Maker of weighing systems buys building for Fernley plant

Rice Lake Weighing Systems, a Wisconsin company, said last week it purchased a 29,700-square-foot building in Fernley and plans to launch a plant to manufacture truck scales.

The facility will employ about 25 people when it opens in November. The company said it will hire welders, painters and other skilled manufacturing workers.

Mark Johnson Jr., vice president of Rice Lake Weighing Systems, said the location of the building at 265 Logan Lane - along the south edge of Interstate 80 at the east side of Fernley - played a role in the company's decision.

The plant also has direct access to Union Pacific rail lines.

Johnson said the company needs West Coast manufacturing to better serve its customers in the region, and transportation infrastructure is an important element in its heavy-capacity scales business.

"We are very conscious about maintaining our standards for delivery and customer service, and it's become necessary to once again increase our manufacturing capacity," Johnson said.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems, a family-owned business headquartered at Rice Lake, Wis., manufactures numerous weighing systems ranging from small bench scales used in hospital laboratories to the big truck scales to be manufactured in Fernley.

The company worked with Northern Nevada Development Authority as it studied the launch of the Fernley facility. Johnson said the assistance of NNDA, as well as the Nevada business climate, helped company executives make their decision.

The truck scales to be manufactured at Fernley, which carry Rice Lake's "Survivor" brand, also are built at the company's headquarters and at a plant in Jasper, Ala., that the company launched in 2005 to serve customers in the Southeast.

The company prides itself on avoidance of any layoffs during its 65-year history. That's good news in Lyon County, where the jobless rate has topped 17 percent at times this year.

Tom Miller of Miller Industrial Properties represented Rice Lake in its acquisition of the property. Dan Burhmann of CB Richard Ellis in Reno represented the seller.


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