Ensign Corporation, which has been a familiar manufacturing landmark in Bellevue since 1961, and has been serving American industry since its founding in 1939, has achieved a milestone this year, when it celebrated its 20th anniversary of ISO 9001 registration.
Brad McGuire (President and CEO of DQS Inc.) came to Bellevue a week ago Wednesday to present the award.
According to Brij Sharma, President, and Steve Ensign, Vice President, this is a big deal.
“The International Standards Organization (ISO), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, creates and maintains standards for excellence followed by industries the world over, including Ensign Corporation,” said Ensign. The standard for Quality Management Systems is ISO 9001. Ensign first became ISO 9001 registered back in 1998. The standard was revised by ISO in 2000, again in 2008, and again in 2015, each time adding significantly to the stringent requirements. Ensign Corporation’s quality management team headed by Steve Ensign, along with the conscientious efforts of its managers and operators, has maintained its registration throughout all the upgrades, successfully concluding the 20th consecutive annual audit on May 23, 2018. Mr. Sharma expressed his special appreciation and thanks to the Ensign team.
Consumers might not be particularly acquainted with Ensign-designed and manufactured products, but without them many end products of industrial automation would not be possible. Today, the ISO 9001 registered company builds and markets a wide range of electrical transformers, inductors, and adapters for a broad range of industrial and commercial applications.
Ensign’s custom-designed transformers serve a variety of industries: heating and ventilation, medical and dental, semi-truck refrigeration, showroom lighting, aircraft cabin lighting, US Navy aircraft carrier navigation systems, water softeners, golf course irrigation systems, commercial restaurant and cafeteria cooking equipment, ice machines, sports scoreboards, and many more. “There are probably Ensign transformers in your school, office, church, doctor’s & dentist’s office, or in your local stores, museums and restaurants, or at your favorite hotel/motel or golf course,” said Ensign.
Ensign’s primary goal is to bring jobs back to America. In the 1990s, due to the pressures of foreign competition, Ensign was forced to find strategic partners overseas to import some of its transformers. In the intervening years, Ensign has endeavored to make its U.S. operations more competitive. According to Brij Sharma, president and owner, “I strongly feel we can compete against China with proper utilization of resources. If we could bring back to the U.S. all of the products presently made by our offshore partners, we would be able to add over 100 employees.”
Ensign Corporation was originally founded as Ensign Coil Company in 1939 in Chicago, producing electric coils, primarily for Army field radios during World War II. Following the war, the product line changed to transformers for commercial, industrial, and consumer electrical products.
In the 1950s and 1960s Ensign’s biggest customers were companies that made consumer electronics such as televisions, radios, and microwave ovens. To keep up with demand, the company added the Bellevue facility in April 1961.
In 1979, Ensign moved all of its manufacturing to Bellevue, and greatly enlarged the facility to handle the increased production requirements. The company also changed its name to Ensign Corporation that year.
The Ensign brothers, Joseph, David, and Richard, began building coils and transformers with 12 local operators on the assembly line. From a cramped temporary location to the present facility Ensign has become a world class manufacturer in a rapidly evolving global market.
In 2001 Ensign consolidated all administrative functions from the Chicago suburbs to Bellevue. Since that time, Ensign has expanded into even more diverse industries and international markets.
Ensign Corporation became part of the 3-company PowerVolt Group, owned by Brij Sharma, in 2008. The Group, consisting of Wabash Transformer and PowerVolt (both in Addison, IL) and Ensign Corporation in Bellevue, IA, produces all kinds of transformers for products across the world.
“Our business is family based and we have employees that have had several people in their families all work here,” said Ensign. “The hard working and long-time employees make Ensign a valuable business in Bellevue. Everyone involved with Ensign has made it successful and we appreciate that greatly,” said Sharma. “We consider our greatest asset to be our people, whose dedicated effort and quality excellence has now been internationally recognized for 20 consecutive years.”