6 months ago



EVENT FOCUS EQUIPSON OPEN DAY TPi’s Stew Hume was invited to Equipson to take a closer look at some of the latest products at its Valencia HQ, and what’s in store for 2018... TPi’s guide for the day was Juan José Vila, COO and CMO of Equipson. Joining his father’s business back in 2002, Vila has been focussed on the company’s R&D department, while his father, José Luis Vila, still oversees the direction of the company as CEO. “In the early days, when my father started Equipson, we were very much a distributor,” began the younger Vila. “I then joined the company 6 or 7 years later and began to create a team to focus on the R&D department. We were already a leading distribution company so we had the client base and the industry knowledge to start producing our own products.” Following a few years of research, the company released its first line of products including the Digiline Series, BlueLine Digital and the IC 6 PRO under the company’s WORK PRO banner. Although Equipson’s range of products are usually associated with the install market, some of its latest offerings seem to signal a change for the Spanish company. Enter the LightShark, a new range of hardware lighting consoles. “About 2.5 years ago, the Equipson team gathered around the table to discuss the possibility of creating a lighting control surface,” said Vila. “We wanted to design a system that would combine the versatility of the software solutions with the ergonomics, built-in interfacing, and physical usability of a hardware console. On the whole you can split lighting consoles into 3 categories - a classic console, a wing and computer set up, and the dongle and computer combo. Each of these options has their advantages and disadvantages. A console may be too expensive for a particular project and using a computer puts you at the mercy of software updates.” It’s here that Equipson hopes its new solution will offer a fourth option for the market. The LightShark is the first ever DMX-based hardware lighting console range to offer wireless, browser-based control from a multi-touch smartphone or tablet, with support for up to 3 connected devices simultaneously. The range sets a new standard for features and usability at its price point. The LightShark range comprises of 2 independent products, the LS-Core and the LS-1 console, both developed and designed entirely within WORK PRO’s lighting division. The LS-1 brings together the best features from the world of innovative software-only lighting control and marries them to an intuitive, ergonomic hardware control surface. The LS- Core omits the LS-1’s hardware control surface but offers exactly the same lighting control software, processing power, and smartphone or tabletbased software control interface. Alongside all of the features users expect from a modern, fully featured lighting control system, LightShark offers intuitive control over a total of 8 512-channel DMX Universes, plus built-in support for an ever-growing library of lighting fixtures. Because the LightShark control software runs on the console itself, and the Wi-Fi-connected tablet or smartphone is merely controlling it via a simple web browser, the control software is fast and responsive, as well as offering the benefits of real-time, multi-touch control. The console was first shown last year in Las Vegas at LDI and certainly made an impression. “We were really pleased with the feedback we had from the trade show last year,” stated Vila. “Since then we have been inundated with interest and hopefully will see the LightShark in various places throughout 2018. We have also got more plans for the console, which we will showcase at this year’s Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt.” During TPi’s Equipson visit, Vila also demonstrated another new release for the company. “Audio has always been an important side to our business,” commented Vila. “Last year we employed Joan La Roda who now heads up our electro acoustic department. Since joining he completed our first line array, Arion Series, and control system - a project we have had in the pipeline for some time.” The SL 210 A is the latest addition to WORK PRO’s Arion Series. A new, self-powered 2-way line array, the SL 210 A features remote monitoring, fully developed by WORK PRO’s in-house audio engineering department. The system features 2 10-inch FAITAL transducers and an 11.46-inch voicecoil in a bass reflex enclosure. The 2 low pass cut-off frequencies in the loudspeakers contribute to an even horizontal directivity. The high frequencies are reproduced by a 1.4-inch exit BEYMA compression driver that features a polymer PM-4 membrane, which brings a more natural sound when compared to other materials commonly used on the market. The SL 210 A can suit the requirements of different configurations 14

EQUIPSON OPEN DAY Below: Lightshark Product Manager, Alejo Cervera; Joan La Roda, Equipson’s Senior Loudspeaker Designer in the company’s anechoic chamber; Equipson’s CEO José Luis Vila and COO/CMO Juan José Vila. thanks to its powerful built-in DSP. Each unit can be set manually via its interface and controls placed at the rear part of the enclosure, which allows for the user to navigate through the menu and the different parameters of the system. As well as surveying some of the latest offerings for Equipson, TPi also had a chance to meet some of the R&D team that were responsible for the creations of Equipson’s products. Lead by General R&D Manager, Olegario Perez, the team located on the top floor of the of the HQ diligently troubleshoots all products prior to release as well as creating prototype components for all its products with the company’s 3D printer. Prior to leaving Valencia, Vila talked TPi through one the other major parts of the Equipson Group, WORK PRO Lifters. “For the last 20 years we have been producing some of the highest quality lifters within the industry. The brand has now recognised around the world as a high quality product.” However, the company almost became a victim of its own success and saw a sudden, huge demand for its products. “We knew we needed to expand the business,” commented Vila. “This coincided with an opportunity to buy out another Valencia-based lifter manufacturer, Fantek back in 2015.” Since the purchase, as well as taking on all the experienced Fantek staff, Equipson has also implemented a whole technical management team to expand the lifters R&D department. “This was vital as we need such a team to ensure we could take WORK PRO Lifters to the next level. We also wanted to improve the manufacturing process to make it as efficient as possible.” Last September WORK PRO Lifters has moved into a new 4,000sqm warehouse, down the road from the original Equipson HQ. TPi Photos: Equipson and TPi 15