History

Equipment & Controls, Inc. began in 1956 as The JG Chilcoat Company, founded by Jess Chilcoat, Bob Neville, Sam Prince and Bob Reid based on Banksville Road in Pittsburgh, PA. As the official local representative of The Fisher Governor Company, the four-man company experienced good sales during those early years selling Fisher control valves and regulators. By 1959, continued growth prompted Chilcoat to relocate to a larger location on Castle Shannon Blvd. in Mt. Lebanon. Five years later a building addition doubled the size to accommodate increasing growth. 

In the 1960s, the JG Chilcoat Company enjoyed strong success representing the Fisher Governor Company, which had become the leading manufacturer of control valves in the world. Fisher was well-known for its superior representative network and large outside sales force. In 1969 Monsanto Corporation purchased Fisher and turned it into one of their leading divisions. Monsanto internally developed an analog and digital control system (AC2 / DC2) to automate their chemical plants. Monsanto believed the Fisher Controls Company could better manufacture and market these products to other companies. Fisher Controls International was established, and it was not long before Fisher became a leader in the field of electronic instrumentation. At about that time Chilcoat was nearing retirement and realized the need for new leadership. John Canon, a long time Fisher employee, was identified and named as the new president. Once Canon took over, a new company name was introduced as Equipment & Controls, Inc. In 1978 Canon moved ECI and its 25 employees into their new home in Lawrence, PA. During his tenure, John launched Industrial Controls & Equipment as a sales branch to market products that complimented the Fisher line.

In 1990, John Canon retired and named Dennis Petronko, a previous Fisher Controls engineer, as his successor. The year 1992 was when Monsanto sold Fisher Controls to Emerson, opening yet more opportunities for the ever growing ECI. Shortly after, ECI added a 36,000 sq. ft. service and warehousing facility in Monessen, PA. That move allowed ECI to increase its service and repair presence in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio, enabling a significant company transformation in years to come. By the late ‘90s employee headcount rose to 75.

In 2004, Dennis Petronko retired and named Jeff Scott, also a former Fisher Controls engineer, to assume the ECI leadership role. As with the previous presidents, Jeff achieved strong success with a continued entrepreneurial spirit and desire to serve customers in more innovative ways. This led to the creation of other divisions such as the Instrument and Valve Services group, Process HVAC Solutions (PHS), Skid Technologies, Power Ignition & Controls Appalachia (PIC), Clean Combustion & Energy (CC&E), and others. In 2006, ECI assumed ownership of The AE Ehrke Company in Cleveland, Ohio adding 55 employees to ECI’s 95, bringing total headcount to over 150. During Jeff’s years of service, ECI was recognized by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2013 as one of Pittsburgh's top work places. In 2013 the Cleveland Plain Dealer also named ECI as a top work place. The Washington Country Observer named ECI as the most desirable place to work in 2013. In 2014 Jeff was recognized twice as a CEO of the year by The Pittsburgh Business Times and St. Barnabas.

Today, under the direction of our president Dan Smith, ECI is more capable than ever, offering the best process related solutions to our customers in the steel, natural gas, chemical, power, paper, refining, and OEM industries. ECI is strongly positioned to serve current and emerging client needs associated with the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. ECI employs approximately 275 professionals with eight facilities in five areas across Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. ECI attributes this tremendous growth to a relentless culture of teamwork, workforce stability and a commitment to building long-term customer relationships. ECI looks forward to the challenges of tomorrow, built on the foundations of yesterday.