The Partner for Agribusiness


The Partner for Agribusiness is a quarterly publication for Austin Mutual Insurance Company.  Thompson Automation & Specialty Service was recently featured talking about the Dangerous Power of Arc Flash.

Kent Voigt, Senior Risk Consultant, for Austin Mutual Insurance saw the Thompson Automation & Specialty Services presentation at the Ag Cooperative Safety Directors of Iowa in Story City, IA and asked if we would be interested in presenting our presentation to their Risk Consultants in Omaha.  They also asked if Thompson Automation and Specialty Services would like to be interviewed for an article in their The Partner for Agribusiness publication that is mailed to their agricultural customers quarterly.  Here’s the article.  Safety pays dangerous power of Arc Flash

Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference


On May 15th Thompson Automation and Specialty Services hosted Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference in the Siouxland area.

This exciting automation and technology conference highlighted several emerging automation technologies, the development of new security systems to protect IT infrastructures from attack and identify ways companies can leverage workforce development partners to meet their future employment needs. The attendees were able to learn more about emerging industrial trends being implemented to reduce downtime, cut costs, find process improvements and utilize data to make better decisions.

This was a very exciting event for Thompson Automation to be able to host.  Thompson was able to bring in a panel of national leaders in the areas of automation, IIOT, security, and workforce development to have a robust discussion on relevant topics like connecting industrial systems to traditional IT infrastructures, infrastructure security, and workforce development.

The days’ keynote speaker was Bob Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Rockwell Automation, and a national leader in transforming business operations. Bob discussed how Rockwell was able to transform their manufacturing operations through a focus on people, processes, and technology. Bob shared many of the actual business benefits Rockwell realized and how others could achieve the same results through implementation of modern control and information systems.

After the keynote address, Bob Murphy also participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges he faces leading an organization through transformational change.  Other panelists talked about their own real-world examples of implementing new technologies, preparing organizations for the Industrial Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

The day also included presentations from Chad Richards, a Cyber Security Specialist with Cisco, and Corey Cronin, a Solutions Architect from Rockwell.  Chad discussed the importance of having an integrated approach to network security. He talked about how companies need to properly protect their organization from multiple types of attacks and multiple sources. Corey discussed real examples of how improving a few automation and IT processes can make a huge difference in an operation.  Benefits discussed were how modernizing an operation can increase productivity, decrease downtime, and improve change over times.


The day finished with a tour of the WITCC Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Confined Space Trailer.

It was an exciting day and a special note of appreciation goes out to the days’ sponsors and hosts:  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, Electric Innovations, Cisco, Rockwell Automation, The Siouxland Initiative, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The 2017 Innovate Industrial Automation & Technology conference was a huge success! We are already looking forward to the 2018 Conference!



GEAPS 2017-Crop

Recently, Thompson Automation & Specialty Services participated as an exhibitor, in the National GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) Expo in Kansas City, MO.  More than 3000 people from all aspects of the grain industry attended the 3 day event.

Mike Pendergast (Thompson Automation and Specialty Services) and Rob Costello (Thompson Electric) handled the booth duties promoting arc flash awareness, infrared thermal imaging and electrical safety for grain elevators.  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is using these national expos to create awareness of the dangers of electrical hazards in grain handling facilities.  As a result, owners and operators of grain facilities, are now realizing the dangers of electricity and the need for arc flash risk assessments, electrical surveys and training for their employees.

The interest generated by our presence at the GEAPS Expo, and the follow up from our contacts made at the Expo, emphasizes the growing interest in electrical safety and the need for Thompson Automation and Specialty Services to stay active in the grain industry.

Thompson Electric Acquires Automation Company

Services Unlimited joins company to form Thompson Automation and Specialty Services

SIOUX CITY, IA – March 6, 2017 – TEC-Corp., the parent company of Thompson Electric has acquired the assets of Service Unlimited Inc. of Ireton Iowa, an industrial controls and automation company.   The purchase allows Thompson Electric to deliver innovative controls and automation process solutions to customers throughout the Midwest. Industries such as agriculture, water/waste water treatment, food processing, oil and gas, light and heavy manufacturing, utility production and distribution and more. The acquisition also marks the creation of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  A new company to meet the needs to customers requiring support solutions beyond those of traditional electrical contractors.

“Our strategic investment in the purchase of Services Unlimited represents a significant strengthening of our technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions to offer customers,” said Skip Perley CEO of Thompson Electric parent company TEC-Corp.   Skip continued; “Mel and the team at Services Unlimited bring to Thompson Electric more than 30-years of expertise in automation and a true commitment to customers’ satisfaction.  We look forward to their joining our team at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.”

 “We are excited to join Thompson Automation and Specialty Service to create a regional leader in the automation and controls process market.  We will continue to deliver the high-quality solutions that our loyal customer base has come to expect,” said Mel Schwiesow, Services Unlimited founder and President. “This creates the best combination available to help customers uncover the benefits of process controls that drive production efficiencies.”

Thompson Automation and Specialty Services now adds process control and automaton to its list of available solutions.  Previous offerings included Arc Flash Risk Assessments, Infrared Thermal Imaging, Electrical Preventative Maintenance, large scale LED Lighting Retro-fitting, and Solar and Wind Energy Generation.  “Thompson Electric has earned customers trust and loyalty for nearly 85-years by providing innovative solutions to meet customers’ unique needs,” said Jason Glover, General Manager of Thompson Automation and Specialty Services.  “The addition of solutions in the area of controls and automation only strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs.”

Specific controls and automation solutions now provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services include:

  • System Design and Engineering
  • Custom Software Programming
  • UL Certified Customer Control Panel Fabrication
  • Equipment Installation and Commissioning
  • Instrumentation Installation, Set-up & Calibration
  • Hardware and Programing Maintenance Service

About Thompson Electric Company

Thompson Electric is a premier Midwest electrical contractor since 1933 that services the commercial, industrial, healthcare, education, government, low voltage and residential industries.  Thompson Electric is a forward thinking innovative leader in the industry with the ability to revolutionize its business model.  We utilize technology in every aspect of our business from estimating, arc flash risk assessment, infrared thermal imaging, 3D, Cad, BIM/Revit, electrical preventive maintenance (EPM), Solar, Automation and Controls, design build, prefabrication to project management and field supervision.  To support our regional growth, the company maintains permanent offices in Sioux City, Omaha, Sioux Falls.