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RAM Co., designers and manufacturers of custom rotary and linear solenoids, has moved into a new 22,000-square-foot building in St. George's Millcreek Industrial Park.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony with Gov. Norm Bangerter doing the honors was scheduled for Monday followed by tours of the new plant.RAM Co. is one of only a handful of companies that produce highly specialized electromechanical devices which work on an electrical charge to convert electrical energy into linear or rotary motion.

Owners Ray and Melzie Ganowsky started the business 15 years ago in response to requests from former customers of an East Coast business where Ray worked.

The $1.5 million financing for the land, building and machinery was arranged by the Deseret Certified Development Co., the authorized lender in Utah for Small Business Administration 504 money. Also participating in the financing was First Security Bank of St. George.

Scott Davis, DCDC president, said his agency has funded an increasing number of companies in southern Utah in the past few years.

Creation of new jobs is a requirement for DCDC expansion funding, said Davis, and in turn the borrower benefits from the agency's relatively low down payment and a fixed, below-market interest rate.

The Ganowskys and their 55 employees made the move from their former 8,000-square-foot building last month and already have hired 10 new employees. They anticipate adding another 30 employees as sales orders continue to increase.

In spite of the machine shop being shut down last month for several days while the operation was moved into the new building, shipments increased from the usual $300,000 per month to $420,000. They said one reason for the growth is that solenoids are used in a variety of products from computers to spacecraft.

RAM Co. has shipped more than 100,000 solenoids to Westinghouse and Electro-Com Automation, manufacturers of the new U.S. Postal Service high-speed automated mail sorting equipment that processes letters at the rate of 10 per second. Another 50,000 have been ordered as spares.

Solenoids are used in rocket engines that propel the motors into higher orbit, and they also are used in laser-show lights, mirrors and prisms used in rock music concerts.