Profile and History
Federal Pacific is a division of Electro-Mechanical, a privately held, American owned company founded in 1958. It is headquartered in Bristol, Virginia (USA) and manufactures a wide variety of products used in the generation, transmission, distribution and control of electricity. These products, along with various electrical equipment repair and maintenance services, are used by a diverse mix of Energy (coal, oil and gas), Electric Utility and Industrial customers worldwide.
Electro-Mechanical’s divisions have earned a “customer oriented” reputation by keeping its focus on providing the best value to our customers through quality products and services.
With five manufacturing companies and two repair and service companies, the Electrical Group has nearly one million square feet of modern manufacturing facilities, located in Virginia, Tennessee and Mexico.
1958 – 1969 – The Beginning
The business that would one day become Electro-Mechanical Corporation (EMC) began on September 8, 1958.
After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Frank Leonard went to work for General Electric. Two years later, with scarce equipment and meager funds borrowed from Mrs. Leonard’s credit union, Electric Motor Repair and Sales was born.
The small building on Williams Street in Bristol, Virginia began life as an electrical apparatus repair shop. It was the first business of its kind in the region to offer 7 days a week, around-the-clock service to its customers. There was only enough room on the first floor of the original facility for the tear down and the reassembly of the motors.
By the mid 1960’s, Electric Motor Repair and Sales had grown to fifteen associates, while primarily serving the region’s textile industry. In 1967, their largest textile customer went out of business. This, along with the trend of other textile customers suffering hard times, prompted Electric Motor Repair and Sales to redirect its energies toward serving the region’s mining industry under the motto “Into the Mine on Time”.
1971 – Into The Mine
As Electric Motor Repair and Sales accelerated its path of growth into new markets and acquisitions, it became incorporated under the new name of Electro-Mechanical Corporation in 1971. The same year, operating division Line Power Manufacturing was incorporated. As the mining motor business grew, several coal customers requested that EMC manufacture underground power centers. Line Power Manufacturing Corporation was created to meet the demand for those requests. As its power distribution business grew rapidly throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Line Power became a leader in its markets.
1970s – 1980s – Growth & Acquisitions
Through acquisitions of various companies and overall growth of the changes in the mid 70’s, continuing on throughout the 1980’s.
Electrical Apparatus Service, Inc. (EASI), an electric motor repair facility in Birmingham, Alabama, was acquired in 1976 as an extension of the original Electric Motor Repair and Sales business in Bristol, Virginia.
Respected coil winding equipment manufacturers – Potter Rayfield in Atlanta and James Equipment in Ohio – were acquired in 1983 and later conjoined to form the present PRJ Equipment Company.
Metal Castings Company, an aluminum foundry division, was acquired from Alcoa and moved from New York to its present location in Washington County Industrial Park in early 1986. Metal Castings was divested in 2018.
Federal Pacific Transformer Company was purchased in 1986 and moved from Chicago to its current site at 601 Old Airport Rd. in Bristol, VA. While supplying mining transformers to meet Line Power’s needs, Federal Pacific also rapidly became a major contender in national and international dry-type transformer markets.
Electrical Equipment, Inc., (EEI) a leading manufacturer of pad-mounted switchgear, was acquired in 1987. It continued to operate for a number of years at its former location in Birmingham, Alabama. In early 1993, EEI was relocated to the Line Power site in Bristol, Virginia.
1990s – Product & Facility Growth
The 1990’s were a time of growth in both products and facilities for EMC as a whole.
As Electro-Mechanical Corporation continued to expand and flourish, additions were made to the plant facilities at Line Power, Federal Pacific Transformer and at Metal Castings to accommodate increasing business and new product development and manufacturing.
During this time, the switchgear and transformer product lines were combined under one name – Federal Pacific.
2000s – Expansion & Continued Growth
Continued growth and expansion of EMC defined the decade of the 2000’s.
An increase in space at the Line Power plant gave expansion room for manufacturing new product lines, such as electrical distribution equipment for solar, data center and other mission-critical applications.
As the mining business continued to evolve, the pad-mounted switchgear line was moved to the transformer plant. This was done in order to make manufacturing space available for a continued increase of mining and custom product production.