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Jotron: Reading the Signals


Jotron was founded in 1967 and was involved in the early stages of building television links to cover the whole of Norway. The geography of high mountains, deep valleys and long fjords made it difficult to receive radio signals in certain areas and was the basis for establishing the company.

In 1968, the Norwegian Government made contact with selected Norwegian companies to see if there was some interest in developing an alarm system for ships in distress along Norway’s long and dangerous coastline. At this time, Emergency Locating Transmitters (ELT) were already used in mandatory aircraft safety equipment worldwide. Jotron recommended the development of a marine ELT, later named Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), and was granted the development contract. The world’s first EPIRB, Tron 1, was tested and approved in 1970. Since then, Jotron has been at the forefront of maritime safety communication.

Across its history, Jotron has made a number of acquisitions, establishing new businesses that have allowed it to develop its product range of intercom systems in close cooperation with customers, such as the Royal Norwegian Navy in 1987. Since 1997, Jotron Phontech has been a member of the Jotron Group, and in April 2012, the company was merged into Jotron AS. The product lines Tron and Phontech are now fundamental in Jotron’s maritime division, and represent 60% of its total activity.

"Stability and innovation is a good combination both for Jotron and for our customers and partners."

Jotron managing director Merete Berdal said: "Our Air Traffic Control (ATC) division represents the remaining 40% and is an area in which we have a long tradition. During early 1970, the Norwegian CAA was planning to replace all the ground-to-air radios in Norwegian airports. With the VHF/AM technology already available in Jotron’s Tron 2, we were granted a development contract with the Norwegian CAA. The first VHF/AM ground-to-air receiver was delivered in 1975. Since then, thousands of ground-to-air radios and remote control systems have been installed worldwide."

In 2012, Jotron made further investment by acquiring Ricochet AS; a business founded in the late 1990s to provide customers with new concept solutions that would bring real value and benefits within the field of ATC recording. Ricochet’s revolutionary product changed the way ATC viewed ‘mission-critical recording’ and elevated the field of recording to a totally new and higher standard. More than 400 recording and replay systems have been supplied worldwide. Jotron has a wide range of customers, ranging from oil companies, ship owners, partners, service providers and systems integrators to civil aviation and national defence authorities.

Merete Berdal added: "Our products and systems are associated with high quality and top performance, and represent state-of-the-art products within the market segments. The fact that we have been in this industry for almost five decades has proven that we are a reliable supplier and our customers know that they can trust us. Stability and innovation is a good combination both for Jotron and for our customers and partners.

Jotron invests approximately 10% of its annual turnover on R&D, as Merete Berdal explains: "We have a large group of highly skilled engineers who are our main asset in this respect. Further, Jotron invests heavily in suitable and efficient facilities and modern equipment. This commitment to development, in combination with our long experience within the field, makes it possible to be at the technological forefront."

"We have a large group of highly skilled engineers who are our main asset in this respect."

Jotron is launching the Tron 40VDR float free capsule and the multi-functional GMDSS VHF handheld radio Tron TR30 GMDSS at the SMM show in Hamburg. Its additional features, switching from general to emergency modes automatically, dependent on fitted battery, highlights Jotron’s commitment to innovating and enhancing GMDSS products.

The Tron TR30 GMDSS handheld VHF radio meets all the requirements of IMO for carriage on SOLAS vessels. Tron TR30 has the ultimate functional design. Every detail has been developed based on user functionality, both in emergency situations and general onboard communications.

Merete Berdal said: "With the new Tron 40VDR float free capsule, we have proved that Jotron is at the forefront of maritime safety technology and products. It is designed according to the latest requirements for VDR performance standards, valid from July 2014."

A VDR system and the recorded data stored in the final recording medium is a vital contribution and helps to identify the cause of any accident for investigators, shipowners and authorities. The Tron 40VDR float free capsule design construction and innovative technology provides a maintenance-friendly product for the shipowner. Tron 40VDR is already supplied to all major manufacturers of VDR systems, all working closely with Jotron to obtain the most reliable solution for recording in a float free capsule. The contracts signed exceed approximately NOK20m and Jotron expects a continued increase of sales in the coming years.

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