Rotarian, Theresa Blose, introduced Larry Wilhelm, Plant Manager and her husband, Ron Blose, Engineer, from LEDVANCE (formerly OSRAM) as the guest speakers during the Rotary luncheon meeting April 2nd .
The gentlemen presented a history of 113 years of light making from its inception in 1906 as The Novelty Incandescent Lamp Company beginning in St. Marys. In 1922 threatened with patent litigation, GM sells the Novelty Incandescent Lamp Company to GE. GE finds the plants small and unprofitable, and sells company to plant management principals to name it NILCO (Novelty Incandescent Lamp Company). In 1924 NILCO enters the radio tube business, forms a separate company, and uses the Emporium facility for this process. The name selected for this company is Sylvania Products Co. Then in 1931, NILCO, Sylvania and Hygrade companies merge to form Hygrade Sylvania Company and 1942 Hygrade Sylvania is renamed Sylvania Electric Products. In 1959 Sylvania merges with GTE, new company is named GTE Sylvania. Many expansions begin between 1965 and 1976 at the St. Marys facility with last expansion in 1990 to a 480,000 sq. ft. building. In 1993 The GTE light and precision materials business is sold to OSRAM GmbH and the new company is OSRAM Sylvania Inc. In 2016 OSRAM was acquired by MLS Co., Ltd.
In 2007 the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) impacts traditional incandescent products banning 100W-75W-60W & 40W bulbs by January 1, 2014. OSRAM Sylvania develops the Halogen Super Saver lamp to provide customers a choice providing superior light quality with 30% energy savings and now they are the leader in producing LED products.
The St. Marys facility is a 24 hour/3 shift operation with 140 employees and has the fastest LED production world wild and are the only significant LED producers in USA. Some of their top customers include Walmart, Family Dollar, ShopRite, Sears and Home Depot.