Portage Electric Products, Inc. (PEPI) is a major developer and manufacturer of thermal controls headquartered in North Canton, Ohio. Their products are used primarily in small motors, appliances, battery packs and similar applications. PEPI thermal controls are sold worldwide and are almost always customized in some way to fit special customer needs.
The PEPI line of thermal controls includes both creep-action (slow make, slow break) and snap-action (quick make, quick break) devices. All utilize bimetallic elements to create space-saving designs.
Their business, which was founded in 1963, is based on superior product engineering, customization to meet specific customer needs, automated production, 100% quality inspection and exceptionally responsive customer service.
They are a privately held concern now led by CEO Brandon Wehl, an Electrical Engineer who is the third generation of the Wehl family to guide the company.
A company started and led by engineers
Their roots are in an independent engineering consulting practice started by Mr. Glenn Wehl and his father in the small town of North Canton, Ohio. A client looking for more flexibility requested the design of a thermostat that could be used as a motor protector. Glenn not only designed the device, but also began to manufacture it. Today they still supply thermal controls for this product, although it is now manufactured in China.
That original PEPI thermal control was manufactured in a small building behind a house on Portage Street in North Canton. Today PEPI has business operations in seven countries - the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and China. The constants that link Portage Electric then and now are a dedication to engineering excellence, innovation and responsiveness when a customer tells them "this is what I need".
This responsiveness is most visible in their Prototype Lab, which is a modern outgrowth of their early dedication to getting thermal control prototypes into the hands of design engineers as quickly as possible.
A worldwide focus
As the manufacture of small motors, appliances and battery packs has become global, so has their business. They have been selling PEPI products worldwide since 1975. Today PEPI products are shipped all around the world and meet the specifications of the appropriate national standards organizations.
The push toward miniaturization
From the very beginning PEPI products offered space-saving benefits. This helped them move forward quickly when miniaturization become a focus for their customers in the 1980's. Today the PEPI line of thermal controls is noted for its overall smallness, led by the ultra-small Model N Series and the Model V Series.
A dedication to quality and reliability
Their devices are the only thing between a product operating safely and often dangerous malfunctions. Given this important role, they go to great lengths to assure quality and reliability. Beyond the statistical quality programs almost every manufacturer uses in search of better quality, they do some specific things to make sure PEPI products meet rigid quality standards.
1. All PEPI products are 100% quality tested before leaving their facilities. Since they ship millions of devices every year, you can imagine what a sophisticated job this must be. They have developed their own proprietary automated testing equipment to make sure every device is tested and found to be up to reliability standards.
2. All PEPI manufacturing facilities are kept remarkably clean. They feel it is prudent to eliminate as many potential quality problems as possible.
3. All PEPI devices are tested on application -special circuits to assure accuracy in the end product.
4. They utilize gold diffused fine silver contacts that help reduce internal resistance for critical applications.
Significant products and innovations
Thermal controls are their only business. With this sharp corporate focus, they have developed a number of significant innovations over the years that have helped their customers do things they couldn't do before.
They intend to continue their dedication to the two foundations of their business. (1) Engineering and quality excellence, and (2) Prompt attention to customer product and service needs. They invite you to learn more about their company and their products when you visit their site.