Page 15 - Entertainmnet Technology 246 - August 2013

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Issue: 246
features
15
Moving on from that landmark year of
2002 mentioned at the start of this story,
growth in leading markets needed firming
up. In 2003 Robe UK Ltd., Robe America
and Robe Italia established were set up to
exclusively supply and market the rapidly
expanding Robe brand in these regions.
Robe’s ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200
AT Series was launched and fast became
one of its most popular products, and a
cornerstone of the AT Series.
In 2005 Robe S.E.A. was established
in Singapore to operate as a sales and
support office integrating and co-ordinating
Robe’s rapidly expanding business in South
East Asia. A 4 million euro refurbishment
of the factory at Valašské Meziříčí was
completed, which saw it expand to 14,000
square metres, including 6,000 metres of
manufacturing and warehouse facilities.
Robe also acquired another 13,000
square metre site adjacent to the main
building, including 4,000 square metres of
production space. It was in this year that
Anolis – Robe’s architectural LED lighting
brand – was established.
2006 saw the launch of the powerful
ColorSpot 2500E AT fixture – Robe’s
largest spot fixture to date – and PLASA
saw launch of 12 dynamic new products
including the StageQube 324 and the 700
Series of moving lights.
In 2007 Robe America was renamed “Robe
Lighting Inc.” and in May the new 1,800
square metre R&D Centre was opened at
Valašské Meziříčí. At PLASA, Robe Show
Lighting became “Robe Lighting” and the
company was completely rebranded,
reflecting the diversification of its product
range and markets.
Looking to the future, and noting the
increasing trend of integration between
the visual mediums of lighting and video
by designers of all types, in 2008 Robe
launched its new DT series of digital
moving lights. This was accompanied by
a worldwide roadshow – “The Future is
Digital”. Robe’s R’n’D department was also
busy working on the forthcoming ROBIN
range of products – the first lighting fixtures
in the world to utilise the revolutionary
plasma lamp technology.
In 2009 Robe initiated a substantial
expansion programme which included the
acquisition of PCB production company
Dioflex, its long term electronic parts
supplier based in Roznov. 3.5 million euros
was invested in building a completely
new Logistics Centre and in doubling its
warehouse space to nearly 4,000 square
metres. The latest factory expansion
project houses a purpose-built Plastics
Moulding Centre which covers about 1000
square metres, equipped with all necessary
state-of-the-art machinery involved in
this process. Frankfurt 2009 also saw the
preview of the first ROBIN products using
the plasma lamp and five new ROBIN
products were launched at PLASA later in
the year.
It was the expansion of the ROBIN
Range and in particular as production of
the LEDWash 600 ramped up in 2010
which created another landmark in the
company’s history. While it wasn’t the first
LED wash light to hit the market … Robe
bode their time and waited to see what
others would produce before designing
a product that became a true a market
leader.
The LEDWash 600 is also the single best
selling product in the company’s history to
date, and with it one of the factors helping
Robe to continue trading robustly in the
Luminaires on test.
Robe’s Founder/Owners
Josef Valchář
is very much a public face of Robe lighting,
and is constantly on the road, at exhibitions and visiting
distributors, listening to feedback and opinions and checking
out shows and events to see how the products are being
utilised. This information is shared with various departments
within the company, and acted on to ensure that products and
services are constantly kept evolving and moving forward.
Ladislav Petřek
oversees all Robe’s fiscal affairs and
corporate infrastructure elements including staff welfare –
everything that makes the operation smooth and efficient.
He is also coordinating the ongoing development of Robe’s
ever-expanding factory site, including managing any new
construction projects and the refurbishment of existing
facilities.
Valchář states: “It’s is a very exciting time to be involved
in lighting manufacture with the increasing convergence
between the mediums of lighting and video into one integrated
visual tool. Environmental concerns and the importance of
developing energy efficient and sustainable technology for the
future is also starting to shape our industry. These and other
issues are already influencing our future plans and R & D at
Robe – which continues along the proactive and innovative
path that has made it a market leader.”
Petřek says: “Robe enjoys some fantastic interdepartmental
teamwork. We are very lucky to have a young, skilled, highly
motivated and engaged workforce, all of whom help maintain the high standards for
which the brand is renowned. Considerable time and energy is dedicated to creating
a convivial, inclusive atmosphere throughout the company, where people feel valued
and can excel.”