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At the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Nikola Tesla and industrialist George Westinghouse illuminated the fairgrounds’ neoclassical buildings with 100,000 incandescent lamps. But the Great Hall of Electricity displayed something even more monumental from Tesla: an AC power-generation system that revealed a more efficient way to drive motors and power lighting.

At the time, Chicago was at the cusp of the electrical revolution, but 125 years later, the city and surrounding areas are left to maintain decaying infrastructure estimated to cost nearly $1 billion to fix. With its new facility opening in Elgin, IL, in Q1 2019, AEAMC aims to capture the market by performing life-extension services and offering emergency repair and services on aging circuit breakers.

“Not only is Chicago the third-largest power consumption market in the U.S., the age of the infrastructure lends itself to our solutions,” says Bill Schofield, president of AEAMC. “Many of the original circuit breaker manufacturers such as ITE, Allis-Chalmers, and Federal Pacific are no longer around, so all of their equipment still in service doesn’t have an OEM to support it anymore.”

AEAMC’s full-service breaker repair and service shop will offer the same inventory as its Irving, TX, headquarters, including circuit breakers, motor controls, switches, and industrial control panels. As the only ISO-certified vendor in the region, the Chicago location will also feature modern NETA testing equipment and a knowledgeable staff culled locally and from Texas.

“With a local inventory, we can respond to orders faster than shipping from Texas,” Schofield says. “There’s no reason we can’t be as big in the Chicago area as we are here in Texas.”