Glamox Aqua Signal is celebrating its 150 years anniversary in 2018. From the outset, navigation lights were established as an important product. Today the aqua signal brand is synonymous with high quality marine lighting for all types of vessels.
What started out as an enterprise dealing in construction and combustible materials is today a well-known brand for marine lighting and a successful company in the Glamox group. The company started up in Bremen where they still have a factory today. This is now where the steel parts for the luminaires are produced. In 1990, a factory in Teterow, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania was acquired. Today this is where the luminaires are assembled. In total, the two factories and the Glamox Aqua Signal sales organisation employ 237 people.
“Maintaining some of our production in Germany is something we’re very proud of. It’s an important part of our identity.” Says Markus Barner, Managing Director of Glamox Aqua Signal in Bremen.
The company was originally called Ahlemann & Schlatter after its founders. Around 1870 they established their own production plant for petroleum navigation lights and kerosene lamps. Throughout the years the company has manufactured many things, but lighting has remained a core product. Today Glamox Aqua Signal supplies marine lighting to all types of vessels all over the world. The core segments are commercial ships, cruise boats and ferries and recreational boats.
“We are proud to see our products go to shipyards in Asia, America and Europe. But it’s also very exciting when we are chosen by customers close to home. A good example of this is the shipbuilding company MV WERFTEN, to which we will supply lighting for luxury river cruise ships and cruise lines.”, Markus Barner says.
Adaptation and innovation
Glamox Aqua Signal has suffered hardship over the years, but has managed to survive due to a remarkable capability to adapt to the customers’ needs and requirements. Breaking new ground with new products, has been an important part of this. In 1975 the company was the first to launch a lantern made only from poly-carbonate that complied to the IMO regulations. In 1984, they developed electronic monitoring systems for navigation lanterns based on microchips. As early as in 2000 Glamox Aqua Signal launched its first LED products.
Today, the majority of Glamox Aqua Signal’s customers request LED lighting. Although the company still offers lighting with conventional light sources, all new products that have been launched for at least the last 10 years have been LED products.
Safety is a key issue for many marine products. Navigation lights, search lights and strobe lights are all products that contributes to the safety onboard a vessel. This is why offering high quality products, that comply to international and local regulations, always has been essential to Glamox Aqua Signal.
In 1995 Aqua Signal was bought by the Norwegian industrial group, Glamox. In Glamox, the products carrying the aqua signal brand are presented as part of an extensive portfolio of marine products. Markus Barner is confident that both the aqua signal brand and the company will prosper in the future.
“After 150 years in business looking ahead is still the most important key to success”, Markus Barner says.
Important years in the Glamox Aqua Signal history|
1868: Franz Ludwig Ahlemann and Richard Theodor Schlatter establish Ahlemann & Schlatter in Bremen
1890: The company causes sensation and is accentuated as specialist for marine and deep-sea fishing products ant the Northern German Trade and Industry Fair in Bremen.
1900: The first navigation lights are subjected to the German Auditing process of the German Naval Observatory
1911: Electrical tools are introduced in the factory
1944: Georg Ahlemann presents the Navy shipyard models of the new standard lantern, according to new defined standard regulations and got acceptance. Due to the influence of the war, the company building is completely destroyed in fall 1944.
1950-1960: The company goes through a transformation process from a trade company to a powerful industrial company. In addition to commercial navigation lights and fluorescent lamps, the production of electronic navigation lights for sports and leisure boats begins.
1952: A large part of the factory in Bremen burn down during a large-scale fire.
1971: The brand logo “aqua signal” is introduced.
1971: The “international regulation of prevention of collisions at sea” is revised and applied for the first time internationally according to the “International Maritime Organisation (IMO)”. Aqua Signal fulfils the prototype tests and receives the license as the first company and therefore achieved a lead and could improve its market position.
1972-77: New factory and administration building in Bremen-Mahndorf.
1976: Ahlemann & Schlatter develops and produces electronic switching and monitoring panels as well as electronic ballast and lighting control device. These devices are significant to the safety at sea, because the failure of a lantern is immediately signalled.
1984: Development of the first micro-chips for use in electronic monitoring systems for navigation lanterns.
1995: The Norwegian lighting corporation Glamox acquires 50.01 % of the capital stock prior to the capital increase, and then it receives 75 %.
2006: The LED navigation lanterns are approved for the first time by the BSH (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency). This is the breakthrough for all manufacturers in the LED development of navigation systems.
2010 - 2016: Introducing a wide range of outstanding LED luminaires.
Read more about the history of Glamox Aqua Signal here: www.150-years-aqua-signal.com
Glamox Aqua Signal GmbH is a company in the Glamox Group. Glamox is a Norwegian industrial group that develops, manufactures and distributes professional lighting solutions for the global market. Glamox Aqua Signal is a leading supplier of lighting solutions to the world's marine and offshore markets, including recreational boats and mega yachts.
The Glamox Group is a global organization, with 1300 employees and sales and production in several European countries, as well as in Asia and North America. The annual turnover is EUR 280 million (2016). The Group owns a range of quality lighting brands including Glamox, Aqua Signal, Luxo, Høvik Lys, Norselight and LINKSrechts. Glamox is committed to meeting customer needs and expectations by providing quality products and solutions, service and support. www.glamox.com/gmo