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Carlisle manufacturer staying in control

Machinist Brian Beam opens a motor control unit to prepare for remanufacture at Flight Systems Industrial Products. The Cumberland County business is a niche manufacturer and remanufacturer of electronic products for electric and gas-powered vehicles such as golf carts, scrubber-sweepers, mining cars, electric boats and go-karts. - (Photo / Amy Spangler)

Barry Bowman found the perfect formula to keep Flight Systems Industrial Products growing steadily as a niche manufacturer of electronic products: Be in control.

FSIP manufactures the controllers used in many electric and gas-powered vehicles, such as golf carts, scrubber-sweepers, mining cars/locomotives, electric boats and go-karts. A big part of the company’s business is remanufacturing the controllers made decades ago.

“We’re still repairing stuff from 40 years ago,” said Bowman, company president.

FSIP began producing controls in 1970 and has grown and branched out ever since, reaching $19 million in sales in 2013. In 2003, the company relocated from Mechanicsburg into the former Tyco building on Harrisburg Pike in North Middleton Township.

Plans are in motion to expand the 45,000-square-foot building by another 15,000 square feet as soon as the company receives approvals from the township. Bowman said he hopes to break ground by the start of 2015.

“We are out of space again, so that’s a good thing,” said Pam Jones, director of sales and marketing for FSIP.

In the meantime, the company wants to use its experience to capitalize on the green push to electric-powered vehicles and machinery.

“Anything battery powered is the core part of our business,” Bowman said. “We’ve been able to take advantage because there’s always more and more things being converted to that.”

Long history

Array

Flight Systems began in 1968 designing and manufacturing aircraft and runway strobe lights, using unique solid-state controls technology. The company received patents and Federal Aviation Administration certification for its solid-state relays, timers and circuit breakers, which were used on various spacecraft.

In 1970, the company began re-manufacturing solid state controls for lift trucks. The controls basically serve as “the brains” behind the equipment, Jones said.

John Hilton

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