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Business Innovation 2016 Recipient

BIC Award Winner: Reliance Controls Dedicated to Quality, Customer Service, and NEMA

A leader in electrical manufacturing innovation, Reliance Controls Corporation, a family-owned business since 1909, is the 2016 winner of the Business Innovation Council (BIC) Illuminations Award for its demonstrated success in entrepreneurism and advanced technology in manufacturing automatic transfer switch equipment

Founder Benjamin Franklin Flegel invented the first time switch: an eight-day, spring-driven model that allowed stores and apartment buildings to turn lights on and off automatically, leading to more productive work days. According to Benjamin F. Flegel II, the company's current president, Reliance Controls maintains this work ethic, resulting in its role as one of the most proactive leaders in the industrial controls product and system sector for the last 15 years.

According to BIC Chairman Mark Wingate, president, MVC-Maxivolt, "Reliance has shown by example the kinds of leadership and technical support of NEMA initiatives that exceed those exhibited by some of the larger member companies. Although perhaps considered as only a small to medium company by some, there is not a more involved company in what NEMA does, or a more deserving BIC award recipient."

Through Neil Czarnecki, vice president of engineering, Reliance is an active in NEMA's Industrial Automation Control Products & Systems Section (1IS). Positions held and supported by Reliance include:

  • Chair of 1IS
  • Chair of 1IS Standards Conformity Assessment Committee
  • Chair of the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standardization of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA) Automatic Transfer Switch Technical Harmonization Committee Working Group (WG) 6
  • U.S. Expert Advisor to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Subcommittee (SC) 121A WG2 for Automatic Switch Equipment
  • Chair of the recently established IEC SC 121A WG2 TSE, which was created to strategically progress the technical harmonization of transfer switch equipment of North American and European products.

Reliance also provides technical guidance and expertise to the National Electrical Code® by its membership in Code Making Panel 13.

Benjamin Franklin Flegel's motto, "If there's a problem, fix it!" launched more than a century of innovation, resulting in landmark advancements in manual transfer switches, time switches, and accessories technology. The company holds more than 85 patents and sells thousands of products nationwide, including more than 500 different kinds of transfer switch kits that help families and businesses survive power failures.

After more than a century of innovation Reliance Controls Corporation's enviable reputation for high quality, superior engineering, and exceptional customer services lead to this year's award.


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