Brithinee Electric was founded in October, 1963, in Colton, California, by Wallace and Zora Brithinee and their identical twin sons, Donald P. and Wallace P. Brithinee. The firm repaired electric motors for industrial plants in Southern California.
Soon, however, the family members purchased a facility at 491 West N Street in Colton, from David Alvarado. Alvarado, born in 1884, was a descendent of California’s very first non-native family and its first governor. The site was modified in order to repair electric motors.
That site, at the corner of Fourth and N Streets, lay in the afternoon shadow of Mt. Slover, a unique geological feature, rich in limestone, in the San Bernardino valley. Lime kilns near Mt. Slover dated back to the 1850’s, and the California Portland Cement Company began the far more complex process of making cement in 1891. The cement plants in Colton and Riverside, among the oldest in the United States, were important sources of business for Brithinee Electric in those early years, as they are today.
The Brithinee family members purchased an additional parcel of land from California Portland Cement at 620 South Rancho Avenue in 1971 and constructed a new motor repair and sales facility there. The facility then measured 12,378 square feet, on one acre. The building was expanded in 1978 to 19,178 square feet.
In 1992, Brithinee Electric expanded its motor sales and motor controls operations at an additional facility acquired that year. This building added 14,500 square feet at 680 South Rancho Avenue to the operation.
In 1999, in anticipation of continued growth, the company acquired adjacent land surrounding the original two sites on Rancho Avenue for a total of 7.5 acres.
They reconfigured the property lines, selling some of the vacant land for the construction of an industrial park, and leaving them with 3.62 acres along Rancho Avenue for their main facilities. Brithinee Electric also leases 9,000 square feet of industrial space in the industrial park.
While initial building plans began in 2004, actual construction waited until 2009, to add 19,910 square feet of premium workspace, for a total of 62,588 square feet.
June 2002 – Brithinee Electric helped to formulate the concept of DuPont’s Advanced Fiber Systems’ marketing partnership, with the first such contract in 2003. But that built upon more than 20 years of usage of the DuPont Nomex products.
October 2003 – Mechanical engineer Bill Butek joined the staff, primarily to help innovate productivity improvements in the machines and fixtures for the motor remanufacturing process, as well as the controls department metal-working equipment.
Building planning – began 2004.
2005 – Brithinee Electric began a relationship with UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, and, more specifically, with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Our work was primarily with Professor V. Sundararajan and then-graduate student, Dr. Xin Xue (“Crystal”), who worked on wireless sensor technology for evaluating machinery condition. We also worked closely with senior undergraduate teams on their senior projects. And Wallace Brithinee joined the Board of Advisors for that department.
August 4, 2008 – On-site standards verification for Green Motor Practices Group.
September 2009 – Researcher Dr. Xin Xue joined the firm to continue earlier wireless sensor research, plus partial discharge inception voltage testing.
November 2010 – Grand Opening of the new large motor repair facility.
In November 2018, Sulzer has acquired Brithinee Electric of Colton, California. Through this acquisition, Sulzer expands its electromechanical services business into Southern California and gains access to the Californian wind, cement and water markets with established offerings and customers.
Sulzer’s core strengths are flow control and applicators. We specialize in pumping solutions and services for rotating equipment, as well as separation, mixing and application technology. Our customers benefit from a network of over 180 production and service sites around the world. Sulzer has been headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, since 1834. In 2017, we achieved sales of roughly CHF 3 billion with around 14’700 employees. Our shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: SUN). Visit us on www.sulzer.com