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VIATEMIS today History The 50 years of the main switch



From 1955 to 2005, discover the history of our main switches through many documents: commercial sheets, drawings, patents…

1955 1965 1975 1985 1995



At the beginning of the 50's, René POINTOUT, manager of a small company of electricity for vehicles since 1932 (OMNIUM ELECTROMECANIQUE, OEM), is pointing out the growing importance of the batteries in trucks. He focuses its activities in the manufacture of safety devices, allowing the electrical circuits cutting off in a truck: the main switch.

He registers his first patent "battery switch for vehicles" in 1955. His manufacture is totally rebuilt in order to make competitive his innovative products. The manufacturing process is improved, new tools are created, assembly lines are installed, place and time are saved. The products are marked "PTT" for POINTOUT. New contacts with the truck constructors are established and the relationship gets quickly excellent. A technical department is implemented in order to satisfy the constructors' demands as for example WILLEME, BERLIET, SAVIEM …

In 1964, OEM becomes SO.DE.REP; products are known under the name "SODEREP".

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SODEREP has quickly enlarged its range of main switches in order to meet a maximum of customer needs:
single or double pole, with or without auxiliary contacts, with or without pneumatic control, with or without protection rubber…

In 1967 and 1970, René POINTOUT registers improvements to his first patent, by adding the auxiliary circuit cut off function, and then by changing the whole design and operating means of the main switch: the lever is replaced by a red rotary handle. It is now easy to recognize the SODEREP main switches.

In 1974, the growing activity allows the company to separate its activities: ECANS is created for the design and the sales of the electrical products when SODEREP is in charge of the pneumatic products. The SODEREP-ECANS "group" is born.

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From the application of the agreement on the transport of dangerous goods by road (ADR) in 1968, the trucks specialized in this transport type have to be fitted with special equipments insuring security and safety.

This agreement is modified in 1975, and according to this specification, SODEREP develops a new product range and register a new patent for a special ADR battery main switch.

In 1980, this ADR range is growing with the development of a 3 positions double pole main switch. This device allows keeping available the truck lights switching on when the main circuit is cut off.
In 1984, electronic and electro-magnetic functions appear in the ADR main switches, a patent is registered for a "electromagnetic main switch with electronic control".

Soderep-Ecans is now supplying all sectors: commercial vehicles, construction equipment, coaches, busses, marine, agricultural, handling equipment…

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To modernize the plant, the first CAMM is implemented in 1987: management of production, stocks, deliveries, invoices. All steps are improved in order to better satisfy the customer.

SODEREP wants to focus on its European presence and systematically extends its patents in Europe and sometimes internationally.
The company faces increasing orders and a larger production space need. Only 3 months after the moving of the plant in 1991, the production is ready to start again.

In 1992, the company is remarked for its European leadership and the managing board of the company is invited to participate to a French TV Show known as "Europe 92".

In 1993, this European leadership is growing with the purchase of a competitor: the Spanish firm ELECTROMECANICA CORMAR joins the SODEREP-ECANS Group.

The managing board reorganizes the main activities into 2 entities in 1994: SODECANS DISTRIBUTION is created for the distribution, known under the trademark VIPRO™, when SODEREP and ECANS are merging to become SODEREP-ECANS SA, in charge of the OE parts.

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is an important year for the company and all its partners. After some months of preparation, SODEREP-ECANS gets its first ISO9001 qualification. The company is the 12th of the region Auvergne to be certified.

In 1999, the plant doubles its surface and reinforces its departments: production, technical, sales.

During these 10 last years, the truck market has changed: more comfort, more security, more combinations of functions, more electronic embedded equipments, new materials for environmental respect, lighter but more resistant.

New patents are registered to meet these requirements:
- a reduced size main switch: easier to operate, lighter and adapted to all hands, even to women ones!
- a bi-stable main switch, which can be associated to many auxiliary functions, mechanical, electrical or electronic, this new generation of main switch/relay is adapted and adaptable to meet all needs.

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