Talking Shop

Hammond Electric, where customization is the energy saver

A view from the shop floor at Hammond Electric Motors in Ablemarle, N.C.—Hammond Electric photo

A view from the shop floor at Hammond Electric Motors in Albemarle, N.C.—Hammond Electric photo

It’s always nice to see motor shops featured in their local communities. Recently, reporter Shannon Beamon visited Hammond Electric Motors in Albemarle, N.C., and wrote about their operations for the local Stanly News & Press. Hammond Electric is another great example of a thriving motor repair business. Its employees embody an approach as old as the industry itself—that if repair is done right, it’s ultimately more efficient than buying new. Ironically, this same ages-old approach is now fostering a new-age philosophy by reducing waste and carbon footprint.

The shop, which was recently publicized by Beamon and honored by its city’s Industry Recognition Program, really emanates the value and efficacy of customization and restoration in today’s market. 90 percent of any motor that comes in contains at least some reused parts upon arrival at Hammond, and the employees at the state’s sixth-biggest motor shop keep it that way, as they told Beamon. While manufacturing new motors produces high emissions, repair processes cut down on money, energy, and waste. These are the benefits championed by motor repair shops for much of their existence, and continued by Steve and Wayne Hoffman, the father-son duo who own Hammond Electric. Another benefit, echoed throughout the industry, is keeping money and products on home turf, since many new motors are currently made in China.

A parts washer at Hammond. The shop has a number of machinery tailored for customization purposes.—Hammond Electric photo

A parts washer at Hammond. The shop has a number of machinery tailored for customization purposes.—Hammond Electric photo

The rural North Carolina town of Albemarle only has a population of around 16,000, but since moving to the area in the mid-90s, the Hoffmans have extended their reach and now aim to serve as a reliable repair option for bigger motor manufacturers in areas like Charlotte, which is just over an hour away. The original shop was opened in 1961, and Steve Hoffman (son) optimistically views the leftover infrastructure as an opportunity for growth. He and his other dozen employees have good reason for this outlook, since they have experienced growth already due to a number of instrumental moves since ’96. The most crucial of these was the inclusion of a machining shop, which allowed the creation of custom parts and brought in the use of a burnout oven and auto-winding machine. The latter two increase energy efficiency by enabling controlled burns for cleaning of insulation and parts, and enabling load testing to verify horsepower on different size motors. The overarching benefit is customization, which is why people come to them.

Shop stories like this have been, and will continue to be, one of the cornerstones of EA editorial content. Please feel free to contact us if you feel your shop would be a good fit. It’s free exposure.

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