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Rice Lake Expands Operations to India

December 14, 2009
Following two recent acquisitions, Rice Lake Weighing Systems (RLWS) has taken steps to further strengthen operations by partnering with Strategic Weighing Systems Ltd (SWSL) of Chennai, India. This is the first such venture by the Wisconsin-based business which has been family owned since 1946 and today employs roughly 400 people. RLWS will have a 50 percent stake in the overseas operation.
 
According to CEO Mark Johnson, many RLWS products are already sold overseas. “Our hope is to take advantage of a rapidly growing marketplace in India and use it to expand our brand recognition internationally,” he explains.

In 2004, RLWS acquired Alabama-based Powell Scale, strengthening truck scale manufacturing and distribution within North America. Similarly, RLWS will rely heavily on the India partnership to expand distribution within Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. 
 
Founded in 1982, SWSL is known throughout India for the manufacturing and distribution of railroad scales, truck scales, and other process control and material handling equipment for the aggregate, cement, and mining industries. RLWS chief operations officer Steve Parkman is optimistic about the joint venture. “Our new partner has about 85 employees and an established reputation for quality and customer service,” he says. “We’re looking forward to working with them. This is a good move for both of us.” 
 
Future plans include the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility in India. RLWS personnel will travel there to help ease the transition—providing technology, marketing, and product support. The joint venture is not expected to impact domestic manufacturing operations for RLWS.
 
Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified corporation, with headquarters, metrology laboratory, and main manufacturing plant in Rice Lake, WI. Additional manufacturing facilities are located in Jasper, AL and Newtown, CT. For more information, visit www.ricelake.com.