On Pittsburgh’s expanding tech scene, one of its newest players is also one of its oldest, with roots dating back more than a century. Launched two years ago, Intervala produces custom, highly complex electronic and electromechanical products and systems. The company’s customer list is a virtual who’s who in the industrial, medical device and transit sectors worldwide.
Intervala got a fast start, achieving 20% revenue growth in each of its first two years. The company expects to maintain double-digit growth over the next several years and plans to add strategic multi-million-dollar customers annually.
Job creation is on the rise, as well. Intervala employs more than 200 people at its 135,000 square-foot facility in East Pittsburgh. Current employment is up more than 40% over the past two years, and the company plans to expand staffing another 20% during the next year.
Intervala traces its roots to the John A. Brashear Co., an optical instruments manufacturer founded in 1881 by the future head of the Allegheny Observatory, and namesake of a public high school in Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company was spun out of California-based Ducommun in a private equity deal spearheaded by Teresa Huber, the company’s President and CEO. Many of the executives on Huber’s management team worked together over the past 20 years at previous iterations of the company. After going their separate ways, the team re-united to create Intervala.
The company’s name is derived from the word “interval,” meaning “the space between.” Specifically, Intervala fills the gap for its customers, furnishing whichever engineering and manufacturing capabilities are needed, allowing the customer to focus on its own business objectives and core competencies. Companies often outsource their manufacturing needs to Intervala in favor of investing in strategic activities like new product development or marketing.
“We’ve worked with companies to transition entire manufacturing operations to us,” said Huber. “For other customers, we’ve redesigned their product to reduce cost, improve reliability or speed time to market.”
Huber believes Intervala’s design engineering, manufacturing and global fulfillment capabilities give the company a decisive competitive advantage. “Many companies say they do what we do, but most of them have a limited range of capabilities,” said Huber. “We feel that we are the standard in customer excellence because we can design and manufacture anything a customer asks us to do. Most organizations that perform our types of specialized and complex operations are Tier 1, multi-billion-dollar public companies.”
By tailoring its approach to meet each customer’s requirements, Intervala has shipped thousands of systems, and tens of thousands of electronic products, to virtually every continent. The company’s worldwide footprint includes a strong and diverse base of business in Pennsylvania. One local example is Evoqua Water Technologies for which Intervala manufactures custom printed circuit board assemblies for one of Evoqua’s proprietary wastewater treatment product lines.
To generate intense customer loyalty, Intervala maintains a constant focus on its organizational culture. “Our culture is very customer-centric,” said Huber. “We do our best to live that at every level of the organization because it’s critical to our success.”
Supporting Intervala’s culture is a dedication to employee development. The company continues to expand in-house and external training and educational opportunities to help employees perform their jobs most effectively and achieve their professional goals.
“Recruiting and retaining people who are proud to work here and are engaged is critical to our success,” said Huber. “When people feel they can make a difference, they’re more valuable to the company and more satisfied with their work.”
Although the company markets itself strategically, most of its business comes through word-of-mouth. “It’s amazing how much engineering and manufacturing people in different industries talk to each other, and it’s gratifying that so many of them think highly of us,” said Huber.