Micron Research Corporation

Micron Research Corporation, located in the rural town of Emporium in Cameron County, is a manufacturer of fine grain graphite. Currently, the company produces five different grades of graphite that are primarily designed for the electrical discharge machining (EDM) industry. 

In 2000, Micron began operations and introduced a technology breakthrough by developing “bundled technology,” rather than the existing “particle-to-particle” bonding. By using bundled technology, graphite has increased physical strength that is important due to the trend of miniaturization of consumer products such as cell phones, cameras, computers, and MP3 players. Micron is the only graphite manufacturer that utilizes bundled technology and the only domestic, privately-owned company in the graphite manufacturing industry.

By 2006, the company was operating at full capacity with more demand for their graphite than they had the capability and room to produce. Micron decided to move forward with a $2.5 million dollar expansion project that would increase their production capacity by at least 50 percent. The expansion included a 7,500 square foot addition to their manufacturing facility and eight new furnaces utilized for manufacturing graphite.

David Trinkley, President of Micron, was referred to the Clarion University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by County National Bank to assist him with developing financial projections for the company’s proposed expansion project. What he got was so much more…Not only were reasonable financial forecasts developed for the business, but the spreadsheet was customized to his business. David says, “The financial spreadsheet developed by the SBDC has been an on-going invaluable tool for managing all aspects of our business.”  

The SBDC also assisted Micron with identifying potential new distributors and direct customers for their graphite materials. Micron was able to obtain a new western US distributor and has expectations of adding several new clients in the western half of the United States.

Funding for the project was obtained through North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, County National Bank, and a SBA 504 loan. The expansion was completed in April 2008, which resulted in the company adding three new full-time material operators to the company. At year-end, Micron posted an increase of $1.2 million in sales. David is looking forward to the future and predicting the company will need to expand again within two years.

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Clarion University SBDC consultant Amy Keth (right) helped Micron President David Trinkley capture fiancinng needed for a $2.5 million expansion project.