Aspöck Systems making lights for 45 years

The ‘big idea’ started on a small scale and led to international success. With the intention of revolutionising vehicle lighting, inventor Felix Aspöck screwed together the first lighting system in his private basement workshop in 1977. In doing so, he paved the way towards becoming a global company.

Today – 45 years later – it is almost impossible not to see an Aspöck lighting system on the road, as the company has a 65 percent share of the European car and truck trailer market.

The manufacturer successfully produces sophisticated lighting solutions, still based on the ‘simple’ concept from way back then: the complete system of a lighting installation.

After 45 years, nine expansions at the Austrian headquarters and numerous expansions at the production sites, Aspöck is now producing at three European locations: in Austria, Portugal and Poland. Eight sales subsidiaries currently represent Aspöck Light Visions in Brazil, Germany, England, France, Italy, Sweden, Spain and Turkey. An enormous product portfolio has been developed for the truck & trailer, agricultural, automotive, motorbike and caravan sectors, and LED strip technology and special developments round out the range. Today, 1550 employees worldwide belong to the Aspöck family. With annual sales of 197 million euros and an export ratio of 93 per cent, the last fiscal year was the most successful in Aspöck company history.

The solution is simple: from inventor to global player
There was a lack of material and space. The one-man show also did not have any customers yet. His technical understanding and a remarkable ‘it must be simpler’ way of thinking spurred Felix Aspöck on. For every problem there is a solution – and in this case, there was even a patent for it.

The prefabricated lighting system was so easy to assemble that new business areas opened up over time, says Karl Aspöck, son of the company founder. The son built up sales in Spain and France for many years before taking over the management from his father in 2006. From this point on, the company grew in leaps and bounds to become a globally active player.

A clever move was made in 2007: A previous supplier and partner, Fabrilcar, was taken over and became part of the company as Aspöck Portugal in 2008. This secured a significant production volume, and with two expansions in the following years, the site became the largest production facility in the Aspöck Group. Today, 900 employees work there, producing 80 per cent of all the company’s lamps.

Being an international partner in the automotive industry means guaranteeing extremely high quality criteria on a permanent basis. It was clear that a location had to be found that was strategically close to Austria and also had significant communication and transport routes within Europe. Southern Poland was selected in 2016. For Aspöck Automotive Poland, the way to the ‘next level’ is definitely through an even higher degree of automation. A constant level of quality and safety is a requirement for innovative overall solutions with a high degree of individualisation. That is why the Polish production site in the Opole region is already being expanded for the second time – it has just almost doubled in size!’

Felix and Karl Aspöck.

The steady growth of the light manufacturer and the very good turnover forecasts since its foundation indicate that the internal and external processes have become much more complex. There is a consensus that the only way to achieve the company goals today is through the successful interaction of transport, storage, provision, procurement and distribution of the raw materials required for production and the manufactured end products with the associated monitoring mechanisms. A logistical tour de force is the foundation of any successful trading and production company, which Aspöck Systems definitely is.

A brief look back shows that the cornerstone for successful intralogistics was laid back in 2009: the construction of the high-bay warehouse rising 24 metres into the sky with a surface area of 3,000m² made Upper Austria the logistics hub of the Aspöck Group even back then. It makes it possible to secure large stocks for just-in-time production of all segments the company serves.

Full order books, new product developments and the repeated reaching of capacity limits justified the latest expansion of the storage capacity. Two new floors for the incoming goods department and the picking warehouse were recently completed. They each offer an additional 2,200m² of space over a length of almost 45 metres. The manufacturer of sophisticated lighting systems has thus expanded the existing automated warehouse logistics in order picking for palletised handling units and integrated it into the internal conveyor system.

Another automated small parts warehouse is also being completely rebuilt for the storage and order picking of small items, which will be updated and harmonised with the SAP landscape. This major renovation project at the headquarters is to be completed by January 2024.

The habit of thinking big gave the company the courage to establish international subsidiaries in the past. This decision made Aspöck Systems what it is today. An internationally active, successful family business with bright visions already in the process of making plans for the future.

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