Leveraging a Brand with Myron L’s Robinson
By Carlos David Mogollón, WC&P Executive Editor
Myron L Company
6115 Corte del Cedro
Carlsbad, CA 92009 -1516 USA
(760) 438-2021; Fax: (760) 931-9189
Management: Gary Robinson, President; Jerry Adams, Vice President; Kathy Robinson, Sales and Marketing Director; Dana Wregglesworth, National Sales Manager
Operations: Leading manufacturer of high quality, simple-to-operate, low-cost conductivity and pH instrumentation—inline and handheld—for residential, municipal, commercial and industrial water quality control, chemical concentration testing and process control.
Although she’s only worked there for three years, Kathy Robinson has been married to the Myron L Company for as long as she’s known her husband, Gary, its president and the son of its namesake founder Myron Lee Robinson. She and her husband were wed in 1969—12 years after the company was founded—and have three grown sons. She worked in sales and marketing for a variety of industries before joining Myron L in 2001.
“Before, I traveled with Gary to several trade shows in Europe. In the booth, I would talk to people when he and the others were busy with someone, just to keep the customers occupied until Gary or John Berg, who was our vice president of sales and marketing at the time, were free,” she said. “(When John) retired, Gary wanted me to help out a little bit more, so, I joined the company.”
At that same time, Myron L decided the down economy would be a good time to reposition the company for future expansion. While it continued to enjoy double-digit growth, Myron L saw ongoing changes in the market and increasing globalization as an opportunity to leverage its brand name better than ever before.
“Many companies turn turtle and become ultraconservative in their approach to the marketplace,” Robinson said. “In other words, they decide they want to survive. In Myron L’s case, very deliberately, we made the decision to thrive and… capitalize on the strengths of the company. Again, we’re a very well known, well-respected brand name. And, as such, we’ve begun to capitalize on our history. It has really borne fruit for us.”
The company, she noted, started out in research and development, producing irradiation chambers, spectrometers, electron microscopes and a wide range of products. With so many peaks and valleys in that, though, Myron Robinson turned to water monitoring technology to level out its income.
“At the time, he was using an instrument called a wheat-stone bridge, an electrical circuit which was very difficult and time-consuming to work with. He went home one night and basically invented this little black box, which was our PDS Series, or DS Series originally, for dissolved solids. And everybody wanted one of those black boxes. That’s how we started producing them on a commercial scale in 1963.”
Today, Myron L’s products are used in much more than water treatment, which accounts for only about 5-10 percent of sales. It does work in over 150 niche markets, including petrochemicals, nuclear power and defense, as well as laboratory analyses for a variety of industrial processes. Still, water treatment will always be viewed as a mainstay to its business, she added.
Current capabilities involve hand-held and inline process control and instrumentation that measures pH, conductivity, resistivity, total dissolved solids (TDS), oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and temperature. This year, it will introduce several new instruments covering additional parameters. It’s also in the process of moving into a new 46,000-square-foot facility in Carlsbad, Calif., nearly doubling available space.