A Brief History of BEKA

Display instrumentation for use in hazardous and safe areas

BEKA associates was founded in 1983 by Chris and Jenny Burkitt to provide a design and consultancy service for intrinsically safe products. Initially operating from a single room in their North Hertfordshire village home, BEKA was incorporated as a limited company in September 1984.

BA303B first product
BA303B first product

The first BEKA product, an intrinsically safe loop powered indicator featuring low voltage drop and simple apparatus terminals, was launched in 1984, gradually followed by other panel and field models with international certifications.

When in 1987 the company outgrew its domestic village premises a Coach House was rented in the nearby market town of Hitchin and in 1993 the Midland Bank building in Hitchin was purchased. The building, which is in a conservation area close to Hitchin Priory and historic Tilehouse Street, was refurbished and further extended in 2010. It now houses more than 40 sales, production and design staff.

BEKA associates is an independent company owned by its directors, which retains its original objectives to provide reliable, cost effective instrumentation quickly.  Since 2020 Olivier Lebreton has been Managing Director.  Olivier is a chartered engineer with 20 years experience managing design projects for many different applications including, oceanographic equipment, safety critical products and hazardous area instrumentation in France, Canada and the UK. 

BEKA Hitchin factory & offices
BEKA Hitchin factory & offices

Dave Turner, who has been Sales Director since 2009, continues the tradition of friendly worldwide support. Nearly three quarters of our output is exported, mainly via overseas agents who are regularly trained via visits or teleconferencing enabling them to effectively support BEKA products in their area.

Chartered accountant Emma Rookwood joined BEKA in 2011 and was appointed Financial Director in 2013. Emma oversees company finances and is also responsible for human resources including training and apprenticeships.

Product innovation is continuous, in addition to an industry standard range of loop powered indicators for hazardous and safe areas, BEKA manufacture serial text (data) and fieldbus displays, totalisers, counters, beacons and panel lamps all internationally certified for use in hazardous areas.

Pageant Ex ia intrinsically safe operator panel and PLC
Pageant Ex ia intrinsically safe
operator panel and PLC

The most recent new product is 'Pageant' a unique intrinsically safe operator panel and PLC with plug-in input and output modules which can be installed in Zone 1 or 21.