API News

Sen. Bob Casey visits York County electronics manufacturer

York, PA – "Am I allowed to touch these?" asked Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., pointing to a shelf of computer chips used in LED road signs.

"Uhhh, no," said J.J. Eltringham, president and founder of American Products Inc., a Manchester Township electronics manufacturer.

Established in 1983, the company, which employs 96 people, builds electronic components for products ranging from bowling pin setters to bus air conditioners. Casey visited the site Friday on his way to Gettysburg, promoting renewed funding in the 2012 federal budget for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Trade Adjustment Assistance.

The MEP is a nationwide network of more than 70 centers that provide resources to help small– to medium–size manufacturers compete globally.

TAA provides benefits and services to workers who lose their jobs due to the impact of international trade.

American Products received $75,000 in TAA funding, which the company matched, to upgrade software and train employees on more–efficient manufacturing techniques.

Mantec, a local nonprofit that helps small–and medium–size manufacturers with consultant services, provided the training to make American Products more competitive.

In 2009, the company’s work force went down to 84 employees. It battles heavily against manufacturing in countries such as China.

"(China) undermines our ability to compete, because they cheat, frankly," said Casey. "It’s like running a 100-yard dash and having your competition start on the 40–yard line."

Overall, manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania are on a slight rise. There were 571,700 manufacturing jobs in the state in April, up 1,400 from March, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

To learn more about the API and their services, call 800-486-2741 or visit our website

Chris Tillotson, Sales Manager
American Products Inc.
45 Leigh Dr. York, PA 17406


American Products is becoming LEAN.

American Products Inc. started our Lean journey in January 2010 with the assistance of Mantec www.mantec.org. Since that time, we have trained our employees in 5S and had numerous Kaizan events. We improved production workflow and reduced travel distances in all the departments. We created work cells and tool boards which increased efficiency. In our Stockroom we removed obsolete components, changed the method of pulling parts and issuing the jobs to production. These changes have significantly reduced the cycle time of our products.

On May 10th we hosted a Lean working group meeting. The group consisted of representatives from 11 local companies. After a presentation by Dave Wentz, our production manager, the group toured the plant. These individuals offered additional areas and suggestions for improvement. We are committed to maintaining LEAN and continuous improvement.

API controls are used on Haulotte/BilJax aerial lifts.

When the Haulotte Group acquired BilJax in 2008, the company gained a highly engineered and proven trailer-mounted aerial lift line from a company that’s had a history of building these products for 20 years. The biggest in the Summit Series line is the 5533A articulating boom lift, which made its debut in 2006. Other models in the series range from 26 to 45 feet in platform height with three models of telescopic booms and two articulating units. All models in the Summit Series are manufactured in Archbold, Ohio.

At the Showcase, the 5533A featured only standard equipment, but the range of standard features are often only available as options on other similarly sized competitive machines, including a 4,000-psi air and water line to the platform and 12.5-inch diameter, plastic-coated outriggers for indoor use.

The powder-coated unit includes a 2-inch ball hitch and hydraulic or optional electric surge brakes plus a parking brake. The Dexter free-backing axle, which keeps the surge brakes from locking up if the aerial backs up a hill or over a curb, also features the Dexter E-Z lube system. Large dolly tires allow the unit to be moved easily by hand. An important feature is the presence of forklift pockets incorporated on every model, so the unit can be picked up with a forklift from either side or lifted with a crane.

Setup time on this unit is about 30 seconds, and the outriggers will auto-level up to 12.5°. Outrigger deployment is performed quickly due to the regenerative hydraulic system; once it stops, the machine is level. The system is designed so that operators can manually override the automatic leveling, which enables them to level the outriggers on even greater slopes. According to Haulotte, outrigger setup is as easy as pushing two buttons, and once complete it is within one degree of being level. Two indicator lights for each footpad on the lower controls display show when the outrigger is level and the footpad has made contact with the ground. When fully deployed, the outrigger footprint is 13’x13’. Powering the Showcase 5533A were four 6-volt, 245 A/h batteries. The batteries swing out on both sides to allow the operator easy access. The 30-amp DC smart charger shuts off automatically when it reaches full charge. It will completely charge in 8 hours and provide an 80 percent charge in 3.5 hours. A generator pedestal is located at the base for owners or renters to set their own generators. Straps to tie it down and a plug is provided, allowing 110-volt power to the platform and/or the battery charger. If a customer goes with the hybrid power option, the unit will be equipped with a 9-hp Honda 4,500-watt continuous output generator mounted on this same pedestal. Note that the engine choke and starter switches are located at the ground and platform controls.

Upper and lower control panels are virtually identical, which makes it easy for first-time operators to understand and learn how to safely operate the machine. Two hour meters are standard, one showing the actual run time and the other shows the switch on time. Units equipped with an engine also will have meters to monitor engine hours and rpm. The lower control provides a fault code system to indicate if there are any errors with the machine. To change any of the operation speeds, a laptop equipped with Haulotte’s software can be plugged into a serial port on the lower controls to alter the values.

Even though the 5533A employs a motor controller, it off ers four-speed operation of the boom. A unique feature of the Haulotte|BilJax unit is the negative boom geometry, which provides a greater working envelope for the operator. With the lower boom extended straight up, the unit has a 33-foot outreach from the center line of rotation. Turret rotation is 700° non-continuous. Safety valves on the boom include emergency lowering on each cylinder, along with a hand pump. A bleed-down hydraulic system is speed controlled, so the boom can come down quickly or slowly.

The 5533A, as well as all other tow-behind aerials in the Summit Series, includes a 500-pound, aluminum two-person basket that is easily removed with one pin. An optional manual platform rotator allows the platform to rotate 90°. An optional material-lifting hook is available, which converts the unit into a 500-pound capacity crane in about fi ve minutes with no tools. Haulotte|BilJax notes that this is a popular option for companies that set small trusses or light poles or plant trees. To control the boom and hook attachment, the upper control box can be connected to the lower controls and has a 6-foot-long extension cord. This allows the operator to stand 6 feet away from the unit in order to run it. The lift has a scale that tells you how much weight is being lifted, and if the weight exceeds 500 pounds, the scale is part of an interlock system that will monitor if the boom is overloaded. If 500 pounds is exceeded, it will beep and won’t allow the machine to lift.

The drive and set is an option with all of the Summit Series machines and enables the unit to be driven from the platform when it is in a stowed position. Drive and set is activated through a push-button drive engage. Operators do not have to get out of the machine, as it can be operated from the platform when the boom is fully stowed. The 5533A measures 5’5" wide when stowed, which allows it to be driven through a standard double doorway Other options include a variety of hitches, a tool tray, and a spare tire and mounting bracket. List price for the Haulotte|BilJax 5533A is $54,346.

View full article from Lift & Access Magazine

American Products, Inc. Launches Newly Redesigned Website

Industrial Electronics Specialist, American Products, Inc. will go live today with their newly redesigned website. The redesign has a more streamlined look, user friendly navigation and includes new features including an online quoting system and employment application forms.

York, PA – April 1, 2010 – American Products, Inc. (API) is pleased to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website, http://www.americanproductsinc.com, that will go live today.

The team at Drive Internet Marketing worked extremely close with API to redesign a user friendly website which incorporates an updated look with vibrant colors and graphics, expanded content, more functionality and simpler navigation to meet the needs and requests of customers. Other new features include an online quoting system for a quick response and also a career section that lists career opportunities with API. Applicants will be able to fill out and submit an employment application online and also have the option to attach their resume. There is also a news section that will allow customers to keep up-to-date on API news and events.

About API Company:
API was established in 1983, and has gained a reputation for excellence and professionalism in the industrial electronic business. Their business was built on customer service, flexibility and the highest quality standards.

"Our mission is to satisfy our customers with quality products on time with the commitment to promoting customer confidence in our ability to meet future expectations. We will attain our goals for customer satisfaction through the dedication and teamwork of our employees," said Jack Eltringham, President of American Products, Inc.

API specializes in printed circuit board design and manufacturing as well as cable and harness assembly, panel and chassis assembly. Our engineering staff is continually improving processes and standards to insure that we remain on the cutting edge of technology. API is ISO certified and RoHS and WEEE Compliant.

Through our sales, engineering and manufacturing facilities we are able to offer a totally integrated solution to your project. This turnkey approach offers a single source solution for product design from prototyping through production.

To learn more about the company and their services, call 800-486-2741 or visit our website

Chris Tillotson, Sales Manager
American Products Inc.
45 Leigh Dr. York, PA 17406