ABB, s.r.o., Elektro-Praga is the largest producers of wiring accessories for the home in the Czech Republic. Thanks to ABB, the manufacturing and sale of switches, sockets and other accessories for home and industrial use has more than 150 years of tradition in the Czech Republic.
Design, high quality, wide range of offer and customer service are the main reasons for using ABB products in residential and commercial buildings, in both indoor and outdoor applications. Originally formed in 1868 as Kramer & Löbl, acquired international renown and became a leader in the wiring accessories market and a major employer in the region. Today, its portfolio includes 17 design lines in more than 100 colour and material variations including smart alternatives.
Elektro-Praga – historic milestones
- A tradition was born - Kramer & Löbl (1868–1898)
Gustav Kramer and Adalbert Löbl founded their company in 1868 with the glass semiproduct processing as an original manifacturing scheme.
- The future lies in wiring accessories - Kramer & Lőbl, fabrik elektrotechnischer Artikel (1899-1919)
At the beginning of 20th century, Hugo Löbl, a son of a co-founder of the company, became the new manager. Forseeing future trends, he decided to ensure the future prosperity of the company by manufacturing electro-technical components. As a result, a new production plant, Kramer & Lőblfabrik elektrotechnischer Artikel, was added to the original factory in 1908.
- The first rotary switches and export (1920-1945)
In 1920, the first rotary switches, which still remain today, were included in the range. Following World War One, the company was keen to re-establish contacts interrupted by the war and started to build a new customer network. This was so successful that the products started to find their way to customers all over the world.
- Elektro-Praga, the state enterprise (1946-1959)
Due to political situation in the Czech Republic , the company was put under state control in 1946 and operated as ‘Elektro-Praga Jablonec nad Nisou, State Enterprise‘. Production wise, the plant produced the pre-war range and carried on developing wiring accessories. In 1953, the production of legendary ‘pull/push switches‘ (now known as PRESSTO) started.
- The first design lines of switches and sockets including smart functions (1960 – 1978)
During the 1960s and 70s new materials, such as thermoplastic and semiautomatic production lines were introduced. The years up to 1973 were characterised by production of elaborate design lines. From 1976 onwards, products with electronic elements and semicondutors (to enable dimming) were launched.
- Switches and microswitches for households and industry (1979-1993)
At the end of the 1980s, Elektro-Praga Jablonec nad Nisou plant manufactured mainly household and industrial wiring accessories, together with electrotechnical components for production automation. At that time, Elektro-Praga had a near monopoly within the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, supplying nearly 90 % of domestic market demand.
- ABB – privatisation, modernization and development (1994 – 2008)
Political changes after 1989, as well as the position and quality of Elektro-Praga, aroused the interest of international companies. In 1993, the privatision process was completed and Elektro-Praga found a new strategic partner - Asea Brown Boveri. The newly formed company, ABB Elektro-Praga s.r.o., focused on continued development of the company and its range, the success of which can be seen by a proprietary design and development of seven design lines of switches and sockets.