In the first half of the new decade, the circumstances for the federal German electrical industry and their Western neighbours are very different. While military electronics is in demand in France, the disarmed federal republic focusses on the reconstruction of the civil infrastructure. Lorenz acts on its traditional post and government market, but also in the fields of office communication, medical and welding technology. Railway signalling technology, of course, remains a decisive business segment. Since 1949, – first in an association with Krauss-Maffei, then continued alone – it develops and builds relay-based track interlocking systems for Deutsche Bundesbahn. The fist system is delivered to Cologne's public transport system in 1951.
1955 Coastal cooperation
The Bonn–Paris conventions fundamentally change the political situation: The Federal Republic of Germany gets back its share of political power in the state and becomes a member of WEU and NATO. On 12 November, the first volunteers of the Federal Armed Forces are sworn in Bonn. In the same year, plans have been drawn for the construction of new naval vessels. HSA – in which the Philips Group has held a majority interest since 1956 – is involved as supplier for radar and fire control systems for the Köln and Hamburg classes at an early stage. This is the beginning of a decades-long German-Dutch cooperation in naval shipbuilding. In order to logistically support the German facilities, the new Philips subsidiary Radarleit GmbH is founded in 1959 with locations in Kiel and Wilhelmshaven. Another affiliate started up business in Hamburg (later in Bremen). Elektro Spezial GmbH offers radio systems, traffic radars, optronics and ignitors for naval demands.
1955 Radio and television
In 1954, the Pforzheim subsidiary G. Schaub has been integrated into C. Lorenz AG as a common competence centre for consumer electronics. Only one per cent of all households has an own television receiver, but the Festschrift for the 75th anniversary predicts the following: Colour television will stimulate and enrich television broadcasting. The magnetic tape will also bring sound and vision and maybe other services into your home.” The Schaub-Lorenz brand established itself in “West German living rooms”: with radios, tape recorders, cassette tape recorders, loudspeakers and of course television sets.
1956 Victory of the transistor
Scientists understand the properties of semi-conductors better and better. At the turn of the year 1947/48, researchers of the US-American Bell Laboratories presented a functional transistor for the first time. At the same time, a Franco-German team in Paris succeeds in the same development. The new component – still faulty in the beginning – is smaller, lighter and more economical than the currently used electron tube. In 1956, the three American inventors will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Very soon, integrated circuits allow for a further miniaturisation. Semiconductor technology wins the race against the electron tube and pushes the competitor back to niche applications. The era of microelectronics begins – the way for the digital revolution has been paved.
1958 SEL: Rooted in the Southwest
The parent company ITT merges C. Lorenz AG and Standard Elektrik into Standard Elektrik Lorenz AG (SEL). The company from the former German capital of electrical engineering Berlin has by now become a real Baden-Württemberg company with its headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen and locations in Pforzheim and Esslingen. In the following years, it expands its position on the market with its new plants in Rastatt und Mannheim, and the acquisition of Graetz KG.