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SOCOMORE inaugurates its new site for the manufacturing of preparation solutions and surface protection in Elven (France)

Published on 14 September 2012

On 14 September 2012, SOCOMORE, inaugurated its new factory located in the industrial area, Gohélis in Elven (56).

Socomore has been based in Morbihan (South Britanny) since its creation in 1972, It is an expert in specialised chemical solutions for critical operations such as the preparation and protection of metals and composite materials for the manufacture of means of transport and maintenance. In close proximity to its key aerospace customers, Socomore is now exporting its products used by many aerospace, railway, automotive or industrial manufacturers.

The factory, until now based in Vannes (zone du Prat) was no longer adapted  to meet the international development of the Group : external or stake acquisitions (MagChem in Canada or Dysol and Dynamold in Texas in 2011, BabbCo near Paris in 2012), reinforcement of its partnerships through Aerochemicals , desire to expand into new markets and assist their customers in a sustainable way.  Subject to security regulation regarding the classified sites ICPE (Classified installation for the protection of the environment), the site of Vannes needed investments to keep in total conformance with the security regulations.  Hence, in 2010, the Executive Board decided to relaunch the project of a new site, a project which had been postponed in March 2009 because of the international crisis, awaiting a better visibility for the future markets. Priority was given to securing jobs. Thanks to this careful decision  and thanks to the reinforcement of the partnership with Contec US company for wipes manufacturing, all the jobs were secured and new jobs created.

Conscious of its social, economic and environmental commitments, Socomore has decided to implement its production plant on the Gohélis HQE site (High Environmental Quality) in Elven (15 kms from the headquarters based in Vannes). The company benefits from the most advanced technology in terms of security and environment protection. A dedicated effluent treatment facility for the rinsing water, tanks and inertia of flammable storage, retention tanks in case of damage and still an automatic sprinkler system in case of fire. These measures guarantee the security of the operators, the durability of the production tools and the protection of the environment. The effluent reprocessing is done by evapo-concentration in order to treat water for washing and to release clean water in the rainwater circuits.

This new facility, that represent an investment of 8.5 million euros with a total surface area of  3100 m², allows SOCOMORE to guarantee a production capacity in line with growth perspectives. It is designed to be extremely flexible to meet the current and future needs of our customers: size of the tanks, flexibility and adaptability of production/logistics flows, simple building extension.  Socomore deals with more than 1100 products and must ensure the supply of raw materials, the production and delivery of all finished products within an acceptable time period. On both sites, Prat and Gohélis, 300 000 litres are produced per month and are delivered to more than 40 countries.

Socomore is a SME (small and medium enterprise) whose customers are key aerospace, automotive, railway and nautical manufacturers as well as their sub-contractors or service providers for maintenance.
Since May 2012, half of the company's employees have taken part in the successful transfer of the major part of the logistics and production activities, all carried out in one month. Today, 35 people work in Elven. The industrialization, logistics, quality and "supply chain" departments are organised around the manufacturing workshops to facilitate  communication. The plant can now produce and deliver to all its customers in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and for the most critical product ranges all over the world, with new materials, optimised manufacturing methods and reinforced security procedures for the operators.

The manufacture of the following product ranges has already started in Gohélis:

  • solvents
  • water based cleaners
  • paint strippers
  • deoxidisers/descaling
  • corrosion inhibiting compound (CIC)
  • lubricants
  • temporary protections (TPC)
  • maskants
  • release agents

A few products such as dry or pre-saturated wipe ranges and sol-gel, as well as some specific products, are still being manufactured on the Prat in Vannes, which also includes the R&D teams  (researchers in the  physics of materials, inorganic, organic and electrochemistry) and the functional departments of the Group. Most of the products are approved by the customers to guarantee the conformity of specifications. Together, Socomore and its customers conduct the appropriate methods for product approvals.

The Prat site will eventually be readjusted to meet the increase in activity for the wipes. The site will benefit from substantial investment, namely regarding the clean rooms.

With 89 employees and a turnover of € 20 M, Socomore is the supplier for key industrial actors such Airbus, Alstom, Antonov, Avic, Bénéteau, Boeing, Dassault, EADS, Embraer, Eurocopter, Fiat, PSA, Renault, Safran, SNCF, Sukoï... Socomore is proud to conciliate its international ambitions for its customers with the awareness of the importance of its economic, social and environmental commitment at a regional level. This local link has  permitted Socomore to rely on regional (for the major part) companies for the construction of its new plant. Since its creation, 40 years ago, this spirit is in compliance with the Group's significant values.

Frédéric LESCURE, who is the C.E.O of Socomore  reports that  "it is our ambition to expand our company so that it becomes an industrial and innovative intermediate sized company.
We would like to become globally recognised for our specialty chemicals with high added value, used for critical operations, priority in the aerospace market.

We are striving for a high operational level of excellence and business performance
>    Which will ensure the durability of our group and its financial independence
>    Which will make all the people of the group proud
>    Which will guarantee the attractivity for our customers and future talents
"

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