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Yogurt boom to boost firm's growth

Rochester Business Journal
September 14, 2012

A locally based process engineering and systems manufacturing firm is adding to its workforce and increasing sales. Its leader expects growth to continue as the Greek yogurt business in Upstate New York expands.
 
Executives at Atlas Automation Inc. said the need for more milk from the region's dairy farmers helps its business because Atlas is a supplier to the dairy industry.
 
From 2005 to 2011, the amount of milk used to make yogurt in New York increased from 158 million pounds to roughly 1.2 billion pounds, data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office shows.
 
"We are growing with the yogurt explosion in New York," said Joe Scarfone, Atlas Automation president.
 
Atlas Automation provides sanitary mechanical contracting and process system design. The equipment often is customized and can allow customers to operate and monitor their machines remotely, using devices such as smartphones.
 
The company's customers are in the dairy, food, beverage-bottled water and industrial markets. Atlas Automation provides systems that can add water or sugar to soft drinks during the production process and provides equipment to dairy customers that lets them know if an error has occurred during the pasteurization process.
 
The company employs roughly 40 workers, evenly divided between its West Ridge Road base in Greece and another site in Clarkson, which opened in 2008 and focuses on fabrication work.
 
Scarfone, who trained in computer science and started Atlas in his home in 1994, serves customers across the country but has more recently focused on clients in the Northeast because of the increased demand for services there.
 
Atlas has annual sales of some $7 million.
 
The company is hiring for some positions, and Scarfone is proud there is little turnover at the business.
 
"We are a close-knit group," he said.

9/14/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.
 


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