60 Year History of GEC
Originally located in Garland Texas with little more than engineers, scientist, shareholders and ideas, General Electrodynamics Corporation (GEC) has evolved. From 1955 and three orange diamonds, to 1996 and red wings and then back to GEC orange diamonds, from publicly traded to privately owned, GEC has innovated concepts, products and services for over 60 years.
On July 14, 1965, after a 228 day-journey through interplanetary space, Mariner IV looked at Mars through a vidicon television camera tube developed and manufactured by General Electrodynamics Corp. A NASA project conceived, and then developed into a successful Mariner IV mission.
That mission stands as GEC’s testimonial to the vision and competence of the thousands of scientists and engineers which made such a profound mark in our countries’ space program. In the 1960’s the vidicon tube market and technology began to diminish with the evolution of solid-state-electronics. With corporate revenues declining, our camera division and tube division were acquired, leaving behind assets, resources, facilities and a fully self-sustaining scale division.
With engineering and technology resources in abundance, GEC designed patented, and introduced the first heavy-duty portable wheel-load weigher, (MD300 portable truck scale). The next evolution shortly after the MD300 was the MD400. These units are virtually indestructible, have a capacity of 20,000 pounds, only 3-1/4″ high and physically weigh a mere 38 pounds. As we became experts in creating rugged, harsh and abusive truck weighing applications, the mission continued to improve our R&D efforts with another patented device, the MD500. This unit having a larger weighing surface with the same overall height and ruggedness as the MD400, both units are the work horse “today”, of many state, local and foreign government agencies. There is no other wheel load weigher in the world today, meeting the salient performance characteristics of the MD400 and MD500 series.
With new standards in motion and NIST certifications required, we enhanced our design characteristics in electronic and semi-portable versions. We are very proud of our truck scale reputation and continue producing multiple models, year after year, with tens-of-thousands in service in more than 120 foreign countries. As GEC continued its forward vision into new market opportunities, we quickly identified industry concerns associated with aircraft weight and balance. We began gathering market intelligence and conducting engineering evaluations to better understand the problems encountered with determining accurate aircraft center of gravity.
We surveyed the FAA, USAF, and Navy, CAA and many commercial domestic and international airlines and airfreight carriers. In conjunction with Navy requirements in 1979, we patented the first man-portable 30,000 pound capacity, aircraft platform weighing system with .5% accuracy. With our earlier version MD044 series, no agency believed aircraft could be weighed accurately and economically with portable platform scales. We proved the industry different, enhancing the overall accuracy standard to 0.1% in the AN30, to now the AN60. We are the only manufacture that has a 60,000 pound aircraft platform weighing system that’s been First Article Tested & Approved by the USAF. Recently, due to higher capacity and larger aircraft designs, the AN60 has been upgraded to 70,000 pound capacity, with no degradation to accuracy.
Today, we have continued to engineer aircraft and truck scales with precision accuracy for a worldwide niche market. We are very specialized and focused on our core business objectives. We embrace technology and remain the only manufacturer that engineers, designs, tests and strives to service the end user directly. We believe in knowing our customers, their applications and problems. GEC is the only manufacturer that holds over 21 patents and 2 pending for engineering and design of aircraft and truck weighing systems. We are not only proud of our company today, but we are also proud of GEC’s history, contributions to society, employees and reputation around the world. Our continuous R&D efforts are very focused within product categories. Unlike our competition, we’ve made a strategic business decision to not be an assembly house, outsourcer or reseller of load cells, pallet scales, hopper scales, crane scales, counting scales, etc. We are dialed into our mission.
We are experts in the portable truck weighing and aircraft weighing industry segments. In 1995, the FAA issued repair station license (G2ER273J), for a speciality service of aircraft Weight & Balance to GEC. We now have certified weight and balance experts on staff meeting very stringent academic and field experience standards. As a completely mobile, self-contained service, GEC can now perform On-site weight and balance certifications, per FAA, CAA and manufacturer’s standards. We go to our customer’s facility and provide a fully executed weight, balance and aircraft CG allowing customers to return their aircraft to airworthiness condition. We have trained and certified staff to conduct on site training in the proper operation and use of the equipment upon delivery to a customer’s site anywhere in the world.
We are the only manufacturer that holds a US Air Force and US Navy accreditation that allows our trained specialists to conduct W&B training and certify on the Air Force or US Navy’s behalf. Our US military test equipment expertise is indicative of a solid technological base and breath of related experience.
In the early 1990’s, GEC reversed-engineered the CH-47 AFCS Bench Test Set for the US Army saving US taxpayers hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. Another developmental item for the Navy was a new generation ETSU which superseded our Ground Fault Isolation Test Set. Our recent span of programs covers aircraft training panels for L3 Communications, Fatigue Monitors for the F-18, Portable Field Calibration Test Set, CH-47 AFCS Aircraft Panels and variety of other specialized Test Sets.
In 2007, after extensive market research and source selection, GEC was chosen to design, test, manufacture and deliver specialty weighing equipment for the 300 pound gross weight US Army Shadow surveillance drone. This aircraft, ramp launched, served our military for low level surveillance and advanced warning to Army Apache aircraft, in combat during the Iraq, Afghanistan and current search for ISIS targets.
This product required accuracy and dependability for use in extreme environments, with accuracy requirements far exceeding all other products. Successful completion of delivery of over 200 systems led GEC into another critical measurement requirement for the MQ Series USAF drones. These aircraft required critical CG measurements and weight calculations for enhanced performance, weapons capabilities and extended range. GEC delivered over 100 weighing systems to the USAF for the Predator and Reaper programs, which are still ongoing and used worldwide.
Today, our NSN listings exceed over 300 top level part number assemblies. GEC’s customer service is an integrated part of our growth strategy. Our investment in NIST traceable, first generation calibration and test equipment is 85% automated today. Our capabilities extend beyond electrical and electronic wiring and wire harness fabrication repair, PC board design and repair, and complete environmental testing. GEC is extremely sensitive to our customer’s needs and our product support staff supports 24 hour expedited turn around time on service, parts and repairs to reduce a customer’s down time. In conclusion, General Electrodynamics Corporation is dynamically driven with over 60 years of remarkable history. Embedded inside, is a base of technological expertise and product advancements in several niche market areas. Our executive leadership is unmatched and products are far superior to the competition. While employees are our greatest assets, contributions made to society through their efforts reflect the organization’s commitment to quality, customer satisfaction and product performance. We’re committed to pushing upward, leaving our mark in history while adding more satisfied customers along our journey.