Robe Company History
Ladislav Petřek had started importing PAR cans, mirror balls and other lighting equipment from Germany, and spotted a growing market for lighting installations opening up post Velvet Revolution. He then started to design and build sound activated lighting effects, which were marketed through his company ProLux. Josef Valchář was recruited as a Sales Manager. In 1993 they started to design their first Scans.
Rimini 1995 saw the launch of new scanners, using the first generation of stepper motors – upping the success and reliability stakes. By this time, Robe had expanded rapidly to 25 people and bought their current 1.000 square metre office premises in Hážovice. Manufacturing and administration both moved into that building.
A period of steady and sustainable growth culminated in the next technological breakthrough – the introduction of the 250 Spot and Wash moving heads. After bringing these products to the market, Robe was approached by Coemar to produce an entire range of products under the TAS brand name, which was launched at PLASA that year as the “Millennium” range. This quality and cost-effective product proved a massive success, and also introduced Robe to a whole new strata of clients.
In 2000 Robe started to work for Movietec (Germany), Starway (France) and Sagitter in Italy – to produce moving lights for these companies as an OEM manufacturer. The Millennium was an incredible year for Robe and saw the tripling of their previous annual turnover to 20 million DM.
In January 2001, Robe acquired its current factory premises (then 5,000 square metres) in Valašské Meziříčí. It was completely gutted and modernised and production moved in during November.
The landmark year in which ‘Robe’ launched as a brand in its own right at the SIB exhibition in Rimini. PLASA 2002 saw the launch of Robe‘s latest generation of moving lights – the AT (Advanced Technology) Series which was to become a flagship product during the first decade of the 21st century. Robe’s distributor network expanded to include over 50 countries.
Robe UK Ltd., Robe America and Robe Italia established – 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.
Robe America was renamed “Robe Lighting Inc.” May 2007 the new 1,800 square metre R ‘n’ 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.