The simple, unremarkable exterior of its Johnstown facility belies the high-tech and far-reaching design and production that goes on inside. Electro-Metrics has a team of nearly 50 employees that includes engineers and fabrication experts who design, test, and manufacture a variety of specialized antennas, sensors, and systems for broadband RF communications as well as custom metal and plastic parts.
In addition to serving local clientele in the Capital District, these products eventually make their way to all five continents, including government facilities, corporate offices, industrial sites, and military bases. Electro-Metrics has an impressive list of clients, including General Electric, Raytheon, Hitachi, and British Aerospace Engineering
Electro-Metrics has two divisions that help it fulfill its niche role as a high-tech but low-volume producer of specialized technology and equipment. One division reflects how the company originally started out in 1963, specializing in RF and microwave products.
“These products are used basically for secure communications and to secure communications,”
said Paul Sikora, the company’s president and chief technology officer.
The other is its precision fabrication division, where employees create parts for everything from massive turbines and steam generators all the way down to brackets and battery boxes that facilitate the conversion of delivery trucks and school buses from diesel fuel to electric power.
In its machine shop, highly trained employees use a variety of tools and machinery such as welding equipment, water jet cutters, 3-D printers, and belt sanders, to name a few. They fabricate items designed by Electro-Metrics as well as those from specifications customers provide.
In the company’s assembly area serving the RF side of the business, employees take antennas and mounts of all sizes, such as the “NATO” mount Sikora designed, and package them into cases lined with specially shaped foam that was cut on the premises.
Before that happens, however, Electro-Metrics antennas go through a rigorous — what Sikora calls a “brutal” — testing process in a special testing area at the facility.
“We test our antennas to surface environmental conditions like blowing sand, wind, and snow,” he said. Electro-Metrics determines how they fare in 60 mph winds and temperatures ranging from -40 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Employees also perform drop tests 25 times on each antenna. Other tests simulate the vibration of cargo and other aircraft. It costs between $50,000 to $75,000 to test one antenna, Sikora said. “The investment in design and new products is very substantial.”
“I bought the company because I was looking to buy a company that had a lot of potential,”
Employees assemble and package up for shipping other kits that provide parts for generator maintenance which customers store until they need them. Electro-Metrics even builds the specialized wooden crates that house its products for shipment, meeting state and international requirements for the type of wood used.
In March 2021, the company entered a new phase of growth when former investment banker Thomas H. Remien purchased Electro-Metrics. “I bought the company because I was looking to buy a company that had a lot of potential,” Remien said. “I thought there were just opportunities on both sides of the business to grow the business.”
With that in mind, Electro-Metrics is looking to expand its facilities. Within the past five years, its annual revenue has doubled to reach $8.5 million per year. “The goal is to make it twice the size it is in three to five years,” Danny Wheeler said.