Quality Switch Charges into 2020 with Optimism

NEWTON FALLS – Quality Switch Inc. plans to build on strong capital investment over the last several years to expand in both foreign and domestic markets during 2020, says CEO Russell Sewell.  

The company designs and manufactures custom electrical switches used in electrical transformers.

Among these investments is a high-voltage test lab that consists of a 50-foot high bay with a lightning impulse generator rated at 1.2 million volts. Additionally, a high-potential transformer rated at 700,000 kilovolts makes Quality Switch’s testing and monitoring capabilities unique in North America, Sewell says.

With the expansion of lab-testing capabilities, the company is making its testing services available as a resource for its customers. It has purchased new production equipment and an environmental chamber that tests material at extreme heat and cold conditions. It also purchased a an oil-processing unit that recycles transformer-related fluids.

“We have also upgraded our material requirements planning and enterprise resource systems to better track our manufacturing process and improve traceability,” Sewell adds 

This year, Quality Switch plans to use grant programs to train and educate its workforce while exploring new methods of improving production capabilities, the CEO says. Among the upgrades slated for 2020 are improvements to its machining centers and the acquisition of new machines.

Last year, the company hired four assemblers, Sewell notes. 

“Revenue was down slightly compared with 2018. However it was not unexpected,” he continues, explaining that 2018 was the third consecutive record year for Quality Switch. In some segments of the market, customers were saddled with capacity issues because of a strong backlog. 

Among the key challenges Quality Switch faces is contending with low-cost products in the market that have circumvented the certification and standards-testing process, which can lead to product failures, Sewell says. 

Quality Switch was one of six companies in the United States to win the 2019 President’s E-Star award for export growth over a four-year period, Sewell says. The company also won the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber Excellence in manufacturing award in 2019, received its ISO 9001-2015 manufacturing recertification, and was among the first employers to sign up for the new federal machinist apprentice program. 

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