Barco

Barco NV is a Belgian technology company that specializes in digital projection and imaging technology, focusing on three core markets: entertainment, enterprise, and healthcare. It employs 3600 employees located in 90 countries. The company has 400 granted patents. Barco is headquartered in Kortrijk, Belgium, and has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in EuropeNorth America and Asia-Pacific. Shares of Barco are listed on Euronext Brussels. It has a market cap of around €1.2 billion (February 2018). We sells its Click Share products to enable wireless projection from sender devices to receiver displays.

 

Barco is an acronym that originally stood for Belgian American Radio Corporation. Barco was founded in 1934 in the town of Poperinge, in the Flemish-speaking region of Belgium. Founder Lucien de Puydt‘s initial business was to assemble radios from parts imported from the United States – hence the name of his company, the Belgium American Radio Corporation, or “Barco”.

Radio pioneer Camiel Descamps gave the company a new start in 1941 in Kortrijk after founder Lucien Depuydt died. His wife Maria-Anna Reyntjens and his brother-in-law Joseph Versavel assisted him. Later on, also Elie Timmerman joined them. Starting from their office in Kortrijk, the company started to grow and spread around 90 countries across the globe.

In 1949, Barco started developing a multi-standard television that accepted different signal standards, becoming a leader in that field. A jukebox called Barc-O-Matic was sold from 1951. In 1967, it was one of the first European companies to introduce color TV. Building on this, it then entered the professional broadcast market in the late 1960s, supplying TV monitors to broadcasters.

From the 1960s onwards, Barco branched out into numerous other activities, which included mechanical components for industrial use, and quality control monitoring for the textile and plastics industries. In 1967, Barco became the first European manufacturer to produce transistor-based portable televisions.

Barco first entered projection technology in 1979 when it pioneered the development of cathode ray tube (CRT) projection aboard airplanes. Over the following years, it gradually focused solely on professional markets.

In the mid-1980s, Barco became a main projection technology supplier for computer giants IBMApple and Hewlett-Packard. In the late 1980s, it entered the Brussels stock market. By 1991, Barco’s market share in the graphics projection market alone reached 75%, and the company had established offices across the world, including regional headquarters in the United States and East-Asia.

Through the 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium, Barco developed and marketed new display technologies such as liquid crystal display (LCD), light-emitting diodes (LED), Texas Instruments‘ Digital Light Processing (DLP), and later, liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS). It now covers markets that include media and entertainment, security and monitoring, medical imaging, avionics, 3D and virtual reality, digital cinema, traffic control, broadcast and training and simulation.

In 2018, Barco entered into a joint venture with China Film Group Corporation (CFG), Appotronics and CITICPE to commercialize each company’s products and services for the global cinema market excluding mainland China: Cinionic. In Barco’s case, this involved the company’s cinema projectors.

Sustainability

Barco’s Corporate Sustainability Committee, consisting of 13 members, under the leadership of Filip Pintelon, devises an overall sustainability strategy. Under the label “Barco 2020”, they are currently developing a sustainability plan encompassing three pillars: their people, their community and the planet.

A few achievements:

  • Supplier Sustainability program
  • Health and Safety Arrangements
  • Compliance

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