Atmosphere Engineering Co.
419 W. Boden St., Milwaukee
Industry: Industrial flow measurement and control
Atmosphere Engineering Co. started out in 2002 in the Milwaukee Enterprise Center, a business incubator formerly owned by Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Although the incubator is no longer operational, its purpose of providing low-cost rent to help launch new businesses was fulfilled when it comes to the success of Atmosphere Engineering.
The designer and manufacturer of industrial flow measurement and control products has grown at a rate of 20 to 30 percent for about seven years. It also announced in early October that it has made its first acquisition, a move that will increase Atmosphere Engineering’s annual revenue to around $5 million, according to president and founder Jason Jossart.
The company purchased (at an undisclosed price) Milwaukee-based Atmo-Tec LLC, a manufacturer of a full line of alloy and ceramic zirconia oxygen probes for use in both low and high temperature applications. Atmo-Tec has $1 million in sales, according to Jossart.
Atmo-Tec, a four-year-old company previously located in a small shop, moved its operations into Atmosphere Engineering’s 12,000-square-foot facility at 419 W. Boden St. in Milwaukee. Atmo-Tec’s owner, Andy Melville, has joined Atmosphere Engineering as director of sensors and controls.
Atmo-Tec’s other employee, Marty Kallies, has also joined Atmosphere Engineering, where he will provide sensor manufacturing and quality control expertise, in addition to offering customer support for the Atmo-Tec brand of sensors.
“We’re very excited in the fact that we share a customer base, and it provides more of a complete solution for our customers now,” Jossart said. “So instead of having to go to two companies, they can get the entire control system and sensors from us.”
Atmosphere Engineering, which moved to its current facility nearly two years ago from a 3,800-square-foot building in Greenfield, currently has 20 employees. Half of them are engineers, and the remainder is production and administrative personnel. The company is hiring for another engineer and an additional production worker.
According to Jossart, Atmosphere Engineering recruits employees mainly through its internship program. The students typically come from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College.
“We definitely like to rely on them and give them as much responsibility as we can,” said Jossart, citing a recent intern whose summer project was to design an entire generator from scratch before helping to build it. “It makes for a better engineer in the end to understand the whole process.”
Once an intern graduates, one of his or her first tasks is to travel to one, if not more, of the many locales where the company conducts business.
Serving the automotive, aerospace and fastener industries, Atmosphere Engineering has distribution offices in South Korea, Brazil, Germany and Mexico. It also owns 70 percent of Atmosphere Engineering GmbH in Vienna, Austria. Overseas sales account for 30 to 35 percent of Atmosphere Engineering’s sales.
Its standard products, which on average range in cost from $20,000 to $30,000, consist of flow measurement and control solutions; nitrogen-based control systems; and gas generator control solutions. They are all custom-built and can take anywhere from one week to 12 weeks to complete.