography.
Products with integrated PNI sensors include radar systems, digital compasses, weather buoys, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles and Brunswick Boats, gaming devices, military hardware and targeting (motion pointing and tracking) systems.
PNI sensors are also found in a variety of consumer electronics products, including wristwatches, GPS receivers, TV remote controls, and personal navigation devices.
“Our product family of ready-to-integrate sensors and sensor systems enables companies to design sensors into their products without making a large investment in in-house sensor expertise,” Mr. Hsu said.
By combining best-in-class sensors with advanced software engines (including auto-calibration and measurement algorithms that can be adapted to the specific needs of an application), PNI’s products eliminate the time-consuming, and often unexpected, algorithm calibration and development work that significantly increases costs and time to market.
According to Mr. Hsu, today the firm’s standard sensors are tailored to a variety of different technological requirements. However, the company is gearing up to offer a more advanced sensor this June that will ultimately comprise upwards of 95 percent of the firm’s future output volume.
This new facility will enable PNI to keep pace with market demand that has been growing at a rate of between 30 to 50 percent annually – a double-digit pace the company believes will continue several years into the future.
“Originally we thought about taking only half of the new building, but decided that it would be more efficient to have all of our people in one place. We expect to add at least 10 employees to our present total of 23 as we ramp up at the new location starting this summer,” Mr. Hsu said.
“Our manufacturing facility is highly automated and uses sophisticated robotic equipment enabling us to operate 24/7.”
The full building lease in Southwest Santa Rosa was signed on May 7, 2012. Shawn Johnson, managing partner with Keegan & Coppin, was the broker for the tenant.
Barry Palma, senior vice president and a leasing and investment advisor with Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, was the broker for building owner, Santa Rosa Corporate Center Associates.
For more information, go to www.pnicorp.com.
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