Growth prompts turnstile maker Gunnebo Omega to relocate

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Sunday, December 1, 2002

BENICIA, Calif. - A year after being bought by a Swedish company and business more than doubling, turnstile manufacturer Gunnebo Omega is moving in early November to a facility here four times the size of the company's current space.

The need for a larger facility comes thanks to a broadening of the company's product offering and increased security needs post Sept. 11, 2002, said Mike Smith, president of Gunnebo Omego.

"Since the acquisition they added a lot of products to our line for sale that we never had before," said Smith about parent company Gunnebo AB. The Swedish security firm bought Omega Optical Turnstiles from Pinkerton's Systems Integration Division in November 2001.

In addition to the company's traditional optical turnstile line, products added over the past year included mechanical turnstiles, speed gates and security booths.

In two more years, Smith expects business will double once again for Gunnebo Omega, with more new products planned. One of those new additions will be full height turnstiles, which are often found in parking lots or in other outdoor applications.

Gunnebo Omega's new office here will feature 20,000 square feet of space and, unlike the company's previous location in Concord, Calif., more room to manufacture products.

"We have had to depend on sub contractors to do part of the assembly of our products," said Smith. "We will be doing more of that in the future because of the new space that we have."

Another feature of the new facility is a product showroom, where customers can view products firsthand. Gunnebo Omega's Concord, Calif., location did not have a showroom, said Smith.

As a result of additional business, the company has also doubled its workforce. It now employs 24 people at its California location with plans to increase its engineering staff in the near future. Smith said Gunnebo Omega will offer more services, such as installation assistance to dealers, drawings and technical support.

"It's just going to improve our ability to deal with our clients, deliver product more quickly and follow through with even better customer support," said Smith.