Warwood Armature Going Strong Since 1927 | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo by Scott McCloskey
Mike Sobutka, a truck driver for Warwood Armature, delivers a 1250-horsepower electric motor to the Warwood Armature company this week for testing and rebuilding work.

WHEELING — A nearly century-old, family-owned Warwood business continues to provide the region with quality electric motor sales and the finest service with a dedicated and experienced team, according to company officials.

With nearly 40 employees, Warwood Armature has several repair departments to address customers’ individual equipment and service needs, from coil production, to assembly and testing. They also offer field services, including on-site diagnostics and evaluation of machine reliability.

“It’s basically an industrial electric motor service business where we bring in motors from the mills and the mines and rewind them. … It’s a lot of mechanical work,” explained company chairman Ray Thalman.

Company president Bill Thalman said the business is “multifaceted,” because it addresses both electrical and mechanical repairs on motors.

“Obviously there is a lot of very high-tech test equipment, especially on the electrical end,” Thalman said. “But on the mechanical end, everything has to be precisely measured and brought back to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specs.”

Thalman said one of the reasons for the company’s long-standing success is because of its dedicated, hard-working employees.

“I look at this as being an extended family. We’re working together as a group for a common goal,” he added.

In 1927, the Warwood Armature Repair Company was established in Wheeling by Thalman’s grandfather, Raymond V. Thalman and Lawrence Schmitt. The business began in the garage behind the Thalman home where rewinding armatures for local coal mines and industries was conducted, according to their website. The company was so successful that more space was needed and a new building was constructed in 1932 at North Seventh Street and Hazlett Avenue.

Over the years, the Thalman family eventually took over the business and continued to add new techniques and ventured into new sales and rebuilds, according to Ray Thalman. In 1969, Warwood Armature created the WARCO Sales, Inc. division to accommodate growth in new motor sales.

The WARCO Sales, Inc. division is a leading distributor for new and rebuilt electric motors and related products. Warwood Armature expanded and upgraded its facilities and equipment, adding more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space for motor management, storage, and exchange services.

Today, the family owned business is entering its fourth generation of ownership and management.

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