January 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of Electronics Inc. (EI). Jack Champaigne started EI in 1974 with the intent of supplying process controllers to Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Division for their dust collectors. Upon the successful delivery of the process controllers, Wheelabrator Blast Cleaning Division asked Mr. Champaigne to furnish a media flow monitoring system and controllers for a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet project. The project had 16 abrasive wheels on a large monorail peen-forming machine. Looking for more marketing opportunities, Mr. Champaigne developed a media flow valve for air-type peening machines that he named the MagnaValve®. It was so well received that it became the impetus for a complete product line for the shot peening and abrasive blast cleaning markets. “After the success of these products, I saw an opportunity in the shot peening and blast cleaning industries,” said Mr. Champaigne.
Unable to find suitable advertising opportunities for the MagnaValve, EI started its own publication in 1986 called The Shot Peener. To help underwrite the cost of the publication, EI began marketing Almen strips, introducing the concept of graded strips to meet the needs of various industries including automotive and aerospace.
Electronics Inc. would then go on to launch many more firsts: The first shot peening education workshop in 1991, the first Shot Peener of the Year award in 1992, the first online library devoted to shot peening and blast cleaning in 1995, the first FAA-approved source for shot peening training in 2001, the first polished and numbered Almen strips in 2011, and other product innovations through the years.
Electronics Inc. has moved four times to accommodate its growth. In 2002, the company moved into its present facility—a 24,000 square foot building on the St. Joseph River in Mishawaka, Indiana. EI is in the process of expanding the company’s manufacturing capabilities and is adding workflow and technology innovations. “EI is developing new products, services and ways of supporting our customers. Watch for more news from EI later this year,” said Mr. Champaigne. “This is fun…I’m very fortunate to be a part of something that I enjoy so much,” he added.