Full of pride: Our new corporate design for our 50th birthday

Everything remains different

Wilhelm - Willi - Rosen founded the company SR Siebdruck Rosen on April 18, 1974. This year, Managing Partner Joachim Heils and Partners Thomas Berens and Peter and Tim Friggemann can look back on 50 years of success. But at the same time, they also have a clear picture of what the company should look like in the future. No wonder, as the company has established a firm place for itself in the illuminated advertising industry and wants to further expand this position: Rosen has been supplying exclusively to resellers for a good twenty years. In the beginning it was a one-man business - it all started in an old joinery - but today it is a group of companies with 65 employees. Screen printing products such as stickers, posters, T-shirts and advertising materials made up the business back then. Willi Rosen sold during the day and produced in the evening. Today's Managing Partner Joachim Heils and Partner Thomas Berens joined the company at almost the same time: Thomas Berens in 1985 as an apprentice to become a screen printer, Joachim Heils as a journeyman metalworker three years later. The company took its first step towards illuminated advertising under Willi Rosen when he founded Rosen Siebdruck+Lichtwerbung GmbH on January 1, 1994 - with his wife Monika as the second partner. Thomas Berens joined the company at the same time as the third partner, as did Manfred Beckmann. After the former operations manager died suddenly, Joachim Heils joined as a partner two years later. Since May 2008, the company has been operating under the name Rosen Lichtwerbung. Willi Rosen had already retired four years earlier.

Responding to the market

The original screen printing company has undergone some major changes over the years, particularly in terms of production technology. "The first big step was certainly digitalization with the installation of the URW Signus system with an Aristo flatbed plotter at the beginning of 1987," says Thomas Berens, describing the development. "I experienced this as a screen printing apprentice; it was my workplace until I graduated as a printing technician in October 1988. With the purchase of a CNC milling machine measuring 3,000 by 1,500 millimetres, I then moved on to letter construction. It was a special design made from a plasma cutter from Messer-Griesheim." Other major investments include an LVD edge press and shear as well as an in-house paint shop with a separate spray and drying booth. For 15 years - opened in 1995 - Rosen also had its own glass-blowing shop. Digital printing, on the other hand, makes only a small contribution to the company's history: having started in 2000, the managing directors discontinued this business five years later. Since then, the company has had partners who specialize in this field.

Even though the managing directors have steadily moved the company forward, they are aware that they could or should have done a few things differently. Thomas Berens describes: "I would never go against my own opinion again. Even if it sounds crazy: in my opinion, the decision to set up digital printing in 2000 came too late. The market was flooded with cheaper machines a short time later, which led to us giving up this business." One project that also turned out differently than originally planned is the distribution of Nextled products via a separate limited company. The LED modules, which are used in many Rosen systems, are now also sold by the manufacturer via Rosen Lichtwerbung GmbH.

Something new more often

In 2002, the company exhibited at Pro Sign in Frankfurt am Main for the first time; today, trade fair appearances are an annual must. And anyone who follows them can be sure that Joachim Heils and Thomas Berens always have new variants of profile letters in their luggage. In 2008, for example, Rosen presented the typoLED® letters developed in-house; the typoLITE® variant has been available since 2012 and is now known as a reliable brand on the market. In addition to the letters, the pylons make up a large proportion of the portfolio. These are also manufactured in the company's own halls - Rosen has been certified for aluminum production in accordance with EN 1090 since 2016.

Rosen astounded the market with the Rosen 3D app in fall 2012 (see also WERBETECHNIK 5.2012 and 1.2014). It is an application that advertising technicians can use in their sales and consultation meetings. Initially, the iPad app could only be used to design profile letters and present them in three dimensions; the same applied to the various pylons that the manufacturer has in its range.

Joachim Heils and Thomas Berens have always been committed to the further and new development of products for illuminated advertising. Be it to meet the requirements of an individual project. Or simply because new production technologies also open up opportunities for other illuminated advertising products. It is therefore not surprising that ROSEN Lichtwerbung was a European pioneer at the VISCOM trade fair in 2018, presenting illuminated letters produced using 3D printing. New designs became possible, but sustainability aspects can also be taken into account with additive manufacturing.

Two new paint booths were also built in 2020 to increase sustainability and improve the company's carbon footprint. They each require only a third of the thermal energy previously needed. At the same time, the first company buildings were also renovated to make them more energy-efficient and equipped with a photovoltaic system for the company's own electricity consumption.

Aspects of reducing light emissions, in which Thomas Berens is involved as Technical Director at the European Sign Federation, were also taken into account in the further development of the in-house LED. In recent years, the in-house LED modules for both the classic profile letters and the typoLITE® full acrylic chandeliers have been further developed around the agreed color temperature of 5000°K.

Joachim Heils and Thomas Berens also took care of long-term planning for the company's continued existence at an early stage - after all, they see themselves in line with company founder Willi Rosen, ideally allowing the company to be run by its own employees. The topic of succession - which is also part of entrepreneurship - was first considered by Joachim Heils and Thomas Berens back in 2019. Together with the partners Dr. Peter Friggemann and Tim Friggemann of Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (MB), an Osnabrück-based investment company run by two entrepreneurial families with the aim of sustainably developing medium-sized companies from a wide range of sectors, a concept was developed for Rosen that best reflected the original idea. It also defined the future development and expansion of the company based on the status quo. This concept was implemented in mid-2021 with the involvement of MB. As early as April 2023, the acquisition of Hoffschmidt Lichtwerbung GmbH from Lage (see report WM 04-2023) was the first step in a targeted expansion of the production and product portfolio.

And what lies ahead in the coming years?

A building application for an expansion of the metal processing production area in Bad Bentheim has been underway for a few months in order to keep the site efficient in the future. Implementation is expected to take place in 2025 - if the building authorities finally give the green light!

Rosen and Hoffschmidt are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary with a new joint logo and a joint website, which should also enable further digitalization of sales in the future - in addition to the continued importance of personal sales. Who knows, maybe there will even be a new edition of the app in the near future with many of the features that customers wanted back then.


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  • Published on April 28, 2024

  • Category: General