TPi magazine’s Jacob Waite sat down with Absen’s European R&D Director to discuss the company’s latest products and developments for the rental staging market. To read the full article, please click here to view online or download the pdf.
Having spent the last 15 years at LANG AG looking after the group’s LED products, Christian Czimny made the decision to move to Absen, taking on the role of European R&D Director. “As one of the largest and most reputable LED manufacturers, moving to Absen was the logical next step,” began Czimny. “The role allows me to put to good use my experience and knowledge of dealing with our European rental customers and ensure that this gets fed back into the product development process at Absen’s China-based HQ and manufacturing facilities.”
With over 1,500 employees working across eight international subsidiaries, as a relatively new starter Czimny was amazed by the “strong spirit and culture of the company” which places a lot of emphasis on training and development. He explained: “I always saw Absen as a very stable and dynamic company, and the last nine months have confirmed my impressions,” he continued. “I am able to work effectively with different colleagues from across the organisation to develop and bring new products to market.”
Assigned to focus primarily on Absen’s European customers, Czimny’s goal is to further strengthen and expand its position in the market, supported by an extensive range of rental staging products, working in close communication and cooperation with the company’s counterparts in the R&D department. “Communication is absolutely essential, but it obviously has its challenges at a Chinese company. Not everyone in the R&D team speaks English and cross-cultural collaboration requires patience and understanding. On top of that, you also have the time difference to factor in to your daily schedule.”
Having earned the title of number one Chinese export brand for 10 years running. Czimny sees the mantle as a benchmark for the Absen’s European operation. “We are very proud of this achievement and it is a testament to the dedication and hard work that goes into developing products that meet the ever-changing and stringent requirements of our European (and global) customers. That said, we are not about to rest on our laurels. Anyone with life experience knows that it is a special challenge to hold this kind of position, so we have to constantly reflect on which things lead to success and which must be improved, in order to remain relevant.”
Czimny went on to expand the European market portfolio and its increased presence on the continent. “There is plenty of space for everyone to play and if you look at Europe from an international perspective, in terms of LED applications and installations, we believe that there is still ample room for growth. We just need to ensure that we have the right products within our portfolio, targeting the right verticals, in order to ensure we stay on top.”
Part of Absen’s success is down to its growing range of rental staging products, which have become a cornerstone in the world of live touring. Czimny delineated with pride: “What many people do not know is that our rental products represent over half of our business in Europe. We have over six series and 21 products designed to meet the needs of the live event industry and we have also been fortunate enough to receive numerous awards and accolades for our rental series, including Best Entertainment and Live Events Technology at the InAVation Awards 2019.
In recent years, the Absen brand aligned itself as a familiar face in the LED market for its rental and staging products. The R&D team demand both rapid construction, ruggedness and maximum quality. Czimny explained: “There has also been a growing demand for sub-2mm fine pitch LED in rental staging applications, so we were pleased to release our first NPP display with our new Aries Series, which has a 1.5mm pixel pitch and features IMD and Common Cathode technologies providing over three times the strength of traditional LED screens whilst consuming 20% less power.
For the world of live touring Absen has rolled out its Altair series – a light LED display which recognised was recognised as the best new rental LED product at ISE by rAVe Publications – boasting up to 4500nits with black face SMD and HBB technology for extreme contrast. “We have consistently seen double-digit growth in Europe. Much of this success is obviously down to providing high quality products at an attractive price point. However, something that certainly sets Absen apart from its competitors is the strength of our partner network,” he enthused.
Through its Value Added Partner Programme, Absen has built up a network of trusted resellers, distributors and integrators that are able to provide in-country support and service to ensure our customers get the most out of their LED deployments. “Not only are these partners able to help channel partners get easy access to Absen LED locally but they are also there to offer an enhanced level of technical and sales support, as well as providing training, local stock and payment terms.”
Czimny outlined the importance of feedback from European customers in liaison with Absen staff in China, when it comes to the R&D process. He said: “We will always involve our customers from the early stages of product development, so we are able to work together on even the smallest details. It is also important that all of the information is passed on to the R&D department at HQ in China, where product development naturally requires not only feedback from Europe, but also from the American market and the local Asian market. For economic reasons, it only makes sense to have products in the portfolio that can cover all markets at the same time.”
When it comes to the importance of LED over projection and LCD. For Czimny, there’s only one winner. “The last couple of years have seen LED display technology make huge strides, offering many benefits over conventional LCD displays. The number one benefit of course, is that LED is completely seamless with its bezel-free and modular design, giving customers enhanced flexibility to be able to offer creative solutions for their end users; almost any shape and size of videowall can be created with LED.
He concluded: “The fact is that end users are favouring the improved visual performance of LED displays, with their superior contrast ratio and higher brightness. Moreover, as the performance and reliability of LED continues to go up and the total cost of ownership continues to go down, we see LED as becoming the true technology of choice.”
Photos courtesy of Absen.