Industria Rotterdam

On this page, you will find the history of Industria Rotterdam.

For more information about ship light  Manufacturers, please visit The Manufacturers page:

Industria Rotterdam was a Dutch manufacturer that produced lamps from 1920 to 2011. This company is unique because they didn't focus on mass production, but we're customization specialists, unlike their Eindhoven competitor Philips. Later the company was called Industria Technical Lighting.
The company started in 1920 in the Rotterdam district of Kralingen, at the Wollefoppenstraat no. 69-71. The company called itself a brass and bronze foundry. Here they were only engaged in processing metal. Rosettes, cable clamps, wall flanges, hinges, and stuffing boxes were forged.

Because of the city's economic activity of Rotterdam, it was evident that Industria Rotterdam would become involved in supplying products for ships and vessels.
In the early years, Industria Rotterdam mainly made portholes and other ship fittings of copper and brass. But Industria Rotterdam took on every job that crossed their path; it didn't matter much what had to be made.
In the thirties, W.P. Kremer became a co-director.

Lighting in the Dutch state mines by Industria Rotterdam

The unique marine bronze

Industria Rotterdam grew in its early years because it had invented the unique naval bronze in response to the request of a high-ranking naval officer.
Master caster Lucas had invented "steel bronzed brass," which was seawater resistant, and for this reason, it got the name marine bronze.
Before WWII, Industria Rotterdam was focused on the ship's lights on board, bulleyes, basket lamps, etc.
This set them apart from the many other foundries, and they started to focus on shipping lights. At the request of the navy, metal workers from Industria Rotterdam had cast a sort of basket from the new material. A metal basket with holes for light to shine through. The metal basket was supplied for a Navy test ship to protect the lights on the boat.

This was a successful trial because Industria Rotterdam was allowed to supply the complete armature with a basket and glass to the navy.
The most potent example of ship lighting in the early years was for the new flagship of the Holland America Line, Nieuw Amsterdam. The Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij built this, and Industria provided the ship lighting.
The lighting in the salon was made of Berlin silver, and the lampshades were made of pure mica. The Nieuw Amsterdam was launched in 1937.

Industria Rotterdam in the Second World War

In May 1940, the drama of the Second World War began.
The investor Cohn was of Jewish descent and therefore had to sell his possessions, which he did to the Goossens and Castendijk families. Jewish board member Jozef Wolf was also forced to resign from the board.
Cohn and Wolf had grown the company along with Kremer but had to withdraw from the company due to World War II.
During the Second World War, ship lighting had to produce for the German occupiers. Projects for the Wehrmacht and the "Kriegsmarine" were accepted.

Blackout lamp produced by Industria Rotterdam in the Second World War

The rebuilding

After the liberation, part of the machinery returned, and most personnel survived the Second World War. Production quickly started again because a lot of brass, copper, and nickel were hidden from the Germans during the war.
At this time, Industria Rotterdam also produced ceiling lamps, desk lamps, wall lamps, and even billiard lamps. Many of these lamps were also exported.
Outdoor lighting was not about design, unlike utility lighting. Here, much more thought had to be given to design, styling, and fashion, something Industria Rotterdam was not used to.
Also, they produced a lot of brass navigation lights after the war; They looked very different from the ship lamps on the market at the time.

Due to the growth, Industria Rotterdam moved to Rozenlaan in 1951. More and more serial production took place here. From a metal processing company specialized in casting, Industria Rotterdam had developed into a versatile company with many side activities.
Industria Rotterdam has provided technical lighting in many areas, such as the runways at Schiphol, a Shell pump island, a race track, and even a project for the United States Air Force.

A new Industria Rotterdam factory in Emmen

On October 17, 1961, a new factory of Industria Rotterdam was opened in Emmen on the industrial estate de Bargermeer; this was also necessary due to the rise of the manufacture of plastic, which required a clean environment, and the factory at Ceintuurbaan was certainly not.
The move to Emmen had to do with the substantial subsidies provided at the time by the province of Drenthe to get the former peat workers to work.
An extremely modern machine park for plastics processing was built in Emmen. In 1962, female employees were also employed for the first time.

The importance of flexibility

The strength of Industria Rotterdam was that the company was flexible. If things went less well in the ship's lighting, then there was the interior lighting, and if things went less, there was the street lighting.
In the early 1970s, a knowledge agreement was entered with Philips under the guise that knowledge is power. During this time, street lighting had also grown astronomically.
The Heinenoord, Velser, Coen and Benelux tunnels were lit by Industria Rotterdam during these years. In addition, floodlights and offshore lighting installations were supplied worldwide.
It was not until the 1970s that growth stagnated when competition from the Far East exploded.

More light for the same price (1972-1986)

Various street lighting from the 1980s by Industria Rotterdam was set up in an exhibition.
Various post-top fixtures from the 1980s from Industria Rotterdam.
In the 1980s, the emphasis was placed on post-top luminaires due to the oil crisis, which prompted the search for alternatives. The municipality of The Hague commissioned Friso Kramer to design an unconventional conical luminaire produced by Industria Rotterdam.

This was a great success and was imitated throughout the Netherlands. Many people still encounter these fixtures on the street every day.

Fewer ship lamps

Industria Rotterdam almost no longer produced ship lamps in those years; the most significant part of the articles from the shipping sector at that time came from the Far East.
Since the energy crisis, Industria Rotterdam has been heavily involved in exports, much of which went to the Middle East. At that time, oil refineries, chemical industry, and industrial plants received explosion-free lighting from Industria Rotterdam. In the following years, Industria Rotterdam provided explosion-free lighting worldwide.
Many fixtures have also been produced for fluorescent lamps, which became thinner and more energy-efficient in the 1980s. Among other things, the "Drechttunnel" is equipped with 3.5 km of fixtures from Industria Rotterdam. Industria Rotterdam also developed and produced vandal-resistant fixtures during these years.
In 1983, 25,000, a third of the street lighting in the municipality of Amsterdam, was replaced by Industria Rotterdam fixtures. The streets were then primarily lit with PL/DULUX cone luminaires. In addition, at the end of 1983, Product-Market Coordination teams were established to improve the product development process.
During this time, they also paid a lot of attention to preventing light pollution, and because of this, they also made extensive use of reflectors.
In 1986 D. Moerman became director and owner; the name was then changed to Industria Technische Lighting BV. The Rotterdam production was closed for greater efficiency, and all production was moved to Emmen.
This year, a mega order for the defense was also won, the most significant order to date. It concerned the complete tent lighting for the arch tents in the army.

The extensive knowledge of Industria Technical Lighting

Within lighting technology, the qualities of knowledge and experience within Industria Technical Lighting were emphasized more strongly. As a result, Industria Technical Lighting increasingly made that knowledge available.
Industria Technical Lighting was able to provide lighting technical advice for almost every lighting problem. Users no longer only came for a luminaire but complete lighting advice tailored to Industria Technische Lighting.
The original watering cans were turned into pure light technicians; the fixtures were mainly made of plastic in these years. Metalworking was just a sideline of Industria Technische Lighting.

The first scholarship; Hannove Messe

In 1988 Industria Technical lighting was present for the first time at the Hannover Messe, and many trade fairs abroad were to follow. The Enlightenment Years was a conservative market until the 1980s, so marketing was essential.
In August 1990, Dirk Moerman sold the company to the British company Whitecroft. Dirk Moerman remained the director until 1995.
Industria Technical Lighting was now a total supplier that was strong in the entire lighting market. In 1995, E.J. van Schaik was appointed director.

End of an Enlightenment Era (1999-2016)

In 1999 there was a “Management Buy-Out” whereby Industria Technische Lighting became an independent company again, with the investment company NeSBIC, part of the Fortis Group, as the leading financier.
Around 2001 Evert van Schaik left Industria Technical Lighting and was succeeded by an interim manager. In 2004 Richard Schmit joined as general manager of Industria Technical Lighting. On behalf of NeSBIC, Richard Schmit then looked for an acquisition candidate to achieve further growth.
Takeover by Indal Group in 2007
In 2007 this led to a takeover by the Spanish “Indal Group.” Industria Technische Lighting subsequently managed to leave its mark on the development of the first successful public LED lighting fixtures, first with the Stela model and later with the Luma.
In 2007, there were approximately 1 million (out of 3.5 million) public lighting fixtures from Industria Rotterdam/Industria Technische Lighting in the Netherlands. In addition, the A4, A12, and A13 were illuminated with Industria Technical Lighting fixtures. Industria Technical Lighting had approximately 300 employees at that time and accounted for a turnover of 60 million euros.
Before Philips, Industria Technical Lighting was the market leader in residential lighting in the Netherlands and Great Britain. At that time, 300,000 Industria Technical Lighting products were produced in Emmen. Nine of the ten tunnels were also lit by Industria luminaires. In these years, one of the new sectors in which Industria Technical Lighting moved was growing light for horticulture.
Philips has developed a 1000 Watt lamp and Industria Technische Lighting, a high-efficiency luminaire. This luminaire was widely installed in greenhouses at that time.

The end of Industria Technical Lighting

Due to the LED fixtures' success and the high-quality tunnel fixtures, the Indal Group and Industria Technische Lighting became interesting for Philips Lighting.
As a result, Philips Lighting acquired the entire Indal Group in 2011. As a result, the factory in Emmen was closed in 2014, and the Industria Technische Lighting brand disappeared from the market for good and was absorbed into Philips Lighting. In May 2016, Philips Lighting was floated on the stock exchange.