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Electric firm doubles its charge

Franklin OKs expansion within business park

Feb. 28, 2012

Franklin - S&C Electric Co. is almost doubling the size of its facility in the Franklin Business Park, 5251 W. Franklin Drive.

The company, headquartered in Chicago, plans on building a 38,323-square-foot addition to its existing 42,811-square-foot building, where the company manufactures a line of products that store, condition or transfer power for industrial users, such as hospitals and utilities.

The cost of the construction is about $3.2 million, said Stephen Mark, the company's director of facilities, engineering and maintenance. The project received approval from Franklin's Community Development Authority on Feb. 23, and a groundbreaking ceremony has been set for 11 a.m. March 5.

"Our hopes are to occupy the building by the end of July," said Mark, who added that building permits have yet to be secured, although Nielsen Building Systems, Racine, has been hired to do the work. Nielsen built the building S&C occupies now, although the company was located in East Troy before moving to Franklin in 2000.

The work involves adding office and manufacturing space as well as parking. When the plant is fully operational, it would add about 60 employees to the global company's already 70 workers in Franklin.

"This will fill the site," he said. "This 40,000-square-foot addition will basically build out the site."

The additional space with clearance of about 34 feet is driven by sales forecasts that predict the products S&C make in Franklin will continue to be in demand. The Franklin site, Mark said, already had to add a second shift within the last 12 months to meet the industrial market's needs.

"This is the only location where we build power quality products," said Mark, nothing that the firm has facilities in Canada, China, Mexico and Brazil.

The products manufactured in Franklin include those that store or condition power until needed by renewable energy sources, such as wind farms and solar fields, and those that detect voltage surges or disruptions and supply power until the user's backup generator or main power source is back online.

The massive equipment - it can be 45 feet long and weigh 45,000 pounds, Mark said - is used mainly by utilities and industries such as hospitals where power is critical. Large manufacturers who would withstand major financial loss if power were curtailed and production delayed are also among the products' end users.

S&C, founded in 1911, is a privately held, family-owned company.

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