Paul Ameloot, inventor and designer of the DeltaMatrix system, reveals all about the start and evolution of the predecessor of the beMatrix frame system. Delta Light, a Belgian family business managed by the second generation, his sons Jan and Peter, has grown into the market leader and trendsetter in architectural lighting – with several brands, partners and subsidiaries in over 120 countries worldwide.
What is the origin of the Delta Matrix product range?
“When we first started, we focused on developing profiles for lighting in stand building and for the event industry. As competition got stronger, I decided in 1989 to sell my hi-fi and stereo shop Stereohouse. I had spotted more potential for growth and margin in selling lighting and systems for presentations at trade fairs and events and I already had quite a bit of experience in manufacturing lighting fittings for local dance halls. That’s how the Delta Line profile came into existence. A nice range, but the actual time it took to build the stands using this profile proved to be too long. I continued my search for a solution that would answer the market’s need: fast assembly, compact design and a system able to integrate panels, products or photos.
The first generation of frames were manufactured in steel. Their weight however was an issue, and spray-painting them was by no means easy. We weren’t capable of spraying in the holes as correct as it needed to be, resulting in complaints later on. So we quickly decided to change to aluminium, solving both problems in one hit.
It soon became clear that our frame system was an innovation in the market, compared to the existing profile manufacturers. No-one had ever launched this kind of system, making us unique in the market!”
Why exactly 62 mm?
“Within Delta Light, we already had some experience in building stands. Every time, we were faced with the stand dimensions of our neighbours, so we needed sufficient flexibility in our own measurements. We definitely had to stay under a 1 meter width and after some calculations, we ended up with a multiple of 62 mm. Should you be the last to build your stand in a row where all the others already set up, you are still left with some margin to install your frames.”
Why the big holes?
“These big holes also were the result of our experience with other stand building profiles and systems, where often stability turned out to be a problem. Thanks to the big holes, beMatrix frames are perfectly stable, using connectors at the top and bottom, as well as tubular profiles with washers in the holes.”
How did Edwin and Stefaan pop up in het Delta Matrix story?
“The growth and follow-up needed within Delta Light, the lighting business within our company, became too big. Since both product types (frames and lighting) are purchased by totally different groups of clientele, I was no longer able to manage everything the way I wanted to. I decided to bring in partners who could help grow and market the frame system further. Plenty of people were interested, but I had most trust in Edwin and Stefaan. First they became partners, then they bought the business.”
How do you look back today on the company’s evolution?
“Delta Matrix went through a positive, but normal evolution curve. The frame system’s USP’s, even after all this time, have remained the same: quick assembly, lightweight, endless reusability, different kinds of infills … It could become nothing but a success! Also in the rental market the system still has loads of potential.”
Would you still make the same choices for Delta Matrix?
“I have been asked that question many a time (laughs), but yes, I would make the same choice again. We aren’t doing too bad with Delta Light, are we? By selling Delta Matrix, I got the opportunity to continue to develop Delta Light in optimal circumstances. As with our lighting systems, for the frame system to be a success you need to constantly focus on innovation, with full commitment.
I am happy Edwin and Stefaan are doing so well and that the system has claimed its place in the world of stand building.
And believe me, they haven’t peaked yet!”