Riga State Electrotechnical Plant VEF ( Latvian VEF, Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika ) is a manufacturer of electrical and electronic goods in Latvia .
|Riga State Electrotechnical Plant "VEF"|
|Type of||State enterprise|
|Products||Electrical and electronic devices|
- 1 History
- 2 Factory Products
- 2.1 Other products
- 3 Literature
- 4 notes
- 5 See also
- 6 References
VEF was the largest electrical company in Latvia. The WEF plant was a leading manufacturer of telephone exchanges , telephone exchanges, telephones, radios, radios, and other products. Factory buildings and the adjoining quarter were built at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Before World War I, the building, which subsequently housed the VEF plant, belonged to the Union Electromechanical Plant.
The founding date of the enterprise is April 1919, when the head of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs of the Republic of Latvia, Eduards Kadikis, issued an order in which Alexander Tipainis was asked to organize a mechanical workshop for the repair of telephone and telegraph apparatus, linear equipment and mail equipment . In 1920, various production equipment was purchased, which was located in the basement of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, and in the next 1921 the workshop began production of telegraph apparatus for the Hughes and Morse systems.
In 1922, the company began producing telephones , and in 1924 - detector radios . In the same 1924, the workshop moved from the basement of the Post and Telegraph Department to the building of the former city pawnshop on Slokas Street, 16. The number of employees exceeded 300 people, in fact it was no longer a workshop, but a factory. The enterprise developed rapidly, and in 1927 the question arose again of expanding production. It was decided to buy the Union factory building on Brivibas Street from the liquidation commission of the Russian General Electricity Company . In 1928, after putting the premises in order, the company moved to where it still exists. The plant was named PTVGD ( Latvian. Pasta un telegrāfa virsvaldes galvenā darbnīca , "The main workshop of the post and telegraph department") .
The enterprise has reached such a level that most of the components for its products are produced independently. At the same time, many foreign companies tried to establish themselves in Latvia, and the plant simply could not compete with them. The head of the enterprise Alexander Tipainis lobbied for the introduction of high customs duties on each radio receiver imported into the country - 10 lats for each radio lamp. This made the importation of receivers from abroad unprofitable, but protected and stimulated the local producer.
In 1930, the company acquired the Latvijas Bērzs plywood factory , which made it possible to produce high-quality cases for receivers, and starting in 1935, to build aircraft. PTDGD began production of automatic telephone exchanges. A license was purchased from the German company for the production of stations with a small number capacity (for 100, 200, 300 numbers), and stations with a large number capacity (1000, 2000 numbers). By 1940, the majority of telephone exchanges in Riga and the settlements of Latvia were produced by PTDGD .
In February 1932, the plant changed its name to Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika “Pērkons” ( Latvian “Pērkons” - “Thunder” ), but soon they abandoned “Thunder”, and the name of the enterprise was simplified to the famous “Valsts Elektrotehniskā Fabrika” (VEF) .
In mid-1932, a competition was announced for the brand name of the plant. The young designer Karlis Irbitis won this competition. The plant produced a wide range of products: telephone sets and telephone exchanges, radios, irons, radio stations, electric lamps, electric flashlights, photo paper, sports planes and even VEF Irbitis-16 military fighters.
In 1937, the WEF began production of miniature "spy" cameras Minox , the creation of Walter Zapp .
VEF radios became the face of the plant. At international exhibitions in 1935 in Brussels and 1937 in Paris, devices under the VEF brand were awarded the Grand Prix. The plant manufactured so many radios that the local market was not able to absorb them; export of radios to other countries was started . Since 1935, VEF has opened sales offices in Tallinn, Kaunas, Helsinki, Oslo, Zurich and London. Before World War II, the WEF exported 8,000 radios per year.
In addition to radio receivers, the plant produced film projectors, power transformers for electric networks, high-voltage equipment, power cables and wires, wind generators, radio stations for ships and aircraft, stationary radio transmitters, batteries and accumulators, vacuum cleaners. Also, road vehicles were manufactured in small batches, the first Latvian car was produced. In 1937, a Pandera motorcycle was designed at the WEF. The designer of the motorcycle was Karl Irbitis , on the motorcycle an electric starter and a V-shaped engine were used, by the way, before he appeared on American Harley-Davidson motorcycles .
After the establishment of Soviet power in Latvia in 1940, the plant took control of the People’s Commissariat of the Electrotechnical Industry of the USSR. The acceptance certificate of the plant noted the highest technical level of VEF. Models of radio receivers prepared for production in 1941 were transferred to the Soviet element base, Soviet radio components were delivered to the plant, but in 1941 the war began. Latvia was occupied by the Germans, and the German company AEG became the owner of the plant, the company is now called not WEF, but AEG Ostlandwerk Gmbh.
The factory produces radios. VEF Super M517 - first on Soviet lamps, then they were transferred to German E-11 series radio tubes. VEF Super KB416 - German "officer bag". VEF Super B417 is the battery version of the M517 on the D-21 series lamps. Also, the plant produced tank, ship, infantry and aviation radio stations, various devices for tuning and monitoring radio equipment, as well as aircraft devices for Junkers-87 attack aircraft .
In 1944, before the liberation of Riga from German occupation, most of the technological equipment and finished products were removed, and the factory buildings were blown up. After the war, the plant was restored, and already in 1945, a photo paper production workshop was launched. At the end of 1945, the VEF Super M557 radio was released, which is a simplified version of the VEF Super M517 radio . A small series of 13-tube high-end VEF Super Lux M1357 radio was also released, which is also a simplified copy of the M1307 radio - with fixed settings, auto-tuning of the local oscillator frequency, the drive of the tuning mechanism by an electric motor, an expander to expand the dynamic range of sound, a loudspeaker with lightweight suspension.
The circuitry solutions of these devices were subsequently used in the Latvia M137 and Mir M152 radios . However, the time of tube radio receivers was already running out; in the 1960s, production of transistor receivers began at the WEF. The first such radio receiver under the brand of Speedola , was released in a small series in 1960. Mass production began in 1962, the receiver was very successful and quickly gained popularity in the USSR, despite the rather high price for that time. .
VEF-Speedola (1962) , VEF-Speedola-10 (1963), and VEF-Transistor-10 (1965) variants differed from the first model in their external design, tuning scale design and minor changes in the electrical circuit. In addition, options for the domestic market and for exports differed between the ranges. The Speedola design became the basis for the development of many subsequent models ( VEF-12, VEF-201, VEF-202, Speedola-207, etc.), which were distinguished by numerous improvements, including the addition of a tone control, VHF range, more modern elemental base, improved electro-acoustic parameters, etc.
One of the developments from this series was transferred to the Minsk Radio Plant (now Horizon OJSC) in 1968, and gave rise to the Ocean family of receivers. A characteristic design feature of Speedola and its modifications is the range switch is made in the form of a drum on which input and heterodyne circuits are fixed.
In Soviet times, the WEF factory, which specialized in electronics, was one of the largest enterprises of this kind. In 1966, the plant was awarded the Order of Lenin, in 1969 the plant was named after V.I. Lenin, and in 1985 the plant was awarded the Order of the October Revolution. The manufacture of electric lamps was separated into a separate production, and in 1950 the Riga Electric Lamp Plant was created on the basis of the VEF electric lamp production workshop. In 1963, the manufacture of military switching equipment was also set aside in a separate production. On the basis of one of the workshops of the WEF, where military commutation equipment was produced, the “Switch” plant was created.
Along with the WEF factory, the largest enterprises producing telecommunication equipment and electronics included: Riga Radio Plant named after Popov , Alpha plant, Switchboard and Ellar plants. At the peak of development in 1991, 20 thousand people worked at the WEF. His most famous products were telephones, telephone exchanges and radios. However, after the collapse of the USSR, Latvia gained independence and the opening of the borders of the Latvian electronic industry, it became difficult to compete with the products of foreign firms. The situation was aggravated by a decline in product quality due to a break in economic ties, as well as poor after-sales service. .
Attempts to restructure the WEF and organize joint production with foreign firms have not improved the situation. The WEF was divided into six small firms, most of which no longer exist. The other three companies: VEF un Co, VEF TELEKOM and VEF Radiotehnika RRR employ 100 to 200 people each. In 1999, the plant was privatized and reorganized.
For a long time, many premises of the plant were abandoned. Now part of the dilapidated buildings has been demolished, some are under construction, and other premises of the plant are being leased. 1/5 of the factory’s territory is occupied by the Domina shopping center, and various companies are located on a certain part of the factory’s territory. The WEF has teamed up with Radiotechnika , but even so, the plant occupies a small building.
List of radio equipment released by the WEF radio plant after 1945:
The company produced small-scale and experimental devices, they may not be listed in the above list.
- Motorcycle Pandera designed by Arnold Panders . Aircraft designer Karlis Irbitis also took part in the development of the vehicle.
- WEF Culture Palace
- Speedola (receiver)
- WEF (receiver)
- Alekseev, Nikolai Ivanovich