Our Mission

Elan Industries is an engineering firm and strategic partner that helps OEMs of residential and commercial appliance controls develop custom products to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. We harness exciting technologies to create what our customers have only imagined. Then we delight in their success as our controls serve as catalysts to awards, increased sales, boosts in production and expanded markets.

Our Core Values

As we collaborate with clients, we hold to a code of core values. Working with Elan Industries means:


We listen to what you want to accomplish, then work towards your success.


We do the right thing and we do what we say.


We take responsibility for our work and maintain sky-high quality standards.


We design for tomorrow, as well as today.


We collaborate with you and are invested in your success.

The Elan Difference


Our best discovery meetings take place between people with different perspectives:

  • Elan representatives
  • Salespeople (who know what sells)
  • Marketing people (who know how to sell it)
  • Purchasing (who know price points)
  • Engineering (who has a vision)
  • and Management (who understands the potential)

Then we listen to what is said and unsaid and ask the questions that lead to the best answers.

We’re curious about what is happening with the existing product in service and warranty and how it is perceived in the field. We want to know if there are new technologies you want to pursue, or what your vision is for change.

Maybe we’ll ask about how you build equipment in-house and learn about your growing pains, which we can help solve with our manufacturing, finished assembly, box-build and testing capabilities to help you expand without growing your footprint.

Maybe we’ll ask about the parts you are buying for assembly and discover we can redesign our portion to eliminate the need for a separate component, saving $100,000K or more a year.

These are just two real examples where asking the right questions and getting the right answers resulted in our ability to bring extra value to our clients, just because we took the time to listen.


For Elan, collaboration means sitting down with you to set proper specifications for your custom control. While you may or may not already have specs already in place, we ensure that all options for that control have been explored and have been written out before we begin designing.

We design for the future. For example, will one output outlet be enough in a year or so or should we put in two now? Do you need IoT connectivity? For you, this part of the process brings a higher confidence that the control we design will meet your needs today and tomorrow, pass agency and fit into your equipment.

If you need to change the part to fit elsewhere, or require a new specification later on, the original specs are available as a starting place to make any redesign effort more efficient and able to support your efforts for much longer.


From the agreed upon specification, Elan produces a preliminary design. The resulting budgeted production price, based on your stated volume, is generally within 5% of what the final price will be. This enables you to do some actual planning, test the waters with management or customers to see if the product will be successful based on that costing.

Then, Elan begins the designing of your final control, including housing (if any) to meet the spec, guided by the budget price quoted, the corresponding agency requirements, and other requirements.


We have extensive knowledge of agency requirements, domestic and international, including UL, CE (CB report), CUL, etc. and we will walk the control through your preferred testing agency. Elan also has temp/humidity chambers, noise testing equipment and other apparatus to put your control through a battery of tests (both separate from and installed in the customer’s equipment) to insure the design is solid before the control goes to agency. If needed, we can add details to accommodate certifications.

We are certified under ISO 9001:2015. Elan will build your control and perform 100% testing on Elan-designed, full-function test fixtures, to ensure the highest quality. Even though we serve a wide variety of customers and parts used per year, we maintain 500ppm quality on all parts shipped to our customers.


The whole reason we do what we do is to bring you results. Therefore, there is no ‘honeymoon’ period with Elan which ends when the design is complete. When you are a customer, we put ourselves in your shoes constantly. Whether it is getting the product to you when expected, modifying ship dates, adding features, revising designs, value engineering to remove cost or simply just answering the phone, Elan is there for our customers. We do whatever we can to ensure the success of your electronic control, and the success of your company, now and in the future.

What can you expect from an Elan control in your equipment? The same results our clients have experienced:
  • Innovation
  • Better end user UX experience
  • Happy customers
  • More orders
  • Larger markets
  • Possibility of greater innovation across other products and platforms

Our History

This is the story of four engineers who had a vision for a different kind of electronics design firm.

Jim Ralson and his partner were working at Excel Controls designing components for a large residential appliance manufacturer when they met Todd Thomas and his partner from Elan Environmental. All four men had a simple, yet groundbreaking vision: to design and supply innovative, lower volume, higher quality appliance controls to customers in commercial food service, high-end residential and industrial markets.

In 1999, the quartet opened Elan Industries out of a 3,000 square foot facility in Hickory Hills, Illinois. As Todd says, all they had to sell was experience, and they sold it by helping clients see that Elan engineers had the innovation to deliver the product they desired. From that initial client (who is still with them today), they built a solid reputation for developing products that were loved by the end user, yet dependable and affordable for the OEM. Todd and Jim watched as Elan electronic controls became an integral part of high-end commercial appliances and won awards for their clients. It was time to grow.


In 2004, Elan moved to Bolingbrook, Illinois into a 10,000 square foot facility to expand their manufacturing capabilities and concentrate on custom design. Soon after, the company split off their instrumentation sales to focus on design of electronic controls. Client success became Elan’s success as the need for manufacturing increased. In 2015, Elan moved within Bolingbrook to their current, spacious, 35,000 square foot plant where they plan to continue increasing their in-house manufacturing.

Elan products are the unsung heros of many successful residential and commercial appliances found in thousands of homes, restaurants and food service facilities worldwide. Todd Thomas and Jim Ralson, two of the original founders, still lead the company today. As production continues to increase, Elan remains focused on the innovation and vision that has built their reputation and makes their clients more successful every day.

Meet The Team