Electronic Diodes Beam Lumex into Annual 20% Growth Rate
Comerford, Mike, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Mike Comerford Daily Herald Business Writer
Name: Harold Anagnos
Business: Lumex Opto/Components Inc., Palatine
Revenues: $50 million
Philosophy: "Business-to-business marketing is a subtle specialty you have to develop, but we've been successful."
Parts that emit and sense visible or near infra-red light may not seem like a sexy topic, but that someone would not be Harold Anagnos, founder and head of the Palatine-based Lumex Opto/Components Inc.
Producing and selling customized tiny electronic diodes, called LEDs, Anagnos considers diodes to be his firm's bright lights of success. The firm's success can be measured by its 20 percent annual growth rate since 1985, its $50 million in annual revenue and a recent award from KPMG Peat Marwick for being one of Illinois' top high-tech firms.
The firm is doing so well that Anagnos said the privately held firm is shopping around the world for another high-tech company to help it expand its business both here and abroad. As chairman of the Midwest chapter of the American Electronic Association, he is bullish on the ability of Chicago-area firms to compete internationally in the field of electronic components.
"We're an engineering company that specializes in selling solutions, and because we are smaller than the huge electronic firms, we are more flexible," said Anagnos, referring to competitors such as Hewlett Packard and Panasonic. "We've been successful at marketing and innovation. We are constantly designing new products and solutions."
Electronic diodes are used in a variety of products including grocery-store coupon readers, street lamps, surgical equipment, vending machines, airport signs, television clickers and other items that require an electric light as an indicator or an infra-red light as a sensor.
"We've used Lumex for about three years now," said Karen Faltz, director of Oswego-based Westell Inc. "We needed them to customize LED-holders for us so we could use them in any series we wanted. That kind of flexibility is hard to find with larger manufacturers."
Lumex claims to have served 2,000 customers, including Siemens, AT&T, Motorola and IBM. …