It all started in a garage in 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon.
A privately owned company, Whelen has experienced positive growth for more than six decades. The pride and commitment of its workforce, whose employment longevity averages over 22 years, is rewarded through a profit-sharing plan established by the Whelen family when the company was founded.
The development of the first aviation light helped launch Whelen into the automotive safety lighting industry as well. Whelen currently provides safety lighting for Police, Fire, EMS and DOT professionals as well as many other industries. The production volumes in the automotive sector have allowed Whelen to invest in the latest automated assembly equipment in order to compete world-wide. Last year, Whelen purchased over 44 million LEDs for use in their extensive family of products.
In the 1970’s, Whelen introduced the Outdoor Warning Siren – totally electronic and capable of not only warning tones but also high-powered voice messages. The Mass Notification Division has saved lives around the world.
Whelen Corporate Capabilities
At Whelen Engineering, our goal is to bring innovative, life-saving products to market more quickly, while maintaining strict quality control throughout the process. We have accomplished this through a vertical manufacturing initiative to eliminate or reduce out-sourcing, the use of robotics and state-of-the art production equipment, and perhaps most importantly, a motivated workforce of over 1,500 employees. This allows us to meet and adapt to our customers’ changing needs in the shortest amount of time.
Our capabilities include:
- Two manufacturing facilities totaling over 800,000 square feet
- The largest staff of design engineers in the industry
- A robust research & development program
- Partnerships with OEMs for new vehicle design and product integration
- Plastics injection molding machines from 30- to 2,000-ton capacity
- In-house plastics, hard coating, metallizing and sheet metal fabrication
- On-site test lab for environmental dust, moisture and vibration and more
- Acoustic anechoic sound chamber for audio testing
- Industry certifications, including SAE, AMECA, FAA
- Sales and technical personnel training at the factory training center
- A worldwide network of sales, training and service personnel
Design & Engineering
The largest staff of design engineers in the industry. Many of our engineers are fire volunteers and EMTs. They know first-hand the critical need for innovative, life-saving products.
Injection & Vacuum Molding
1,600 molds, 38 molding machines – from 30- to 2,000-ton capacity, 20 million parts produced yearly. Vacuum machines produce irregularly shaped components not suitable for injection molding.
Surface mount and through-hole circuit boards are manufactured, assembled and tested in-circuit
Robotic and laser cutting and drilling, robotic bending cells for stand-alone operation. All machine parts are produced and maintained by automated production machine shops in New Hampshire and Connecticut.
Hard coating of lenses and powder coating of housings makes them resistant to weather and abrasion. Metallizing reflectors adds reflectivity and helps prevent corrosion and oxidation.
Production Machine Shop
State-of-the-art milling machines, CNC lathes and screw machines make the precision parts required for our products.
Quality Control & Testing
Strict quality control is maintained throughout the manufacturing process. Certified on-site test labs facilitate product development and shorten lead times
Repair, Service & Training
Whelen’s goal is to get a product repaired and back to the customer within 24 hours. Authorized service facilities are located around the globe. Training is available not only at the Chester, CT, training facility, but also at sites around the country. All Whelen Authorized Managing Sales Representatives and technicians return to the plant several times a year for new product introductions and advanced training.