S&W Electric
106 Washington St.
Laporte IN 46350


                                                                                                    LaPorte Herald-Argus 
                                                                                                           April 1, 1999 

S&W Electric Celebrates 50 years

Elmer Sult and Wayne Wilberg started their electric motor sales and service business in LaPorte in 1949. 

Wilberg left his job at Koontz-Wagner, and Sult kept his job with Studebaker and worked their motor repair business part?time, pooling his paychecks to keep the business going in the beginning. 

"Everything was done well, but with the minimum of equipment", Wilberg said. He described a coil-winding fixture for making new motor coils that was crudely constructed from a wooden stick with thread spools attached to each end. 

The facility was a rented storefront at 508 Tipton for the first several years. Despite the modest appearance, their reputation for service, and quality grew within the commercial, industrial and agricultural communities in the area. 

By 1967, the business had grown enough to justify the purchase of the property at 106 Washington, and the construction of a sizeable new building that is still the home of S&W Electric today. 

Wilburg retired from the business in 1981 and Sult then brought in his son, Terry, as the operations manager.
In 1983, to support oil exploration and production on the Gulf Coast, S&W opened a new branch in Lafayette, Louisiana to service oil patch equipment. Unfortunately, the bottom fell out of the oil market in 1984, and the new business couldn't survive the down?turn. The good news was that some of the newer, better and larger equipment that went into that venture was relocated back to the facility in LaPorte to improve and expand local repair capabilities.
In 1988, Tim Barnhart formed a new corporation and purchased S&W Electric from Sult. He brought with him a fresh viewpoint and a slant toward organization and modernization. Barnhart says "I was lured into the deal by a solid company with a very good reputation and even greater growth potential." 

He has steadily improved the computer support systems, added new products and weeded out the obsolete and slow?moving inventory items. At the same time he has worked hard to maintain and reinforce the quality and service orientation that served the business so well for so many years. 

Over the years the business has grown and the product offerings have been expanded. The repair shop capabilities are supported by registration with the Electrical Apparatus Service Association, a national trade association offering technical support and quality standards. The S&W repair shop has become an authorized warranty service center for most major electric motor brands., as well as a service center for Solid State Variable Frequency Inverter and Vector drives. 

The future looks good for S&W Electric. They have a clear direction and very specific plans for continued growth. They would like to extend a sincere thanks to all the loyal customers who have made it possible to survive and grow for 50 years, and an invitation goes out to potential new customers to come see what they have to offer.  
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