Rebuilding the Model

Industrial Electric proves the power of persistence and business adjustment

In Utah, an electric motor repair and rebuild service provides an example of persistence, along with a willingness to adjust a business model, that can make it possible to elude the pitfalls plaguing many similar businesses in the industry today.

Todd Hinkins gives the aerospace tour group some information about Industrial Electric in Orangeville.—Emery County Progress photo

Todd Hinkins gives the aerospace tour group some information about Industrial Electric in Orangeville, Utah.—Emery County Progress photo

At Industrial Electric, in Orangeville, Utah, manager Todd Hinkins recently gave a tour of his facility to an aerospace group visiting prospective partners in the area. Industrial Electric’s business is admittedly down, Hinkins told the Emery County Progress, since the company has long relied on clientele in the coal industry. Hinkins said only six to eight coal mines remain and at one time there were 27. Another important client is power plants. They have added trona mines in Wyoming to their customers, and, with the new aerospace company moving in, Hinkins is open to working with them. It appears to be his willingness to adapt that has kept the company productive since 1976.

Purchasing copper from Denver and Salt Lake, IE specializes in rebuild and repair. It has picked up some business from farming irrigation systems that have been installed in recent years. Hinkins told the Progress, “When a farmer brings in pump or motor, we get right on it because if the sprinklers are down, then they aren’t watering their fields.”

The company currently has 18 employees and two sales people, but has had as few as 12 employees and as many as 30. Hinkins says 18 is a good number for them currently. Once again: an adjustment made. He and his brothers, who help with operations and management, went with experience over numbers. Most of IE’s employees have 20-30 years experience and have been employed at the location since high school. Industrial Electric has operated continuously since David Hinkins opened it as a small motor rewind shop 40 years ago.

By 1978 it had grown enough that the company moved to southwest Orangeville, the current location. It has grown from having just three employees and servicing solely local mines to currently working with around 30 mines in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The company provides and repairs motors and pumps for mines, does control repair and custom controls and works with and provides some communication systems, as well. Motor makers worked on include Baldor, Flygt, Appalachian, Ocenco, Line Power, and Stancor.

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