MOUNT OLIVE — AFL, a South Carolina manufacturing and services-oriented corporation, has agreed in principle to purchase IMPulse NC, the nation’s largest manufacturer of overhead contact system hardware for the mass transit industry worldwide.
Details of the sale were not available, and an AFL spokesman said the company was “unable to comment at this time.”
Founded in 1990 in Mount Olive, IMPulse NC’s products applications are used for various types of electrified public transit systems, including vintage trolley, electric trolley bus, streetcar, light rail, intercity and heavy commuter rail, heritage trolley, electrified mining and freight lines and high-speed rail.
AFL, which has a strong presence in the electrical utility, service provider, enterprise and industrial and rail markets, intends to continue operating the IMPulse facility in Mount Olive and offer positions to IMPulse employees.
IMPulse NC, which does work across the U.S. and in other countries, was founded by a former group of traction power professionals from the transit switchgear division of the Ohio Brass Company’s Transit Division.
Its first location was in a county-owned speculative shell building located on property between the U.S. 117 Bypass and U.S. 117 Alternate just north of N.C. 55.
The company moved to a larger location on the Old Mount Olive Highway in 2002, before moving back to its original location in 2013.
IMPulse joined The Marmon Group, a global, diversified industrial organization, in 1995.
In 1998, IMPulse acquired substantially all of the assets of UniTrac Systems, a specialty firm with deep roots in the supply of Overhead Contact Equipment and switch machines for electrified transit systems.
In 2000, it purchased the OB Overhead Transit Line, formerly Ohio Brass, from the Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., which was integrated with UniTrac Systems to form the Overhead Electrification Group.
IMPulse sold its Traction Power Substation line to Reuelin 2007 and its EMC Traction to Microelettrica Scientifica SpA in 2009.
AFL, with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, was formed as a joint venture in 1984 by the Aluminum Company of America and Fujikura of Japan, according to the company’s website.
Initially, AFL manufactured one product, fiber optic ground wire. In 2005, Fujikura, with global sales of approximately $6 billion, assumed 100 percent ownership of AFL and moved AFL’s headquarters to Duncan, South Carolina.
Fujikura has been in business for 130 years and is one of the oldest manufacturers of cables and wires in Japan.
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets as well as a number of emerging markets. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training.
AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, engineer furnish and install, outside plant, enterprise and wireless applications.