At Fermax, we have been cultivating our passion for design, technology and innovation for the past 65 years.
In “Did you know…?”, we show you the path, milestones and anecdotes that have marked our evolution. Our cornerstones that help us today deliver a door to the future.
Combining business efficiency and social values is one of the main objectives of Fermax’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which actively and voluntarily contributes to social, economic and environmental improvement.
Fermax’s commitment, as reflected in its CSR plan, encompasses 4 main points: environmental protection, concern for our employees (reconciliation of work and family life), social action and occupational integration.
In the year 2000, Fermax created Ceeme, a sustainable project, from both the economic and social standpoints, that promotes the occupational, social and personal integration of people with disabilities.
Occupational Integration – Ceeme
Ceeme is a Special Employment Centre specialising in Electronic Assembly and, as a member of Fermax, is located at the company’s headquarters in Valencia.
The average annual staff includes over twenty employees, 90% of whom have a mental illness or an intellectual or physical disability.
It is a business and social entity that provides the technical and human means to facilitate the manufacturing of high-quality products, whilst contributing to its staff members’ development as full, independent persons.
Ceeme became operational on 11 September 2000, over fifteen years ago, and, from its inception, has closed every year with a profit. Fermax does not allocate any budget to the special employment centre. Instead, Ceeme is self-financing, through its own revenues and through grants from Servef (Occupational and Training Service of the Valencian Autonomous Community Government) designed for such centres.
Discover what they do by watching the video “Working at CEEME”
Valencian Autonomous Community Government Responsible Business Award
In June 2007, Fermax received the first Responsible Business Award from the Valencian Autonomous Community Government, in the Integration of People with Disabilities category. The award represented public recognition of the social action that Fermax conducts through Ceeme.
Fermax is included amongst the seventy-four socially responsible companies recognised by the Valencian Autonomous Community Government.
Ceeme, more than just a company
In addition to its economic function, Ceeme is strongly committed to working toward the social and personal integration of people with disabilities.
Ceeme is a daily tribute to the lives of all its team members. It is brimming with life: Independent Life, Healthy Life, etc.
The people who make up Ceeme’s human team feel highly fulfilled. Their job is a part, a great part, of their lives. This is why Ceeme is brimming with life.
Ceeme responds to their needs through its Personal and Social Adjustment programme, which includes three categories: independent living, healthy living, and training:
Independent Living encompasses:
Healthy Living organises the following activities:
Ceeme offers training to its team members through suitable courses aimed at their professional and personal development. It also offers external training on Ongoing Improvement and Emotional Intelligence to other companies and gives lectures on its Corporate Social Responsibility practices.
Thanks to these efforts, Ceeme delivers optimism; it is synonymous with health, love, and companionship.
Ceeme is brimming with life and thus enhances Fermax’s life as well.
More information at ceeme.fermax.com
Presently, Fermax is synonymous with innovation, technology and design.
Throughout its existence, Fermax has established new standards in these categories and enlarged the market with new inventions.
Overall, among utility models and invention patents, FERMAX has registered over 30 inventions with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM). Notably, throughout its history 15 invention patents have been registered with the OEPM, and 25 industrial designs and 17 trademarks at the European Union level.
It all began when FERMAX was founded. Fernando Maestre’s first invention was a peculiar device, the 1949 Radio-Intercom.
The history of the Radio-Intercom
Fernando Maestre began his career in the early 1940s. He noticed that in American films people communicated between offices using an intercom, and that led him to manufacture his first invention, the Radio-Intercom.
This remarkable receiver was designed by Fernando Maestre and his cousin Antonio Bernabé in the early 1940s, but it was not patented until 11 November 1950 (Patent No. ES194968, 1950 Radio-Intercom). This Radio-Intercom was the first of its type in Spain since it operated simultaneously as a radio and an intercom.
The roles of the Radio-Intercom
Overall, the Radio-Intercom was an excellent receiver and, at the same time, a practical intercom that made it possible to broadcast music in different sections of a factory whilst facilitating instantaneous communication with the employees. The additional loudspeakers followed the same line and had the same design as the main device.
Radio-Intercom Fermax. Central station and loudspeakers
Music as a stimulus for increased production
When the Radio-Intercom was first commercialised in Spain, sales agents received a newsletter with practical advice on how to exploit background music and its advantages in terms of productivity at the workplace. The objective was to convince their clients, company owners and managers, that working with music would speed up the rate of production. In order to support this claim, they would cite the experiences of companies that used this new musical medium, the account of which was published in the magazine “THE UNITED STATES OFFICE” under the title “FUNCTIONAL BACKGROUND MUSIC AT THE OFFICE”:
“According to the official in charge of a materials centre at the U.S. Department of Defence, there is evidence that performance in the Voucher Control Section increased by 8.93%, and production in the Tabulating and Card Punching Machine Departments rose by 5.83% after installing office music”.
The Radio-Intercom’s success
The Radio-Intercom was very successful amongst companies and represented a genuine revolution during the 1950s and 1960s. Many organisations such as hotels, hospitals, factories, repair shops and storehouses installed it upon determining that it was extremely practical to be able to maintain constant communication with the employees and that working with music would improve their performance. Due to the great success it achieved in 1958, Fermax launched the “FERMAX 2000” Radio-Intercom, which had a more modern design, similar to radios of that period, with a maroon and grey bakelite case.
Fermax has registered invention patents for over 60 years. It is a Spanish manufacturer of audio and video door entry systems with the largest number of registered invention patents. In general, 87% of the applications have been granted patents and some of them have become milestones, not only for the company but for the sector as well. For example, in 1991, Fermax was granted an invention patent DIGITAL ACCESS EQUIPMENT FOR AUDIO AND VIDEO DOOR ENTRY SYSTEMS for its MDS Digital system, i.e. a high-performance, high-capacity digital audio and video entry system. In 2008, Fermax received an invention patent, granted for the VIDEO DOOR ENTRY SYSTEM FOR TCP/IP NETWORKS, commercialised under the name LYNX. This system makes it possible to handle a virtually unlimited number of monitors and channels for voice communication and data transfer with a single Lynx installation. And in 2015, Fermax received an invention patent in the US for the VIDEO DOOR ENTRY SYSTEM MULTICANAL WITH ONLY TWO CABLES called DUOX.
Currently, 5% of Fermax’s annual budget is allocated to Innovation and Development. This shows that Fermax continues to be committed to technology and is intent on obtaining new patents and inventions in the future.
Design is one of the most important values in FERMAX products, a differentiating feature that has positioned the firm among the biggest hitters worldwide. The design of our products has become one of the most important lines of innovation for our growth, and this is why Fermax is committed to it on a daily basis as the core of our business strategy, enabling us to bring successive technological changes to our users, giving rise to new emotions and new experiences.
To this end, Fermax embarked upon its relationship with prestigious industrial designer Ramón Benedito in 1973. Since 1975, Ramón Benedito has been Fermax’s Industrial Design Partner and since 1978 we have been working in close collaboration worldwide. Ramón Benedito highlights two factors when it comes to designing equipment for Fermax: product durability and a touch of distinction.
First contact between Fermax and Ramón Benedito in 1973:
This was when Fernando Maestre came to the Design Centre in Barcelona to start developing new products from the aesthetic standpoint. The Barcelona Design Centre is a driving force for promotion and encouragement of design in the business and institutional scope, created in 1973, the first in the Spanish state. The impact of industrial design in Spain and carefully crafted forms in manufactured consumer goods were just beginning to bloom at that time. During his visit, Fernando Maestre was given the name of three prestigious designers, and from among them, he finally decided to join forces with Ramón Benedito. In their first meeting together they began to plan out the T1 project, a phone that would later revolutionize the market and position the company as a clear front runner.
TheT-1 Telephone model, from 1974, was selected for the Industrial Design in Spain Exhibition at the Reina Sofia Museum as a representative sample of Spanish industrial design.
Ramón Benedito designs his first product for Fermax, the T-1
Who is Ramón Benedito?
Ramón Benedito was born in 1945 in Barcelona and received his training in the field of industrial design at ELISAVA, the Barcelona School of Design and Engineering.
In 1973, he founded the Benedito Design studio, whose main activity was initially in the plastics field, before moving onto specialized industry, where he would design laboratory, optical, telephony and microelectronics equipment.
Throughout his career, he has collaborated with renowned companies such as Balay, Carlsberg, Contenur, Renfe or Repsol.
Ramón Benedito and his team have operated for over 40 years under the tenets of diversity and rigour, as was evident in the exhibition "Forms of Industry", organized by the European Institute of Design in May 2004 and including a selection of the twenty best pieces by Benedito Design.
“Forms of Industry” 2004
Design as success factor
In an interview, Ramón Benedito explains the importance of design in our times:
“Between two video door entry models of the same price, features and quality, the best designed will sell more. Since the early twenties of the last century, industrial design has been consolidated in consumer markets as the best solution for serial manufactured products and its incorporation into R+D departments has boosted the business curve for most companies that have managed to apply it successfully. An aesthetically innovative product and flawless performance helps shape the brand identity, streamlines communications strategies, is essential in commercial activities, is easily promoted and at lower cost, penetrates international markets and beats its competitors. Design contributes value to the company."
Track record of successful results
Ramón Benedito has earned several awards in his career as industrial designer. Here are just some examples:
National Design Award in 1992
Awards for Fermax product designs
The Valencian Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IMPIVA) awarded Fermax and Benedito Design the Valencia Innovation Prize for the Cityline range in 1991.
The Delta Prize was awarded by the ADI-FAD association for the Cityline Classic Panel in 1997.
In Milan in 2005, in the design category, the Loft monitor won the Intel “August Morello” Design Award.
The iLoft video entry system and Halo outdoor panel were considered two of the best industrial designs in 2007 by prestigious professional designers’ association ADI-FAD. This choice acknowledges their innovating value, conceptual renewal, formal elaboration and manufacturing quality. The award was for the Halo panel and the iLoft video entry system, both designed by Gae Benedito (his daughter).
In 2009, Fermax and Ramón Benedito were nominated for the Designpreis awards for the iLoft monitor and Halo panel.
The most recent awards won by Fermax in collaboration with Benedito Design were the “Delta Selection 2013” from ADI-FAD and “iF LABEL 2014” from the Hannover International Design Forum for the Smile product, the internationally successful hands-free monitor.
The ADI-FAD Association, of nationwide scope, was founded in Barcelona in 1960 and since then has focused on promoting industrial design with activities such as these, consisting of selecting the best designs from each year.
Recipe for future success
According to Ramón Benedito regarding the Fermax story, there are three success factors defining the shape of the future: History, Design and Marketing. History, as his friend Fernando Maestre taught him, allows us to manage the knowledge of success. Design, to coordinate technology, functionality. And intelligent marketing to pinpoint new needs and know about things before they happen. Ramón Benedito and Fermax understand that the shape of the future must be planned with imagination, passion and a modicum of magic to get the end user excited.
Design as innovation factor
Product after product, for over half a century Fermax has furnished society with technologies applied to intercom and video door entry systems, using design as a vehicle to ensure these technologies are accepted, implemented and make day-to-day life easier for every member of society.
At the outset of the creation process of any Fermax product, design is always to the fore. To ensure its technological feasibility, but also to achieve economic viability and enhance its desirability to the user.
Since the early days of TV, its adverts, series, movies and documentaries, etc. have all become part of everyday life, and are even permanently engraved in our memory.
Fermax has played an active part in different televisual formats, ceding its products to production companies who asked for them to form part of the decor of each story to be recreated.
The ads of our lifetime
TV commercials tell brief stories lasting around 30 seconds, which on occasion have captivated us even more than the big picture and shown us the social, economic and moral changes undergone by viewers since the late 50s to the present day.
For Fermax, our most representative ad was the Radiointerfono commercial that aired in the 60s.
Several decades later, our genuine CITYLINE CLASSIC panel appeared in an amusing ad along with Andreu Buenafuente, a well-known Spanish presenter and humourist, among other famous “neighbours”.
And in 2015, our new CITYLINE panel features in the doorway of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo’s fictional home in the latest commercial he stars in for POKERSTARS.
Fermax on the big screen
And of course, we have also taken part in several Spanish films.
We like to emphasise our cooperation in two films by Oscar-winning Spanish cinema director, Pedro Almodóvar.
The first collaboration took place in the film “Bad Education”, starring Gael Garcia, Fele Martínez and Javier Cámara. The film received rave reviews and was released on March 19, 2004 in Spain and 10 September 2004 in Mexico. It was screened at many international film festivals such as Cannes, New York, Moscow or Toronto before release on November 19, 2004 in the United States. A Fermax panel was used in this movie. This panel was signed by Pedro Almodovar and is on display at the Fermax Museum in the Valencia HQ.
The second collaboration was in "The Skin I Live In", starring Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya. In his eighteenth feature, Pedro Almodóvar integrated a Cityline Digital panel and intercom. The film received numerous awards.
The “El Deseo” production company recently contacted us again with a view to furnishing Almodóvar's next film with Fermax products. The film is called "Silence" and will star Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte.
Engaging Spanish series
Fermax appears in numerous scenes of the main series currently broadcast in Spain. Here, we detail the most important.
Fermax intercoms have featured since the beginning of the series "Amar en tiempos revueltos" (Love in troubled times) on the working desks of the characters:
“Amar en tiempos revueltos” is Spanish television a series set in the Spanish Civil War and the early years under Franco. It began airing daily in late 2005 on TVE. Today, the series is still running and continues to display Fermax products, but changed its name to "Amar es para siempre" (Love is forever), now shown on Antena 3.
Another TV hit was the Antena 3 series "Aquí no hay quien viva" (No one could live here), where Fermax provided the video door entry panel that gives access to this peculiar bunch of neighbours, as well as a video entry monitor for each apartment.
Actors from the series "Aquí no hay quien viva" - 2005
This long-running series was proclaimed as one of the most successful in the history of Spanish television, achieving a 40% audience share.
Sailing Monitor – “Aquí no hay quien viva” - 2005
“Aquí no hay quien viva” is a comedy that is still running under the name "La que se avecina" (What's yet to come), and all our products still make an appearance.
A series in a different genre was "Acusados" (Accused), a thriller from 2009 and 2010 starring Goya Toledo.
In Antena 3 series "Los protegidos" (The protected), we also provided a LOFT Monitor. With a science fiction theme, it was broadcast from January 2010 until June 2012 and exported to the Chinese channel CCTV channel and SIC in Portugal.
And as you would expect, we also featured in the TVE flagship series "Cuéntame cómo pasó" (Tell me how it happened), supplying a panel from the 80s, for which we received this letter of thanks.
In 2015, our LOFT monitor has appeared in popular series along with their leading characters:
Tito Valverde and Megan Montaner – featuring in "Sin identidad" (No identity)
Currently, we have just furnished them with material for the mise en scène of new sets for the second season of the series GYM TONY, which goes out on channel CUATRO. We shall soon be seeing our 2 City Classic audio outdoor panels and 1 Marine video panel.
In August 2012, seven contemporary artists working in a blend of Street Art and the more classic muralist movement were commissioned to depict Fermax values in pictures through a graphic project that covers the main façade of the company headquarters.
Innovation in FERMAX is not only linked with the technological developments of our products, but also the way our projects are presented in society. This great 1,600 m² mural was a clear commitment to revolution in urban street art.
Fermax HQ history
In 1989, Fermax began the relocation of its headquarters to a large building in what today is the Southern Boulevard in Valencia (Spain). The firm was previously based at Ave. Tres Forques nº 41, in less spacious facilities.
Fermax facilities in 1977
As the company grew apace, it became necessary to transfer to Av. Tres Cruces nº 133.
Fermax Chairman Fernando Maestre officially inaugurated the new facilities on 27 October 1995, and the HQ then had an area of 4,000 square metres.
In the years to come, additional areas of the factory were gradually occupied to improve facilities, as the company was becoming one of the leading video door entry system manufacturers worldwide. The current Fermax facility covers a surface area of 11,000 m2.
The idea of changing the HQ façade
The FERMAX façade, originally green, was restored in 1993 and 2002, repainted in green again.
Access to the facilities has improved over the years, mainly due to the works that went into creating Valencia’s Southern Boulevard in the 2000s, converting Tres Cruces avenue into a very busy place.
In 2012, Alberto Maestre, Fermax Head of Corporate Development, proposed a spectacular makeover for the facade. The project grew out of a collaboration between Fermax and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, under the technical direction of the Art and Environment Research Centre.
For Alberto Maestre, the project promoter, the idea to change the facade meant “an innovation with enormous impact, creativity and visual appeal in terms of brand image.” The “attractive and innovative” work reaffirms art's public dimension and highlights FERMAX’s commitment to fostering links between the university and businesses.
Signing the FERMAX –UPV agreement: Alberto Maestre and Joan Juliá
Project preparation in June 2012
To create the mural, the artists studied the company's driving values and experienced the reality of the atmosphere inside Fermax, in order to transfer it to the outside using their particular aesthetic and innovative language.
Emerging artists accepted the challenge, which was not without its difficulties: on one hand, they were to express through their art the most important Fermax values (innovation and the family business, internationalization and respect for local traditions, technology and design); on the other, they were working on a facing full of gaps, forcing them to seek imaginative solutions that would allow them to furnish the viewer with an effective visual tour.
Several draft sketches were put forward, until one that really represented the values was finally accepted.
The project was a 1,600m² outdoor mural spread across three facades, the outcome of which was to be a “sensational fusion of technology, science and nature”.
Restoration and treatment of the facade went on throughout July and the mural was painted in August, employing:
The work was carried out by Álvaro Jaén, Diana, Julieta, Deih, Sr. Marmota, Cesp and DJ Xelón, the latter five members of Valencia’s XLF collective).
The artists were led by Juan Canales, Commissioner of Poliniza, the UPV’s prestigious Urban Art Festival.
The façade was painted with a base colour to start with and a lot of people thought this was going to be the end result.
Little by little, the mural appeared on the 1,600 m² surface. The artists came up against many awkward elements at different heights, calling for a lot of hard work and good organization.
Working at height during the day
View video of ‘MAKING OF’
Content of the painting
Innovation is one of the mainstays of FERMAX philosophy and is linked not only with the technological developments of our products, but also to the way we present our projects in society, and this mural is a clear commitment to revolution in the street art of the city of Valencia.
The company's most significant values are given form in a daring and cutting-edge fashion: innovation in the family business, internationalization, technology and design as fundamental principles.
The majority of FERMAX of employees knew nothing about this project, because the people responsible and promoters kept it a secret. When most employees returned from their holidays in August, they found themselves faced with a modern and resounding building that had nothing to do with what they had left behind before enjoying their days off.
It was the “trending topic” of the moment, both for FERMAX workers and passers-by in the area, who kept taking pictures and coming round FERMAX for a first-hand view of the city of Valencia’s largest mural.
Façade launch along with artists
With this initiative, Fermax wanted to "open up a new path" hand-in-hand with the "talent and professionalism of the UPV", which we hope may be "followed by many other companies, because it is also economical, provides employment and helps change the face of many buildings that obviously need it."
View video ‘The INNOVATING spirit of FERMAX on the mural’.
The façade is today one of the great attractions of visits to Fermax HQ, anticipating the technological and modern world being developed inside the building.
Image of area before Fermax acquired the premises (1987) and same image of the area today (2015)
The inauguration of the first Fermax representative office in Shanghai – China took place exactly 20 years ago and was the beginning of the new stage of internationalisation for the company.
The Fermax internationalization process covers a 30 year period, split into several stages. The first sales outside of Spain were made in the 60s. At the time it was hard to find people with multilingual abilities in Spain who would be able to draw up contracts or maintain appropriate customer service. For this reason, the first exports were shipped to Mexico, a country with the same language and a more developed market than Spain. From Mexico, new contacts were made and exports extended to the whole of South America and then worldwide.
The 70s was a decade of discovery, learning and customer acquisition. The goal in this initial stage was to have the largest number of customers in the most countries. And from 1987 to 1994, many customers became exclusive distributors. The aim in these years was to build a loyal customer base and recruit new ones in emerging countries, mainly in Asia.
In the mid-80s, China began to show the first signs of opening up to the outside and Fermax was one of the few Spanish companies that saw an opportunity to enter the world's most populous country. In 1985, Fermax took part in the first electronics trade fair in Shanghai and at that time there were only two Spanish representatives with a stand: the Telefónica company and Fermax.
Expotecnia 94 in Shanghai
Fermax’s first serious contacts in China were made in 1994, during the Expotecnia trade fair organized by ICEX in Beijing. Here, they could perceive the great interest aroused by electronic audio and video door entry systems.
1st Fermax representative office in Shanghai
Fermax decided to take the first step towards accessing the Chinese market by setting up a representative office in 1995. The premises were very small, barely 40 m², in a district on the outskirts of Shanghai, with a very limited budget.
Successes in the Chinese market
The potential and possibilities for development in the Chinese market soon became evident. Growth rate in the construction sector was tremendous, so the following year Fermax opened a second office, slightly larger, around 80 m², located in the city centre.
First production centre in Shanghai
Although sales rose and Fermax was flourishing in the new market in China, there was a setback related to exports from Spain to China. Products imported from Spain were more expensive than those from local competitors, due to the huge difference in labour costs and trade tariffs making imported goods more expensive. So, in 1997, Fermax created an assembly plant in Shanghai, 1000m2, with a minimum capital of $200,000, which was the amount then required by the government.
The factory was set up as a WFOE with 100% Fermax capital, unlike most of the foreign companies, which tended to form joint ventures. In those days, joint ventures had a very high failure rate and in the end the company usually remained in the hands of the Chinese partners.
Growth in China
From 1997 onwards, the company grew apace. Fermax sales in China were increasing by 30% annually and in order to continue to grow at the desired rate, in 2002 Fermax replaced the existing plant with a new factory, with production capacity for electronic circuits using the same technology employed in the Valencia works.
Competition and imitations
China is not a country characterized by respect for intellectual property rights. As a result, there are more than a dozen companies copying Fermax products in China. In the early years, we suffered a stage of imitation. Despite the proliferation of large vertical residential developments, the video door entry system was a product practically unknown. By setting up our operations there, we unwittingly set the standard. A plethora of manufacturers appeared which, in order to put together a catalogue, merely tried to copy us, but with much worse quality and performance.
The need for constant innovation in order to remain competitive in the Chinese market led Fermax to set up its own R&D unit Shanghai, where ideas are generated which may subsequently also be exploited in the parent company. China, which for many competitors has always been a threat, has become an attractive market for Fermax as well as a source of overall competitive advantage.
Fermax Shanghai Electronics
Fermax 2014 opened a new headquarters in Shanghai, with 52 employees working in a 400m² office space. Fermax also has other offices and its own commercial presence in eight cities in China. Fermax today is better known and valued in China than in Spain (5th top security and intercommunication company) and its perception level positions the firm in competition with much larger companies such as LG or Samsung.
New Fermax office in Shanghai - 2014
Fermax has been in China for 20 years now and has completed more than 4000 projects.
The year 1999 was a milestone in Fermax history. The company that originally started out as a small radio and intercom workshop had grown and, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. On the event of this commemoration, Fermax decided to embark upon a new and differentiating project, as spectacular as it was brilliant. The firm set up its own regatta racing team, the Fermax Sailing Team, sponsoring the FERMAX 50-CNJ.
The fact that Fermax included marine radios in its catalogue for decades was not the company’s only link with water sports. Both workers and management shared a love of sailing, encouraging an efficient transfer between the company philosophy and this sport.
Therefore, FERMAX, on its 50th anniversary, decided to sponsor the Javea Nautical Club in sponsoring the sailing boat FERMAX 50-CNJ, in the top-level racing circuit on the Spanish coast. The racing yacht became much more than a company symbol. To FERMAX, it represented their basic values: fighting the elements and taking advantage of favourable winds; teamwork, assuming different responsibilities; applying more skill than force in steering the vessel….
Towards the future... under full sail!
The idea of sports sponsorship
The project began to take shape earlier, when a young Match-Race team, brimming with hope and a good number of trophies already won at that time (runner-up at national level and first in the team ratings…), sought sponsorship in a category within its reach. The spirit of this team was perfectly in tune with the Fermax ethos, so its sponsorship was included in Fermax’s 50th anniversary activities, on a date which, for Fermax, meant looking to the future while celebrating past achievements.
Fermax ventured into a sports sponsorship project that would gradually become its most valuable sign of corporate identity. The values of exclusivity, design, quality and above all teamwork evolved from being something unique to the Fermax product, finally materializing in a racing boat competing at the highest level.
The ship's entire crew were trained at the Javea Nautical Club sailing school, an optimistic, non-professional young team, geared up for top-level competition. The FERMAX 50-CNJ team was trained by Juan Torrijo and captained by Daniel Maestre, son of Fermax founder Fernando Maestre.
This first boat, a 12-metre Beneteau, was designed by Eloy Herrero and Rafael García Cano, who airbrush painted almost the entire hull surface, while for the sails, due to the complexity of the materials, they chose a vinyl adhesive. The main image chosen for the mainsail was a 5 m tall crew member, which became the sole protagonist of the best regatta courses. This work of art was an evocation of unity and teamwork, as in order to win the crew had to move just as a single man would: a “titanic” man - FERMAX man.
Fermax 50-CNJ - Beneteau 40.7
New marketing concept: Sponsorship
Fermax, always at the cutting edge, was a pioneer in applying this new marketing concept. The project was the first step in a unique and inimitable relationship marketing strategy: sponsorship of sporting activities that would see the brand compete alongside leading companies in Spain.
But the decision to strengthen the corporate image as a leader in sailing was no fluke: The combination of Mr Maestre’s love for the sea, his son Daniel’s worldwide recognition as an excellent sailor and the titles that endorse it, guided this nautical and marketing adventure.
Success stories with FERMAX 50 skipper Daniel Maestre
For several years, skipper Daniel Maestre led all the sailing-related activities, as the head on board. His extensive experience and effective command of the vessel established him as one of the fastest skippers on the national circuit. He is a specialist in cruiser racing, the mode in which he has achieved major awards.
In the first three years of sponsorship, the Fermax Sailing Team took part in different championships. The biggest successes were the 3rd place in 1999 in Spain, Spanish championship runners-up in 2000 and winners of the Spanish Cup in 2001. On an international scope, Fermax took 4th place in the World Cup championship, an indisputable triumph. This success did not only translate as sporting outcomes, but also advertising and image results. All this time, Fermax has proven to be among the best and to have a racing team with great prospects for the future.
Daniel Maestre receiving the HRH Princess Sofia Trophy in 2002
FERMAX 50 Next Generation
Three years after launching the Fermax 50 in the racing circuits and following the successes gained, the team showed that despite being amateurs they were able to compete at the highest levels and achieve the best results. With the experience built up and a highly motivated crew, the decision was taken to add a new ace in the hole, a Sinergia 40, a boat designed to triumph with two clear goals: to become Spanish champions and take part in the IMS 600 World Cup. The design of the boat for this new phase was designed by Eloy Herrero, setting out from metallic paint on the boat's hull to give it a chameleonic capacity, absorbing the different colours of its surroundings depending on the lighting conditions. Aggressive and provocative, the new image represented the team spirit, ready to conquer the National Cruiser Championship.
FERMAX CNJ - Sinergia 40
And in 2007 they competed with a GP42, 13.80 metres long with a 20 m mast.
Throughout its history, the Fermax Sailing Team has proven to be a faithful reflection of the company values and virtues it came to represent; determination, perseverance, teamwork, drive to improve on previous performance, the search for excellence and adaptation to change.
The pessimist curses the weather; the optimist waits for the winds to change; Fermax sets the sails.
FERMAX NEW VALUES Grant
This was the start of an adventure that would become part of FERMAX history and today continues to inspire us to sponsor promising young newcomers, engaged in a daily struggle to achieve their goals.
• Javier García Pecharromán (2004) - Sailing
• David Fernández Buigues & Juan Jesús Fernández Sanz (2005) - Sailing
• Elia Borrego Arnau (2006-07) - Sailing
• Rafael Andarias Buigues (since 2008) - Adapted Sailing
This year, through the FERMAX New Values Grant, we are supporting the young racing team of Águeda Surias and Nora Brugman with sponsorship of their 470 Olympic campaign.
Águeda Surias and Nora Brugman - Suria Brugman Sailing Team - 470W
Following the success of the T-1 Telephone, of which about 4,500,000 units were sold, in 1980 FERMAX decided to launch a new product: The FERMAX 18 Vdc Video Door Entry System. This was the first Spanish video entry system designed for residential complexes.
Video door entry system FERMAX: Monitor with telephone and the external plate with camera
Fermax was already supplying a video entry solution in the mid-70s at 120-220 Vac, the EDI model with TF1, but it was the 80s before the low voltage version came onto the market.
Under the slogan “Open the door of your home to whoever you want… after seeing them!” Fermax marketed entry equipment to open the door, with a video function.
At that time, the majority of people in Spain were only used to opening the door without seeing who was there. They were unable to imagine the possibility of talking and seeing at the same time. This was something revolutionary!
Fermax, committed to innovation from the outset, applied its experience and great inventive genius in the sector and introduced this new video entry system, a compact model of top technical and aesthetic quality, in order to provide customers the following advantages:
SECURITY, because it prevents any person accessing the home without first having visually identified them.
DISCRETION, because you can observe the visitor without showing your presence, so you can avoid any unwanted visits.
SECRECY, as only the home called can set up communication.
ELEGANCE, because its presence enhances the location where it is installed.
RELIABILITY, for its cutting-edge technology, backed by thirty years of total dedication to the sector.
Second-generation Video Entry System – The Intel Monitor
In 1986 a new Fermax product came onto the market - the Intel Monitor. This video entry system was very well accepted and was a great success.
In the late 80s, Fermax ran a campaign until 1990 to encourage and potentiate the changeover from audio to video door entry. Fermax provided pre-installation free of charge, making it easier for residents to make the switch to video door entry, while allowing each resident freedom of choice to decide whether they wanted to keep their former entry system or change to video entry.
Fermax at the forefront in innovation and technology
In 1991, Fermax was awarded the patent for the first digital equipment (Patent ES2021502 Digital Equipment for Electronic and Video Door Entry, 1991). The company has been registering patents for over 20 years. Some of them have represented milestones, not only for the company, but also for the industry. The firm has 15 patents registered with the OEPM, with 25 industrial designs and 17 registered trademarks in the European Union scope.
Always at the forefront and constantly evolving.
The first Fermax monitor screens were in black and white. It started in the 90s with the arrival of the monitor and CITYMAX plate on the market when Spanish households received the possibility to see the image of the visitor in color.
Till the 1960s, no televisions were produced in Spain. It was a luxury which had to be imported from abroad, for this reason only a small part of the population in Spain could afford it. In the early 60s, only around 50.000 families, especially from Madrid and Barcelona, had a TV at home.
In the second half of the 1960s, the television became the main way of entertainment for the Spanish families. The television business was booming during that time and Fermax took advantage of the situation by manufacturing its own television under its brand.
Fermax and its first television.
Fermax started with the manufacturing and commercialization of a television, the so called “Fermax TV”, a 23” b/w screen with sound control.
Since the beginning of the company, FERMAX always wanted to make the latest technology accessible to large masses. Regarding the difficult economic situation of the country at that time, the product was sold directly from the Fermax manufacturing facility to the Spanish families – without any intermediaries.
Furthermore, the Fermax TV was sold with the possibility of an 8-day trial version without any obligation of buying the television. This offer made the television even more interesting for families, who never had a television before and wanted to discover this new experience.
Television broadcast at that time
At that time, the Spanish broadcast (TVE) didn’t reach the Valencian area which was limited to Barcelona and Madrid. In spite of this, Mr. Fernando Maestre was able to receive the signal from the RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) which reached Valencia across the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore he thought that if he was able to receive the signal from Italy, he could also receive the signal from the other two Spanish cities so he decided to install an antenna at the Hill Garbi, a 601 meter high mountain near Valencia.
With this antenna, he was finally able to receive the TVE broadcast from Barcelona. This was a big success and thanks to this he brought the television a step closer to the Valencian community.
Fermax was pioneer in the use of the remote control
Fermax was the first manufacturer to introduce the remote control usage in their own televisions.
TV FERMAX - 2 channels.
Currently part of the "Communicating" exhibition at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.
Fermax as a specialist
The commercialization of the Fermax TV lasted 3 years reaching almost a sale of 1000 units. Too much workload, an increase of new competitors in the market due to the disappearance of import restrictions in Spain and the introduction of the color TV screen finally forced Fermax to retire from that business area and to specialize back on the core business.
This core business remains our core business today and our expertise in designing communication and access control systems have led to our prominent position among the world leading brands.
A truly urban symbol.
The Cityline panel designed by Ramón Benedito revolutionized the market and became the flagship product from Fermax.
Prior to the official launch in 1992, Cityline had already been awarded the 1991 Valencia Prize for Innovation in Industrial Design granted by IMPIVA (Valencian Institute of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and in 1997 received the “Delta Selection” from Barcelona organization ADI-FAD (international competition).
CITYLINE CLASSIC PANEL 1991
But what makes it so special?
Cityline was the first electronic door entry panel to use a convex-curved aluminium profile. Something that no longer surprises, given all the imitations that have emerged since then, but in its day it was something quite revolutionary.
Its streamlined curves, continuous profile, finger-shaped button and elegant front panels, ultimately its design and features, positioned it as the top-class outdoor panel from the FERMAX range. Synonymous with luxury and quality.
Post-launch sales fulfilled all the forecasts and the event had far-reaching impact.
Today, 1,500,000 buildings worldwide have an electronic entry or Cityline video entry panel from FERMAX.
Imitations of other brands
The design of the panels from the Cityline Series was so revolutionary that it had been copied during many years.
Cityline Panel 2009
Cityline panel and its evolution
Cityline Classic evolved into the new Cityline n 2008. The balanced evolution of the FERMAX standard. Smarter and more modern. More robust. With a purified, exquisite design and new finishes.
The new Cityline, also designed by Ramón Benedito, keeps its original spirit and essence, and constitutes an aesthetic evolution in line with the times.
The panel restyling project was begun under the hypothesis of Cityline’s tried and tested success, and with two clear objectives. The new version was to be even more luxurious and higher quality, with total compatibility between both versions, ensuring their immediate substitution and replacement.
Cityline Classic 1991 (Audio) Cityline 2009 (Audio and Video)
Today, it continues to make history, which is why the CITYLINE panel is on display as a symbol of urban creation at Barcelona’s newly inaugurated Museum of Design.
In 1963 Fernando Maestre launched the Fonoporta; the first audio door entry system designed in Spain and for many years the only one.
Fonoporta 2-button model: Off and Call / On
Fonoporta to communicate with homes from inside the guard unit
Fonoporta 3-button model: Listen, Door, Talk
Audio entry system intercom for communication with homes from outdoors
With the construction boom in full swing, promoters saw this in product an opportunity to cut costs for residential buildings, as it removed the need for an employee to carry out concierge duties. To this end, Fernando Maestre again demonstrated his entrepreneurial vision, identifying an unattended niche and focusing his business on specialization in home intercom systems.
The Fonoporta, designed by Antonio Bernabé and Francisco Salmerón, was an inexpensive, effective and low consumption and maintenance intercom, which enabled householders to identify the visitor and open the outside door from each home. The apparatus swept the domestic market. It was the first entry system designed in Spain and for years, the only one.
Launching the Fonoporta was the milestone that marked the company’s history, and since then Fermax has been almost exclusively dedicated to the manufacture of electronic entry systems for the home. From this moment on, Fermax started up as a “factory-workshop” with specialist technical staff and later went on to hire the first engineers, thus improving the product quality and boosting production capacity.
For the market launch of this equipment, messages were created such as:
“Newest electronic intercom for buildings”
“An electronic creation to bring added value to your buildings”
“The most modern intercom for buildings, finally in Spain”
Promotional brochures displayed the equipment sets, with detailed explanations on how to use them, as this was a system which had never before been installed in Spanish homes.
Equipment features were highlighted, such as:
Since then, electronic entry systems have become an indispensable element in buildings in Spain.
This need also give rise to the functional features that still remain today: intuitive and automatic operation, no learning required, runs on low voltage (no risk of shock), does not depend on the home for power, but the building, so is always operational. Moreover, since it is highly durable, users can forget about it, as it blends in as just another element of its surroundings.
The FERMAX brand and its beginning
Fernando Maestre Martínez was born in Elda (Alicante). When he was 17 years old, he and a friend found the telegraph key of a plane that had been shot down during the Spanish Civil War. His curiosity and interest in learning led him to use it to make a rudimentary telegraph with which he connected his house with his friend's via a cable stretched across the rooftops. Motivated by his passion for electronics, he completed a correspondence course in electronics and decided to set up a radio repair workshop at home. Not long after, he started making radios himself. It was the seed of the future FERMAX.
Mr Maestre's visionary talent was not limited to electronics. In 1952, the founder commissioned a logo for the brand using an acronym of his own name from the draughtsman Alfredo Sanchis Cortes. The artist also included a robot to give it a more modern look.
In 1970, he asked the Melior agency to redesign the logo. The result, in which Mr Maestre was personally involved, can only be classified as a success since, even today, it is very similar to the original design.
In 1999, blue was introduced as the corporate color. It represents the creativity, confidence and effectiveness of our distinguished skills, patent in the solutions we provide for our customers.
In 2012, the spacing between the letters was given more balance.
The result was a brand with a strong personality, known worldwide and with which thousands of people work as part of a common corporate culture.
Together with the design, the brand has been the company's most valuable intangible asset. And that asset has evolved with its strategic vision, strengthening its position and expanding its values.
Today, the FERMAX brand is a world reference in the video door entry systems sector.
In the past, the brand has been associated with a claim message that supports, defines and reinforces its very value. The message used with the brand in each stage has been linked to a specific situation or moment, from the original “Fermax Video door entry systems” to today’s “Building communications”.
In the beginning, the brand was not what it is now, in the same way that the intercommunication market was also different. The brand started to earn itself a reputation and the best way for it to do that was by highlighting the company’s values as leader. Back then, Fermax was already the Top Intercommunication Company in Spain and that status had to be exploited.
Fermax began to export its products and showed itself as a true pioneer in its sector.
The brand grew on the international market and the company created a large distribution network. The company started to announce who its target customers were and what it had to offer.
In 1999, the year of its 50th anniversary, Fermax began to sponsor its own regatta team. The idea behind the sponsorship was to transmit its corporate values.
Today, Fermax is moving towards new goals, advertising not what it does, but rather what it provides to society. It has turned its “Video door entry systems” into “Building Communications” to increase communication solutions in residential buildings with cutting-edge technology.
Today, 66 years after it all began, the brand is possibly the company's largest asset. Fermax has been the unquestionable leader in Spain for more than 20 years. It is recognized as the third-largest brand in the sector in Europe, sixth in the People’s Republic of China, member of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum since 2008 and winner of ESADE's Centro de la Marca Award 2010.