What Would You Like to Know?
Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about EaglePicher Technologies and our products. Please contact us directly if you don’t see your question on this page.
Company History & Overview
The company started in 1842 as the White Lead Company in Cincinnati, Ohio; it later became Eagle White Lead Works in the 1850s.
A merger with the Picher Lead Company of Joplin, Missouri, occurred in 1916, becoming Eagle-Picher Lead, which evolved into Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc., and finally EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, a Vectra company.
EaglePicher Technologies’ history as a battery manufacturer dates back to 1922. The company became a battery supplier to the U.S. Government in the 1940s and was supplying silver-zinc batteries for missiles and rockets by the early 1950s. The company’s longtime heritage as an industry leader in battery production has resulted in its diverse line of products that exists today.
In recent years, EaglePicher has strategically broadened to its portfolio and technical expertise with the acquisitions of BlueStar (in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2000), Yardney Technical Products (East Greenwich, Rhode Island, in 2014), and LithiumStart (South San Francisco, California, in 2017).
EaglePicher Technologies’ corporate headquarters is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
Yes; the company manufactures batteries for use in aircraft applications that include starter batteries and backup power for avionics. EaglePicher’s aircraft batteries feature technology to ensure the utmost safety and reliability, while utilizing onboard electronics to manage the battery’s cells and to monitor the battery’s condition. Our batteries are made and comply with aviation standards such as DO-178 and MIL-PRF-29595, as applicable.
Yes. We manufacture batteries for rockets to take payloads into orbit/space (with a heritage in this field extending back to the 1950s), along with batteries for long-range missiles. In addition, EaglePicher is an industry leader in its manufacturing of batteries in support of defense-related weaponry for tactical short-range applications, including missiles, munitions, and guided bombs.
EaglePicher has a rich heritage of providing high-reliability batteries used in space applications. In addition to our batteries being utilized for decades for powering the rockets that launch payloads into orbit or beyond, the company had its first satellite battery (for Explorer 1) launched in 1958. Manned space missions became a high-profile use of our batteries, with EaglePicher batteries playing critical roles in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spaceflights of the 1960s and 1970s, including trips that landed astronauts on the moon. (In 1971, EaglePicher’s silver-zinc batteries were used to provide the power to safely return a team of Apollo 13 astronauts back to earth from a moon mission after the spacecraft’s fuel cells failed.)
In later years, our products have been used on the Space Shuttle, and aboard the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope, plus interplanetary missions and exploration of the solar system’s outer limits. Additionally, we have provided high-reliability batteries used for satellites that we’ve come to depend upon in our daily lives: including telecommunications, navigation, weather forecasting, scientific missions, and defense applications. In 2014, EaglePicher achieved a record of two billion cell hours in space without a single failure, and we look forward to being an industry leader in powering space missions for years to come.
As a company that operates internationally and maintains the highest standards for products and
- workmanship, we have the following internationally-recognized certifications:
- Our Defense, Aerospace, and Commercial operations are dual-certified to ISO 9001: 2008 and AS9100C.
- Our Medical business unit is certified to ISO 13485:2008.
The company has a large Research and Development (R&D) group with extensive capabilities; this includes expertise related to the development of Lithium batteries. Additionally, we’re able to perform R&D on projects for external entities needing specialized solutions. Most R&D efforts are carried out in-house by our team of scientists and engineers.
Yes. Across our various business units and projects, EaglePicher partners with government agencies and military branches, customers, academic institutions, and suppliers for strategic efforts that require specialized resources.
Generally, EaglePicher does not perform contract (out-of-house) manufacturing as a service for third-party products/manufacturers in this industry. While our company certainly has a wide range of manufacturing capabilities utilizing state-of-the-art processes, our core business is to use these resources to provide high-reliability specialty batteries for our own customers.
EaglePicher Technologies is always interested in forging new relationships with companies that can help us to provide the highest-quality products at competitive prices for our worldwide customer base. If your company is interested in becoming an approved supplier for EaglePicher, contact Supply Chain Management.
Battery Terminology & Basics
In general terms, a cell is an electrochemical means of producing electrical energy, and a battery is a collection of cells. (Some batteries can consist of a single cell.) Batteries house interconnected cells and are typically designed to interface with a certain type of product.
“Capacity” is the amount of electrical charge stored in a battery, measured in “ampere-hours”. For more general information about batteries and related terminology, please refer to this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_(electricity).
A primary battery can be used only once and is non-rechargeable. A secondary battery can be used more than once, and is also called rechargeable.
Also referred to as a “standby battery”, this is a primary battery where part of it is isolated until the battery needs to be used. When long-term storage is required, reserve batteries are often used, since the active chemicals of the cell are segregated until needed, thus reducing self-discharge.
This varies widely among the company’s product lines and battery types due to the level of complexity involved, in addition to the logistics of obtaining materials/parts, and the build quantities required for any certain product. For example, a satellite battery will require months for manufacturing and testing due to the criticality involved, while other types of batteries can be produced in substantially shorter durations. EaglePicher can certainly work with customers to determine anticipated scheduling and delivery times for its battery solutions.
The type of battery depends on a number of factors:
- What is the battery application?
- How long does the battery need to operate? Is there a need to recharge?
- What is the expected voltage?
- What are the operating conditions (temperature/environmental)?
- Are there restrictions regarding weight and size?
- What is the price range?
There are many different types of batteries, and EaglePicher manufactures an array of batteries for specialized purposes. Our battery product lines are designed for high-reliability applications, and our battery solutions are tailored for the intended uses.
Absolutely. EaglePicher offers world-class technical expertise for helping its customers determine what battery solutions are best for powering their products. As necessary for the application, we can custom-design batteries that will perform under specified requirements. In addition, we also offer battery management systems and electronics to help ensure optimal performance and reliability.
Batteries with high performance and reliability can be costly due to the best materials and parts being used for construction. In addition, these batteries are designed with our engineering expertise, assembled by highly-trained personnel using state-of-the-art processes, and inspected under rigorous quality assurance standards.
No, EaglePicher focuses on specialty applications such as military, aerospace, defense, and medical. These batteries are highly reliable and non-retrievable or difficult to replace/service.
Yes, with a focus on implantable grade batteries. These are implanted into the human body and are highly regulated. They are manufactured in the US and Canada under tight controls according to ISO13485.
EaglePicher Medical Power manufactures Lithium Ion cells, Lithium Thionyl Chloride cells and Lithium Carbon Mono-Fluoride cells. These cells can be used for neuro-stimulation, pain management, drug delivery, monitors, and pacemakers.
While EaglePicher certainly values innovation and the advancement of technology, our product lines and processes are highly specialized; for that reason, the company does not have an interest in acquiring individuals’ unsolicited inventions/intellectual property.
While we have a commercial battery product line that sells through various retailers online, the typical product lines within EaglePicher’s core business are not sold commercially as commodity products. Instead, they are sold to specialty device manufacturers such as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
Overseas Sales & Shipping Restrictions
ITAR stands for International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Since EaglePicher manufactures batteries for the US Department of Defense, some of our products are export-controlled. Due to these restrictions, EaglePicher cannot respond to all requests.
Yes, EaglePicher has international customers for certain product lines; however, some products may be subject to export controls and restrictions including, but not limited to, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or the sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
All Lithium batteries are covered by the requirements of the UN Transportation regulations. The batteries must pass a series of tests to ensure they are safe for transportation. All Lithium batteries are restricted in regard to shipping, and depending upon the amount of Lithium present, some batteries are also considered “dangerous goods”.
To inquire about this information, please contact EaglePicher’s Environment, Health and Safety department at 417-208-1483 or fill out our contact form.