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History of the manufacturer  

ACEC, Ateliers de Constructions Électriques de Charleroi; Charleroi

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Name: ACEC, Ateliers de Constructions Électriques de Charleroi; Charleroi    (B)  
Abbreviation: acec
Products: Model types Others

ACEC - Ateliers de Constructions Électriques de Charleroi S.A.
Route de Philippeville, Charleroi

Founded: 1904
Closed: 1989

Excerpts from wikipedia:

In 1881 the Compagnie Générale d'Electricité was formed in Charleroi. In 1886 the company was renamed to S.A. Électricité et Hydraulique à Charleroi (E&H). The company's product range included dynamos, lifts, carbon arc lamps, electric traction motors for trams and drilling equipment.

In 1898, the company established a factory in France in Jeumont (France/Belgium border), which was renamed Ateliers de Constructions Électriques du Nord et de l'Est (ACENE) in 1906; much later (1960s) it became part of Jeumont Schneider.

On 7 July 1904, the company name was changed to Ateliers de Constructions Électriques de Charleroi (ACEC), having been acquired by Baron Edouard Empain.

In the interwar period ACEC began to produce vacuum-based electronics, including mercury arc rectifiers.

In 1939 ACEC began to collaborate with Constructions Electriques de Belgique (CEB), with the two companies rationalising their combined production.

During the buildup to World War II the factory was commissioned to manufacture 75mm anti-aircraft guns, 47mm antitank guns and other weapons, as well as variable-pitch propellers and parts for Hispano-Suiza aircraft. After the outbreak of war preparations were made to relocate the factories - some production was restarted at a Hispano-Suiza factory near Tarbes, France. The Charleroi plant was initially taken under the control of the German armed forces. By 1942 raw materials, and manufactured parts and tools were beginning to become scarce, in 1942/3 workers at the plant began to be commandeered to work in factories in Germany mainly those of AEG, Siemens and Brown-Boveri.

In 1947 the collaboration with CEB concluded with the two companies merging, forming ACEC Herstal. In 1957, the company entered into a licensing arrangement with Westinghouse relating to PWR reactors. In the three decades after World War II the company also expanded into the electronics industry, starting to manufacture products including tape recorders, televisions, and radios.

The Société d'Électricité et de Mécanique (SEM, a Thomson-Houston company), with headquarters in Ghent, was absorbed in 1960/1.

In 1970, ACEC became a member of the Westinghouse group. Over the next two decades the company was restructured and its various operations sold off; much of the company was acquired by Compagnie Générale d'Electricité (CGE). The ACEC cable factory was split as a separate company Câblerie de Charleroi in 1971, and acquired by CGE in 1986.

Westinghouse reduced its shareholding to less than 50% by the late 1970s.

In 1985, Inductotherm Industries acquired four induction heating businesses from ACEC, including Elphiac (Herstal, Belgium, joint company with Philips).

The Société Générale de Belgique (SGB) and CGE agreed to acquire Westinghouse's (42%) share in the company in 1985, becoming joint majority shareholders.

The company restructured in the 1980s, reducing its workforce from over 5000 in 1985 to 2200 in 1998. The company reported losses of over 4 billion Belgian francs (BFr) in 1986, and over 500 million BFr loss in 1987. In 1988 the company was still in very poor financial condition; in the first half of 1988 it lost 570 million BFr on revenues of nearly 4 billion BFr. The main shareholders of ACEC's owner SGB (Suez Group and Carlo De Benedetti) announced that the company was to be sold.

Many of the company's divisions were acquired by CGE subsidiaries (Alstom, Alcatel). Rail vehicle traction equipment manufacturer Kiepe Elektrik (acquired 1973) was sold to Alstom in 1988. The automation and energy divisions became majority owned by CGEE Alsthom (CGE subsidiary) as ACEC Automatisme SA, and ACEC Energie SA. The rail transport equipment subsidiary became a 100% owned subsidiary of Alsthom as ACEC Transport SA. In 1989 a plant in Herstal was closed, and traction motor manufacture ceased at Charleroi, moving to one of Alstom's French sites.

ABB acquired ACEC's mechanical engineering facilities in Ghent in 1988, effective April 1989, forming ACEC Turbo Power Systems SA (ATPS). The steel construction business ACEC Construction Soudée was sold to Cassart (Fernelmont, Belgium).

ACEC-SDT (space, defence, telecommunications) was merged into Alcatel-Bell (CGE majority owner, via Alcatel NV) forming Acatel-Bell-SDT.

By June 1989, the SGB was the only remaining shareholder of ACEC, trading of shares was suspended on 5 July 1989, in July 1989 the remnants of the company, considered essentially valueless, with estimated liabilities of over 7 billion BFr were merged into the company Union Minière, forming Acec-Union Minière.

The information technology company ACEC-OSI was absorbed into Tractabel subsidiary Trasys in 1989. The pump machinery division ACEC centrifugal pumps was acquired from ACEC Union Minière by BW/IP in 1992. BW/IP successor Flowserve closed the Charleroi pump factory in 1997.

After the sale of the centrifugal pumps division, no significant parts of ACEC remained in the Union Minière; it was renamed Umicore in 1992.

Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
65 ACEC stereo radio Type 5821 ECC85  2 x HP AD3700AM 800 Ohm. Fabricant: Atelier de Construction d'Electricité de Charleroi(ACE... 
57 5301 ECC85  Chassis is made in Philips factory in Leuven (Belgium). Almost identical to Philips model ... 
58 5004 UCH81  Equivalent to Philips B2F72A and the more stylish model Radiola RA248A. 
59 Menuet UCH81  Practically identical to (french) Philips model B1F03U (see id 75259). Many french made c... 
76 53004    
75 53006    
75 53007    
75 56001    
73 5021   Japanese components. 
74 53001    
74 16003   Kassetten - Tonbandgerät 
74 16004   Kassetten - Tonbandgerät 


Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

Logo ACEC Charleroitbn_be_charleroi-electronique.png
PUBLICIDAD DE LA MARCAtbn_b_acec_publicidad.png