Company History

  • 1955



    In 1955 Northwest Electric was founded as a family-owned company that has grown from a single motor repair shop to an operation with 5 locations in two states as well as two sister companies that were developed from within the organization. William (Bill) Fritz originally founded Northwest Electric Motor Repair to help customers fix and service their small appliances, various single phase motors, and wind chargers. Demand began to increase as customers realized the benefits of working with a local company with expert level knowledge.

  • 2009


    In 2009 Northwest Electric responded to a growing market need for additional resources in automation, variable frequency drives, PLC systems and complete control systems. With more customers needing packages solutions and additional services the Advanced Controls Group was developed.

  • 2011


    In 2011 Northwest Electric's Advanced Controls Group was spun off to form Automated Drive Systems, LLC. The new company established an operation in Omaha, NE a more central location for its customer base. The new location also provided additional space for VFD repair, control panel fabrication and additional inventory.

  • 2012


    In 2012 Automated Drive Systems, LLC took a big step in our commitment to producing the highest quality systems available with the addition of UL 508A Control Panel Certification. This Certification allows us to provide control panels with the UL508A Listing mark. Many states are starting to require that control panels have some form of certification marking from UL or ETL. This Listing give customers and electrical inspectors the needed confidence that the panels are design, built and tested according to established standards.

  • 2015


    In 2015 we expanded our operation moving from our original 2,500 sqft building to a larger 7,500 sqft building down the street from our original Omaha location.

  • 2017

    Steinhauer ModCenter Addition

    In late 2017 we commissioned a Steinhauer ModCenter 293 CNC Machine. This machine started our path to automating our control panel manufacturing with the ability to drill, tap, and mill on all common materials of electrical enclosures, quickly and with amazing repeatability.

  • 2020


    In 2020 we were once again busting at the seams of our facility and worked with a development company to build a 13,500 sqft state of the art facility. A few months before moving into the new facility we found Paul Akers and his 2 Second Lean philosophy which has changed our company forever. With the impending move we jumped in with both feet and re-configured how we would build control panels in the new facility and pioneered our cell based manufacturing.

  • 2021


    In 2021 we added additional automation to our manufacturing process leveraging our EPLAN CAE design software with the addition of computer terminals in all wiring cells, addition of a Steinhauer PWA6000 wire processing center to pre-process our wire and an NC-CUT semi-automated DIN and Duct Shear. We also began testing and implementation of augmented reality into our manufacturing processes.

Our Certifications

UL 508A

Automated Drive Systems has been part of UL’s Control Panel Manufacturing program UL508A for over 10 years. We are proud that in that time we have not received any product non-conformance variation notices. All of our panels are build and assembled to the UL508A standard and the only time a panel leaves our facility without a listing is if the customer specifies a device that does not comply with the standard.