Universal Lighting Technologies Inc., a member of the Panasonic Group, this year celebrates its 70th anniversary in the industry. In 1947, the company was founded as Universal Manufacturing Company and became one of the first manufacturers of fluorescent ballasts in North America. Today, it is known as a global lighting industry innovator committed to quality and customer service.
Building an Industry Leader
“Universal began during a time when America was modernizing and electrifying,” says Mark Verheyen, president & CEO of Universal Lighting Technologies and president of Panasonic Lighting Americas. “Since then, we and our predecessors have striven to continuously provide products and services, and as a result our brands are known and respected throughout the industry.”
Universal has grown from being a pioneer in magnetic ballasts in its early days to a provider of electronic ballasts and a leader in the design, development and distribution of quality ballast and LED products today. More than half of Universal’s manufacturing facility is dedicated to the production of LED components, allowing the company to stay ahead of an evolving industry.
Today’s Panasonic Operation
The Panasonic Group acquired Universal Lighting Technologies to be its North American flagship for commercial lighting in 2007. In 2010, the North American operation of Vossloh-Schwabe, another company in the Panasonic lighting family, was merged into Universal.
“As a part of Panasonic, Universal is backed by a culture of innovation and success, and continues to answer the call for tomorrow’s lighting products,” says Verheyen. “With the support of our research and development teams, Universal drives the industry forward with energy-saving designs and production strategies.”
Verheyen, who joined Universal as president and CEO in 2016, has led the expansion of tier one growth over the past two decades for a multitude of industrial electronics companies.
“Universal’s team of manufacturing engineers and technicians explore technologies that deliver lighting solutions to exceed our customer’s challenges,” says Verheyen. “We are focused on finding ways to produce and deliver products. Universal’s focus on operational excellence begins from conceptual design to volume manufacturing.”
Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow
Universal Lighting Technologies has been awarded more than 150 patents, and today remains on the forefront of technologies to meet or exceed efficiency requirements.
“For seven decades Universal has been on the edge of technology revolutions—from magnetic to electric ballasts, and more recently from fluorescent to LED,” continues Verheyen. “We strive for the voice of the customer resonating within every unit we produce, because product quality, delivered on time, is our mission statement.”
Along with comprehensive product offerings and quality North American manufacturing, Universal operates 15 regional agent stocking warehouses including an Ontario warehouse in Canada, and five Regional Distribution Centers, enabling the company to provide its more than 3,000 distributor partners with everything from compact fluorescent, linear fluorescent and HID ballasts to control and dimming systems, as well as an expanding line of LED retrofit solutions. The company’s products are marketed under the Universal, EVERLINE, Triad, and Vossloh-Schwabe brand names.
“Universal’s sales support, customer loyalty and innovation is a combination that has helped set our company apart in the marketplace,” says Willis Milner, principal at United Electrical Sales LTD, an agent which began distributing Universal products in 1958. “With the line of products like the LED Retrofit Kit, Diversa Sensors and the outdoor LED Sign Tubes, our distributor customers can access solutions in their local markets for nearly any application.”