Company History

From 1937 to Now
CEC (originally Consolidated Engineering Corporation) was founded in March 1937 by Herbert Hoover, Jr., son of the former President of the United States, as an affiliate of his United Geophysical Company. It was a small plant, located in Pasadena, California, engaged in the production of experimental models of a commercial-type Mass Spectrometer. While first used by the petroleum industry prior to and during World War II in refining 100-octane aviation gasoline and the then-new synthetic rubber programs, modifications and improvements on this original instrument soon led to almost unlimited, universal applications.

By 1941, however, CEC was also heavily invested in the design and construction of static-dynamic measuring and recording, equipment and in that year, acquired the full line of vibration and strain measuring instruments formerly built by the Sperry Gyroscope Company.

These efforts led to major war-time military contracts and three Army Navy “E” Awards for excellence in production. By the end of the war, CEC had severed its tie with United Geophysical Company. The momentum of only eight short years since its founding had propelled CEC into a very diversified, highly successful public corporation. Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s, CEC continued the expansion in both plant facilities and personnel that marked its beginning and continued to experiment with daring new technologies, dynamic research and development, and diverse product lines.

These decades and those immediately following saw many other CEC “firsts”. Milestones included the first Recording Oscillograph capable of simultaneously recording 50 separate information channels, an entirely new series of miniature Galvanometers, a Precision Pressure Balance that obsoleted a 300-year-old standard for pressure measurement, a new line of Amplifiers, and advanced Signal Conditioning Systems.

It is interesting to note here that CEC, one of the early pioneers in computer technology had, by the early 1950’s successfully marketed the first “low cost, high speed automatic Electronic Digital Computer. Gigantic in size, though “stupid” by today’s standards, the Burroughs Company saw its potential and wanted its technology. All assets for the computer were sold to Burroughs in Detroit in 1957.

In 1960 an agreement was reached to merge with the Bell & Howell Company, an association that was to produce significant new advancements in transducers, signal conditioning and oscillographic technology. In 1974 Astro Science Corporation was acquired, bringing to CEC an outstanding line of portable and airborne magnetic tape recorders to complement the line of excellent ground station recorders. Divisionalized along product lines, this operation became known as the Datatape® Division. A year later, CEC introduced Sputtered thin Film Strain Gage Transducers, then and now a major advancement in state-of-the-art technology.

In keeping with the objective of maintaining the leadership role in pressure sensor technology, CEC began development of the diffused semiconductor sensing element in the early 1970’s.

CEC was acquired by the Transamerica Corporation in 1983 as a subsidiary of Transamerica Delaval Incorporation. The Datatape® Division was sold to Eastman Kodak Company that same year. In 1986 Transamerica, highly diversified in the 1960’s, decided to return to the basics of insurance and finance and divest itself of all other operations.

The former Transamerica Delaval group of companies, including CEC, was acquired in 1986 by a group of Transamerica stockholders. CEC then became the CEC Instruments Division of the newly formed Imo Industries Incorporated of Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The former CEC Medical Division was sold to a group of private investors.

In June of 1994, CEC was sold to Sensortronics and is currently known as CEC Vibration Products, Division of Sensortronics. CEC’s 17,300 square foot facility is located at 746 Arrow Grand Circle in Covina, California.

In January 2002 Sensortronics was sold to Vishay Corporation. At the completion of this sale, CEC Vibration Products became the only remaining company in the Corporation now known as CEC Vibration Products.