Electrical connector specialist PEI-Genesis is celebrating 75 years in business. From storing inventory in rented garages in Philadelphia, today the company is a global leader in the design and assembly of custom interconnect solutions, supplying into harsh environment sectors such as military, medical, aerospace, transportation and industrial. Now, the company is preparing for the next generation of connector challenges including drones, space and electric vehicles.
The business started with two best friends, Murray Fisher and Bernie Bernbaum, repairing radios by buying surplus vacuum tubes and test equipment from the US Army after WWII. The rapid growth of the business meant that the partners originally started renting garages across Philadelphia to store their purchases. It’s said that Murray, who was not from Philadelphia, lost track of some of the garages, which are yet to be rediscovered.
The post-WWII electronics revolution, and the advent of the transistor, forced the company to adapt, changing from a broadline distributor of hundreds of electronic products, to a specialist niche distributor of connectors. Today, PEI-Genesis remains a privately-owned company home to over 700 employees and three production facilities; in the United States, the United Kingdom and China, with sales offices and distribution and manufacturing capability globally.
Holding over $80m in inventory, PEI-Genesis boasts one of the largest component inventories of connectors in the world, and over 70 per cent of the company’s connectors are assembled to order. The company is a franchised distributor for leading brands including Amphenol, ITT Cannon, TE Connectivity, Cinch Connectivity Solutions, Lemo, Anderson Power Products, FilConn, Souriau, Harting and Positronic.
“Though our product solutions have evolved over the years, our mission remains the same; we solve our customers' problems,” said Steven Fisher, chairman and CEO of PEI-Genesis, and son of Murray Fisher who died in 2013. “Whatever the future holds, our foundational ICARE values will continue to guide us. These are: integrity and innovation, continuous measurable improvement, a team approach, respect and excellent service to our customers.”
Jonathan Parry, senior vice president and MD for Europe at PEI-Genesis, added: “Over the years, we’ve seen a growing need for connectors that can handle harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures, vibration, shock and ingress, as well as the trend for miniaturisation. We continue to work hard to embrace future challenges including the advent of electric vehicles and drones, as well as the latest developments in the fields of medical technology and space.”
Parry said: “These demanding sectors require innovation in connectors, including quick-release locking mechanisms and lightweight, high-performance ceramic, polycarbonate and metallic materials, as well as modular systems that can be easily upgraded. Whatever the challenges, our unique business model of holding inventory in component form, combined with high levels of automation, means that we will continue to offer short lead times of around 48 hours, with a minimum order quantity of just one part.”