Company history

The history of the firm began in 1920 when two partners, Josef Srb and Josef Valenta, established a small electrical business in Vinohrady, Prague and formed a public commercial company by the name of 'Srb a spol.' ('Srb and Co.'). The firm came up with its own production program - lighting fixtures for the Czechoslovak State Railway. Shortly after the foundation of the company, the production and number of employees had grown so much that it was necessary to expand the workshop. For this purpose, Josef Srb acquired an estate in Modřany, where the firm is still based today.

It was also here when in 1926 Josef Srb began the construction of factory buildings, in which production would start after only a year. The first design of electromagnetic contactors emerged at the same time, copying foreign production models initially. The Modřany plant supplied the market with the first VS10 air-break contactors and type OS15 oil-break contactors of its own production and design in 1935. At the same time the company introduced dynamo production for railway cars.

During 1936 to 1939 the second phase of the plant construction took place, which enabled an expansion of the production program by including single-phase motors. In 1939 this program was also supplemented by production for the occupying army - direct current gasoline generators, motor-generators, rectifiers, and emergency lights for cinemas and air-raid shelters with a built-in recharging device. Thanks to this production volume, more than one thousand employees worked in the firm during this period.

In December 1945, national administration was imposed upon the firm. Josef Valenta left the firm subsequently and the seriously ill Josef Srb remained in the company until his death in 1947.
In 1946 the Srb firm, as an electrical factory with more than 800 employees, was nationalized and its property was included in the newly established national enterprise Českomoravská Kolben - Daněk. Three years later an independent national enterprise called ČKD Modřany was created.

In 1961, the company, which is organizationally divided into the principal Modřany plant with Běchovice, Petrovice, and Pitkovice workshops, Písek plant, Rokytnice nad Jizerou plant, and Kovářská plant, changed its name to Elektropřístroj, national enterprise, Modřany. The production of this enterprise was focused on electrical devices of series production type - e.g. electromagnetic contactors, relays, and push-button controls. Gradually, however, switchboard type products became the other mainstays of the production program – machine tool switchboards, telephone exchange rectifiers, cinema-rectifiers, rectifiers for magnets and for a number of other purposes. Also the production of semiconductor power sources for direct current welding was temporarily introduced. In the 1980s, the next phase of plant construction took place - factory canteen with kitchen, tool shop hall, and gas boiler room. The company employed 3,000 workers at that time, of which 1,200 people were employed by the principal Modřany plant.

In 1990 a state enterprise based in Prague-Modřany was established, which consisted of the principal plant on the same site and of the branch plants in Písek, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, and Kovářská. On 1-1-1991, as a part of the then ongoing process of national economy transformation, the Písek and Rokytnice nad Jizerou plants became independent. Both plants continued their activities according to the delimitation protocol. Within the framework of the restitutions, some buildings and estates of the principal Modřany plant and the Běchovice workshop were given back to the original owners. The principal plant together with the Kovářská plant continued previous business activities and thanks to the strong innovative initiatives, they practically did not feel any considerable effects of the delimitation. Both the trade name and the registered trademarks remained the property of the Modřany plant. The enterprise was included in the first phase of the privatization, and after the privatization project submitted by the Elektropřístroj Ltd. Company had been approved, a substantial part of the state enterprise was sold to the mentioned limited liability company on 5-1-1994.

The company focused on the production of switching devices, rectifiers, direct voltage and current sources, and low-voltage switchboards. A new production line of contactors and thermal relays was successfully developed, with the help of which the firm also succeeded in continuing the previous exporting activities. This line of contactors and other switching devices is currently being innovated and the range of the switching devices production branch is being further expanded. The focus on the low-voltage switching devices branch was then the main reason for selling out the switchboard and rectifier production branch; these activities were fully taken over by the Alfa Union joint-stock company on 2-1-2003. The Elektropřístroj Company currently produces and supplies contactors for controlling electrical motors up to 1000 A, overload relays and protective sets and motor starters; it further supplies installation contactors and multifunctional time-delay relays, power factor controllers and contactors for switching of capacitor banks.
To support the exports, a subsidiary limited liability company named EPM Slovakia, s.r.o. and based in Báhon, commenced its business activities in the Slovakia in 2002.

Our experience of many years' standing and the tradition of developing, producing and sales of low-voltage switchgear and controlgear is also reflected in the ever improving quality of our products, and the confidence of our clients enables and obliges us to continue our successful and responsible business activities also in the future.