A Milford small business celebrated a huge milestone with an open house June 13 when Mohawk Electrical Systems Inc. turned 50 years old.
Mohawk Electrical Systems combines precision manufacturing capabilities with quality components to produce custom-made assemblies used in the defense, oil and gas, pyrotechnics, instrumentation and mining industries.
Core products include bridgewire and ordnance products, electromechanical assemblies, cable and harness assemblies, molded elastomeric products and the Claymore Weapon Systems.
Founded in 1963 by Clarence M. Welch and his son Stephen R. Welch, Mohawk became a third-generation family business when Scott M. Welch joined the company in 1988.
When Kaiser Aluminum decided to close its assembly department, Mohawk Electrical Systems Inc. stepped in. Kaiser continued to supply the materials for assembly projects, but Mohawk assumed responsibility for the labor. When Kaiser closed its doors for good, Mohawk absorbed its customers including Westinghouse, GE-RCA, Magline Douglas Aircraft and several other smaller clients.
In 1968, Mohawk won a contract to produce a product that would change the company forever. A DuPont Company executive on his way to the beach for the weekend stopped into Mohawk for a tour. When the executive saw the quality of the precision work Mohawk was able to do, he asked if the company would be interested in manufacturing the M4 cord set for the Claymore Weapon System, also known as the M18A1.
The Claymore is a defensive military weapon used to protect American troops around the world. DuPont ordered 1 million units. This product became the staple of Mohawk’s future after it acquired the rest of the equipment needed to produce the Claymore system. Mohawk is the only U.S. manufacturer of this weapon system. Mohawk also exports to U.S. allies and in 2004 was named the Delaware Small Business Administration Exporter of the Year.
Mohawk has since diversified further with customers across the country and around the world. Most recently, Mohawk became a key supplier to the electric blasting cap and energy exploration markets. Mohawk employs approximately 38 production, managerial and support staff.
Clarence Welch died in 1998, and Steve Welch retired in 2006. Scott Welch, who had been with the company since 1988, took over as owner at that time.
For more information on Mohawk Electrical Systems, go to www.mohawk-usa.com.