Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane manufacturer expands operation here

Pantrol opens second shop, doubles staff, expects sales of about $2.5 million in 1997

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Pantrol Inc., a Spokane maker of electrical control panels and printed circuit boards, has opened a second manufacturing shop and is experiencing strong growth.

Jim Kucera, Pantrols general manager, says the 25-year-old company opened the new shop earlier this year in a leased 3,200-square-foot building at 104 N. Madelia, just a few blocks from its 5,000-square-foot main building, at 2214 E. Riverside.

He says the manufacturing company needed the additional space to keep up with its current workload and to handle anticipated future growth. Within the past year, Pantrol has roughly doubled the number of people it employs and now has a work force of 25. It expects gross sales approaching $2.5 million by the end of this year, more than doubling its 1996 sales, Kucera says.

He credits much of Pantrols growth to the companys affiliation with Northern Technologies Inc., the Liberty Lake-based maker of commercial-grade electrical surge suppressors. By the end of the year, Kucera says, Pantrol will have completed between $1 million and $1.5 million worth of work for Northern Technologies during 1997, and Pantrol expects to complete several million dollars worth of additional work for the Liberty Lake company next year.

Pantrol makes electrical control panels and load-center devices for the surge suppression units that Northern Technologies designs for Sprint Spectrum, the big Kansas City, Mo., telecommunications company that does business here as Sprint PCS.

The suppression units installed at various Sprint PCS cellular telephone transmission sites throughout the U.S. are designed to protect Sprints radio equipment from power surges. That equipment often is installed on hilltops and thus is prone to damage from lightning strikes.

Pantrol, which six years ago employed just three people, specializes in customized electrical control panels, printed circuit boards, and cable-wire harnesses. In addition to Northern Technologies, Pantrol has made control panels for both of Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp.s Spokane plants and Inland Empire Paper Co., of Spokane, as well as printed circuit boards and cable-wire harnesses for Aladdin Steel Products Inc., a Colville-based maker of wood and pellet-burning stoves. It also has made control panels for several wastewater-treatment facilities across the Pacific Northwest, Kucera says.

Pantrol is co-owned by Roy Givens and his son, Tony Givens, both of Spokane.

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