It's not difficult to recognize a new temperature control unit from Caron Products & Services, Inc.-just look for the bright green door handles.
"We've been working on incorporating green technology in our newer equipment, so we're making the handles green," said Caron Chairman Steve Keiser.
"These units consume less energy and have water recirculation systems that re-use water instead of running it down the drain," he explained. "Energy conservation also results in lower operating temperatures so the equipment doesn't generate a lot of heat."
Founded in 1985, Caron is headquartered off Ohio 7 in Reno, where 25 employees produce a variety of temperature-controlled test chambers, incubators and related lab research units.
Keiser said the company's products are sold internationally and used in a wide variety of applications, including insect, plant and other biological research, as well as for pharmaceutical testing and storage.
"We serve very few local companies-our business is mostly international," he said. "It's been going very well lately, and it may seem strange, but we benefit when things are going bad."
Caron lab products include:
Environmental test chambers
Refrigerated and diurnal incubators
Stackable benchtop CO2 incubators
Reach-in CO2 incubators
Insect growth chambers
Fingerprint development chambers
Bath/circulators for precise lab device temperature control
For example, Keiser noted that last year's H1N1 flu epidemics brought business from pharmaceutical companies who ramped up vaccine production and needed test and storage chambers.
"For research, our environmental chambers cycle temperatures, and can produce cold, warm or moist environments in laboratories," he added.
Caron has also recently expanded its product line to include fingerprint development chambers and secure rapid access firearms storage for law enforcement and home security.
"The firearms units are called R.A.D. (for) Rapid Access Defense cabinets, and we proudly advertise that they're made right here in Marietta, Ohio," Keiser said.
The fingerprinting units can produce otherwise undetectable prints from a sheet of paper in less than a minute.
"The chambers are used to develop latent fingerprints, and we market them to agencies like Homeland Security, the FBI and even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police," Keiser said. "But companies like Walmart and K-Mart also use them."
He said law enforcement agencies are facing a backlog of fingerprint processing which results in continuous government contracts for Caron.
"That goes on regardless of the state of the economy," Keiser said. "I've never seen two bad years of sales in a row in this business."
The Reno location is a good one for Caron, Keiser said.
"There are a lot of people in the Mid-Ohio Valley who have worked in labs and know lab equipment, so we have employees who came to us with years of experience with that kind of equipment," he said.
Keiser said the company is already outgrowing its present facilities, so plans are in the works for a building expansion at the Reno location.