ElectroCraft is a global player renowned for its premier design and manufacturing of superior products for custom-engineered applications used in diverse industries. April Terreri powers the story.
ElectroCraft Engineered Solutions is one of those quiet companies the world knows. Not because its name is a household word, but because the products it designs and manufactures are used globally in OEMs’ products that help make all of our lives easier, more healthful and comfortable, and even more fun.
ElectroCraft is a global company, with headquarters and a 160,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Gallipolis, Ohio, as well as a manufacturing plant in Crewe, England. “Our Crewe facility supports and serves our European customers, providing a lot of value-added services for the European market,” says Mike Hannah, marketing manager.
ElectroCraft is world-renowned for its ability to design and manufacture superior sub-fractional horsepower gear motors (including AC, DC, servo, and brushless motors offered in both right-angle and parallel-shaft designs), gearboxes, and transaxles for a wide range of applications used in products worldwide in industries as diverse as office automation, heating and cooling, medical, machine tool, pump, material handling, elevators, and food processing.
Engineered to Power
When you are a company manufacturing products to power yet another company’s products, the pressure on you is double fold. ElectroCraft understands the inherent responsibility of producing premium products that not only meet its high standards of quality but those high standards of its customers as well. “Our core competencies include being a value-add organization and we have the ability to develop new products, put together assemblies, test products for our customers, and inspect custom components; in other words, we can offer services far beyond our core product offering,” Hannah says. “Our customers are looking for development partners who treat product design and long-term global support as if it were their own business, and we’re focused on understanding our customer’s industry. We develop products specific to the requirements of their unique applications.”
ElectroCraft engineers sit with OEM personnel to discuss application objectives, including performance, size, quantity, cost, and schedule considerations. “Often during this phase, new alternatives are explored which would not be possible if we were simply responding to a set of previously developed specifications,” says Hannah. The company’s products are designed and manufactured to meet the highest global standards of quality and safety, while meeting European requirements for low-voltage and electromagnetic compatibility directives.
ElectroCraft aims to be each customer’s most valued supplier. “We want our customers to be able to do more with less through our providing a one-source solution to them for motors, gearboxes or transaxles, and brakes,” Hannah says. “In this way, we can offer the total transmission solution, the system design responsibility, and the sub-assembly all ready for installation into our customers’ products. We pride ourselves on being recognized in the industry as having the highest-quality, reliable products in the marketplace.”
Fully capable to conduct reliability and life testing of highly sensitive equipment for customers, ElectroCraft operates its own test and evaluation laboratory. “We push our products to their limits to ensure product life, efficiency, and reliability. These capabilities of ours save our customers time while assuring our customers that our products are meeting their own quality standards,” explains Hannah.
ElectroCraft is focused on four core markets. The company’s air and fluid movement products include a wide range of motors used in pumps, as well as blowers for cooling systems and computer peripherals. Its floor care equipment products include gear motors and transaxles that power those automatic buffers, sweepers, and scrubbers you might be accustomed to seeing in your office or in hospitals. “These products are designed to run quietly, efficiently, and smoothly enough so as not to disturb patients,” Hannah says. ElectroCraft’s General Mobility products include motors and power transmission solutions for things such as golf carts, AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles), and factory automation equipment such as motorized shelf stockers you might see at a Sam’s Club to lift employees safely and easily as they stock shelves.
ElectroCraft is a globally recognized leader in the Medical Mobility category. When you are designing and manufacturing equipment used to help keep people mobile and improve their quality of life, you have to be highly experienced and technologically advanced in order to produce reliable solutions. “You need equipment that will absolutely work each and every time,” says Hannah, noting ElectroCraft also designs and manufactures motors used in other medical applications, such as incubators, blood pumps and other critical laboratory equipment.
The company’s mobility products include a motor, a gearbox, and a brake which are assembled into powered wheelchairs. “Some of the value-add services we offer these customers is to put brackets on or add adapters so when they get a unit from us they don’t have to add those bracket assemblies – they can just take the assembly and mount it right to their wheelchair products,” explains Hannah. This eliminates the necessity of the OEM to have to engineer a bracket or adapter in order to integrate the ElectroCraft unit to the OEM’s wheelchair product. ElectroCraft’s Medical Mobility products include gear motors, gear heads, brakes, and transaxles for electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that help give freedom once again to people who have mobility challenges. Gearboxes manufactured by the company also are used to raise and lower hospital beds.
Good listeners are excellent responders and ElectroCraft knows how to listen very well to its customers’ requirements so that it can respond with superior products. “We are very responsive to our customers in that we build unique and applications-specific designs to fit their equipment,” explains Hannah. “Our engineers work very closely with each customer to understand completely what their specific requirements are and what their space limitations are for the particular machine they are manufacturing. If they have any size constraints or if they need a particular shape, we design a unique motor package exclusively for them.”
Known in the industry as offering excellent lead times and turnaround times, ElectroCraft helps its customers get their products designed and manufactured quickly so they can get them to market as soon as possible. “Intellectual confidentiality is very important to us here and we understand the sensitivity of the products we design and manufacture for our customers,” says Hannah.
Quality is not just spoken at ElectroCraft – it is lived every day by every one of the company’s loyal and dedicated employees. The company’s commitment to producing superior, high-quality products is evident in its ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications. “Through our CIP (Continuous Improvement Program) here at the plant, we encourage our employees to do whatever it takes to make their jobs more streamlined and to make the manufacturing process more cost-efficient and labor effective,” Hannah says. ElectroCraft also has on hand more than 100 standard stocked motors ready to ship to customers whenever they need them.
“Our manufacturing capabilities are distinctive because of the number of processes we do in-house,” continues Hannah. The company manufactures most of the components it requires for its AC, DC and brushless DC motors, gear motors, and transaxles. This allows ElectroCraft to maintain its high level of quality in the products it generates. It produces its own gear hobbing, milling, turning, grinding, thread rolling, stamping, die-casting, as well as other machining operations. “We also do special windings and end cap and shaft configurations,” Hannah says.
While many companies specialize in only one technology, ElectroCraft distinguishes itself by offering a variety of gear technologies, including spur, worm, helical, and beveled. “If a customer requests an integrated motor/drive assembly, we can accommodate that requirement as well,” notes Hannah. “It’s having this wide range of capabilities that benefits our customers by offering them the convenience and efficiency of single-source supplier.”
The company certainly has come a long way since it opened its doors in 1967. Its sterling reputation worldwide rests on its dedication to nothing less than the best for its customers. ElectroCraft wrote the book, entitled ‘DC Motors, Speed Controls, Servo Systems,’ which is renowned as the industry’s principal authority on motion control.
As for the future, it looks powerfully bright for ElectroCraft, a Rockwell Automation business, which offers the company the stability of that larger organization. “Our success will be achieved by making our customers successful,” says Hannah. “We can help by solving our customers’ problems and quickly developing prototypes for them. And we will accomplish this because of our industry expertise and manufacturing flexibility. To our customers, this means they don’t have to have an extensive engineering group to put our product onto their application. We offer them a single-support capability, with our ability to provide the best cost-effective solutions all tested and ready to be installed into their products.” Learn more at www.electrocraft.com