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Circuit Breaker Sales Buys Federal Pacific Equipment

Circuit Breaker Sales Co., Inc., Gainesville, Texas, a dealer in new and used circuit breakers, switchgear and related components, has acquired the remains of historic breaker-maker Federal Pacific Equipment Inc. (FPE), Brick, N.J.

FPE is not related to Federal Pacific of Bristol, Va., a manufacturer of switchgear and transformers.

In addition to parts, components, and inventory, Circuit Breaker Sales also acquired Federal Pacific's technical and historical libraries, a move similar to its purchase in 2007 of ITE and its documentation.

“By adding Federal Pacific Equipment's technical library to the ITE specification documents we acquired in 2007, Circuit Breaker Sales is now one of the largest providers of new, replacement and remanufactured parts for the industrial circuit breaker industry,” said Bill Schofield, president of Circuit Breaker Sales.

“At one point in history, Federal Pacific was one of the largest providers of residential and industrial circuit breakers in the United States. CBS's growing library of historical records, card files and drawings will give our engineering staff the tools they need to help customers determine whether they need replacement parts, repairs, remanufactured components or retrofit upgrades to get their FPE and ITE electrical equipment safely up and running,” Schofield added.

Schofield told Electrical Wholesaling he's in discussions with two more legacy breaker companies to add their technical libraries to the one CBS has built with ITE and FPE.

The collection of FPE data files, microfiche, drawings, wiring diagrams and other literature not only allows CBS to service the installed base of legacy Federal Pacific equipment, it opens a door to potentially manufacture new replacements for products such as FPE's QMQB panelboard switches, of which Schofield estimates there are 900,000 still in use in Manhattan alone.

“With these documents and the knowledge we have that we didn't have 30 years ago, in terms of lubrication, insulation, we can actually make some of this stuff better than it came out originally,” he said.

Details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Privately owned CBS did say it plans to move the equipment from FPE's New Jersey facility to Group CBS' Matthews, N.C., facility, and then close FPE's N.J., offices. John Cifrodella, former owner of Federal Pacific Equipment, will continue to serve as a consultant to CBS.

Circuit Breaker Sales is a bit of an anomaly in the electrical surplus market. An ISO 9001-certified member company of Group CBS Inc., the company specializes in the sale and service of low- and medium-voltage circuit breakers and other electrical power distribution equipment.

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