Franklin Electric Company Inc: Products that Fuel the World

The city of Bluffton, Indiana, about 60 miles northest of state capital Indianapolis, is the site of the corporate headquarters for Franklin Electric Company Inc., one of the top 50 public companies in Indiana.

This company manufactures and distributes submersible electric motors, specialty motors, electronic controls and other related devices. Trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol “FELE,” Franklin’s fiscal year-end report for 2008 claimed an income growth of 53.8%, $745.6 million in sales and a net income of $44.1 million. They employ some 3,500 people and that number is growing by almost ten percent.

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At the very forefront on a global level of the water pumping and fueling market, Franklin Electric Company, Inc. is an important source for water pumping systems and water transfer products around the world, and maintains distribution facilities in twelve countries. More specifically, its major products include:

  • electronic tank monitoring equipment
  • flexible piping
  • nozzles
  • fittings
  • vapor recovery systems

The Developing World

The developing world represents a significant point of emphasis for Franklin Electric. As of 2014 the company has maintained operations in such 3rd world countries such as Brazil.

“It is indeed a huge country. Since availability is one of our key factors for success, this is a tremendous challend in Brazil,” says Industrial Director Fernado Schneider.

Sales to OEMs

About half the company’s sales go out to various OEMs in the United States. These original equipment manufacturers incorporate Franklin Electric’s products into theirs, using them in such systems as underground oil pumps, vacuum pumps, sewage pumps and freshwater pumps. Franklin has racked up some big-name customers, including Pentair and ITT Corporation.

The company was founded by two electrical engineers in 1944, with the aim of mass-producing small electronic motors. Interestingly, the founders named the company after the inventor-scientist-statesman whom they considered to be the first American electrical engineer: Benjamin Franklin. If you remember the kite-flying incident, you’ll grasp why right away.

As might be expected, Franklin Electric Company almost immediately took off, due to the United States‘ involvement in World War II, which was then at its peak. The government contracted them to mass-produce electronic radio equipment power generators for the troops, which gave the company a recognizable name in the field and some good experience in the marketplace, not to mention a comfortable leg up in sales.

During the rest of the 1940s ,the company worked hard at developing a submersible pump, something that had never even been approximated. In 1950, they were finally able to introduce such a product, their own invention, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Franklin submersible pump, and the innovative company itself, were successes from that day forward.

Shortly thereafter, in 1959, Franklin Electric Company went public at an opening price of $18 per share. The business continued to expand and diversify, until today it occupies an indelible position as the world’s leader in submersible motors and all their myriad related products.

Franklin Electric Company Inc.
400 E Spring St
Bluffton, IN 46714-3798