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High-tech operation thrives in Minden

by Scott Neuffer
Nevada Appeal News Service
Scott Neuffer/Nevada Appeal News ServiceSteve Sabin, global marketing director; Steven Riggs, director of global sales and service; and Randy Chitwood, vice president of vibration and condition monitoring; at the Metrix office in Minden on Monday.
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Just because Carson Valley is full of green fields and brown cows doesn’t mean it’s not a hot spot for complex technological industry.

Just ask the engineers working at Metrix Instrument Co. in the Carson Valley Business Park in Minden. Since opening the two-story, roughly 2,600-square-foot office last January, the Minden branch of the Texas-based company has added at least 16 high-skilled, high-paying jobs to the local economy.

“There are a lot of talented people here available to help us grow,” said Randy Chitwood, vice president of vibration and condition monitoring.

Recently, Chitwood, Steve Sabin, global marketing director; and Steven Riggs, director of global sales and service; met inside the Minden office to discuss the past, present and future of the Metrix brand.

Together, the three men represent nearly 100 years of combined work experience at Bently Nevada and GE Energy. It was only over the last couple of years they each joined the Metrix team.

“Honestly, in many ways, there’s not a lot of competition that overlaps,” Sabin said.

Founded in Houston in 1965, and acquired by Roper Industries in 1995, Metrix offers a variety of sensors, switches and transmitters to monitor machinery in the oil and gas, chemical, power generation and water treatment industries.

According to the company’s website, “Metrix products monitor vibration on gas and steam turbines, motors, compressors, pumps, generators, gear boxes, paper machines, cooling towers and other critical machinery.”

“What really put Metrix on the map was that they took the vibration signal and converted it to an industry-standard output,” Sabin said. “They converted the signal to what a lot of other industrial equipment provided.”

Sabin said because of Bently Nevada and GE Energy, Minden itself is well-known in the monitoring industry.

“There’s a concentration of people here with a certain skill-set and knowledge,” he said.

Sabin said the market remains strong anywhere there are “big machines and big processes.”

“Machinery like that is important to an operation, and people want to instrument it in some fashion,” he said. “We have felt the recession less than others. Our company has grown much faster than the rest of the economy. Metrix is doing quite well.”

Riggs said the company is well-established in the U.S. and looks toward developing countries for future growth.

“BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India, China,” he said. “It’s on everyone’s lips. Those are places where we see a lot of opportunity.”

Chitwood said that as the company continues to grow globally, the Minden office and surrounding community will continue to benefit.

“Right now, we’ve put about $1.5 million in payroll into this community,” he said. “We continue to contribute real professional jobs. Our employees hire carpenters and bakers and the candlestick-makers.”

“The interesting part of our business is that we’re never done,” added Riggs. “The product we’re making now will provide a lot of opportunity. Demand for engineering talent will never diminish.”

For more information about Metrix, visit www.

metrixvibration.com.