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AV Stumpfl

Debi Moen • Company 411May 2021 • May 7, 2021

AV Stumpfl’s Monoblox system, introduced in 2000, has become the de facto standard in mobile projection screens and is the most popular item in the U.S. market.

Topping the Mobile AV Market By Design

It was by design that AV Stumpfl rose to the top of the rental and staging market over the past 40-plus years. By that, we mean the actual design of its mobile AV projection screens and frames, accessories, and now, media servers.

Think back to that last production load-in or load-out for a concert, trade show or corporate event. Perhaps you’ve seen a single person easily setting up or dismantling the large projection screen with no tools in sight, rolling the screen into its specially constructed compact case to roll onto the truck just minutes later. That is an AV Stumpfl product in action, carrying out the company’s design philosophy to give the end-user short set-up times, reduced maintenance, more mobility, lighter weight, and limited overall operating costs. The design even extends to the product packaging, which is compact and portable for easy transport.

Reinhold Stumpfl, founder of the Austrian AV technology company, first started tinkering with electronics back in the 1960s. A teenager then, he built loudspeakers, amplifiers and other gadgets at home. He enrolled at Graz University of Technology in 1970 to further his studies. But the catalyst for his career came from an extra-curricular activity. When he joined the Austrian Alpine Association, a prominent mountaineering group, members asked the electronics wiz to develop an “image blending device” for their slide show projectors.

As demand for his device grew, Reinhold met his future wife Ulli, who assisted him with the accounting side of his new business. Before long, customers asked for projection screens as well. After getting married, the Stumpfls began to construct and build their own screens — the predecessor of today’s modular Vario-system.

‡‡         Company Milestones

There were milestones along the way.

  • In the 1980s, AV Stumpfl became a household name in German-speaking countries, and by the 1990s, it was known in countries beyond.
  • In 2000, they built their first “proper” company headquarters in Wallern, Austria, and introduced the Monoblox System at U.S. trade shows, which became the de facto standard in mobile projection screens.
  • By 2004, slide show projectors gave way to digital projection, leading to the development of Wings software for professional system integration.
  • In 2008, AV Stumpfl’s own quest to improve their trade show presentations led to the development of the Fullwhite system, which offers sleek framing hidden behind the edgeless screen material.
  • In 2012, VarioClip premiered as the first projection screen system using hooks rather than snap buttons.
  • In 2014, the Fullwhite Curve set new standards in show presentation.
  • In 2018-2019, the T32-Shift and AT64-Shift offered an easy way to adjust a mobile screen’s height.

Over all these years, AV Stumpfl remained a family business, with Reinhold’s sons Tobias and Fabian sharing duties as joint CEOs.

‡‡         U.S. Office Opens for Faster Service

By 2018, the company’s tremendous growth in the U.S. needed attention. AV Stumpfl established an office in Atlanta, GA to offer the full line of its products, including direct support, repairs and sales consultation services.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the service and support we provide to all of our customers,” says Todd Liedahl, managing director for the U.S. “Upon opening a U.S. office with a direct link to our production facility and team in Austria, we could ensure support for a fully trained U.S.-based team on all of our product lines.”

The U.S. offered a path to new markets as well. “AV Stumpfl had been very successful with our line of projection screens in the rental and staging market; however, we saw great opportunity to expand into various integration markets as well as introduce our new media server platform, Pixera, to the U.S.”

Atlanta was chosen with shipping logistics being “critically important,” Liedahl says. “As all of our products are made in Austria at our production facility, being near a major port is of significant benefit. Atlanta also provides us the ability to deliver our products quickly to our customers, in most cases between one to four days.”

The inventory is stocked with AV Stumpfl’s most popular products, Liedahl notes. “One of the benefits of being a subsidiary of AV Stumpfl is our ability to stock large quantities of our complete line of Monoblox screens as well as all popular sizes of Vario and Fullwhite systems. We understand that many customers are making purchasing decisions based on immediate need. Our ability to provide solutions for our customers quickly, often shipping the same day, is critical to our customers’ success — now more than ever.”

During the pandemic, the company saw a “significant decrease” in sales of projection screens in the market. But the managing director views this as temporary. “We believe that there now is an even greater hunger for traditional live events of all kinds and that screens sales in the U.S. will bounce back in record time,” he predicts.

And AV Stumpfl has kept busy preparing for the bounce-back. “We have used the time to build up our inventory in the U.S. as well as focus on efficiencies in our processes,” he explains. “At the same time, we have seen growth in the integration markets in both projection screens and Pixera media servers.”

The new AT64-Shift legs make it possible to easily adjust a large mobile projection screen’s height without having to disassemble it first.

‡‡         Popular and New Products

Customer feedback has led to many of AV Stumpfl’s creations, which has then led to a long list of awards. While the products solved the user’s needs, Liedahl maintains that each innovation is further successful because of its quality, sturdiness and reliability. “Simply put, they hold up night after night,” Liedahl says. “That, coupled with our superior projection surfaces, offers the best option in all mobile applications.”

The most popular line in the U.S. for more than 20 years is the Monoblox mobile projection system, available in various sizes and aspect ratios. Its foldable aluminum frame, lowest total cost of ownership, manufacturing precision, best picture quality and intuitive operation are its key features, Liedahl notes.

The modular VarioLock 64 system continues to be popular for very large format and custom aspect ratio screens. This system is based on the Vario, which was their original mobile projection screen featuring a modular structure. The company built its reputation on this product. This product has continuously been improved and will keep its place in the international rental and staging industry in the future, especially for custom sizes or long-term set ups.

“We are also happy to see our borderless Fullwhite modular systems growing in popularity in both the rental and staging as well as integration markets,” Liedahl adds.

The newest game-changer would be the AT64-Shift legs. “This is worth taking a look at,” Liedahl says. To watch a video showing how it works, go to plsn.me/AVS-video.

“These truly revolutionary screen system legs make it possible to easily adjust a large mobile projection screen’s height, without having to disassemble it first,” Liedahl says. “Assembling a large mobile projection screen system takes only a few minutes this way, and adjusting its height only takes a few seconds.

“Our next-gen Pixera media server system, which includes control, multi display and 3D mapping software, is becoming more popular in the U.S. as we speak,” Liedahl continues. “We are expecting even more interest in the near future, due to our latest developments in the realms of virtual production setups and professional show control in particular.”

For now, like always, AV Stumpfl focuses on meeting its customers’ needs. “We will work with our customers to ensure we continue to adapt to their needs as we all come out of the other side of the pandemic,” Liedahl says. “As we look beyond the recovery, we will continue to look for ways to improve upon our existing systems while ensuring our current line remains relevant.”

For more information, visit www.avstumpfl.com.

 

 

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