What is SOCOMORE? A responsible chemical company serving industrial markets.
Thank you for sharing the adventures of the past 50 years with us.
The French company SOCOMORE, founded in 1972, has really grown. It is now a global company, with complementary ranges originating from its original core business of surface preparation and treatment. The company grew with its clients and its entire ecosystem. It was this concept incidentally, which guided the entire development of the Group: “Sharing Creates Value”. So, thank you all!
History of SOCOMORE
Created in 1972 by Jean Bossuet, SOCOMORE (‘Socomor’ at the time) was set up in Vannes on a site provided by the then Prefect (a Prefect is a representative of the French State who ensures the correct functioning of local branches of state services), to produce detergents for cleaning the Parisian Metro.
As early as 1974, SOCOMORE started supplying Aérospatiale (now AIRBUS) in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, with solvents for the general cleaning of aeronautic structural parts before assembly (the DIESTONE ranges), and with its temporary protection range. This enabled SOCOMORE to become a significant global player in the sector. At the end of 1998, the company (30 employees) was reinvigorated by the arrival of a new management team directed by Frédéric Lescure, and set its sights first on Europe, then on Asia. Not long after, a North American base was established to supply BOEING and BOMBARDIER, then another in South America for EMBRAER. SOCOMORE grew rapidly thanks to a network of partners throughout the world working together in an alliance called Aerochemicals. Consequently, in 2001, the US company CONTEC and SOCOMORE launched a range of pre-saturated solvent wipes designed to reduce their clients’ environmental impact and to improve working conditions in their workshops. The range was a success, allowing SOCOMORE to finance very heavy investments in order to keep up with its major clients’ increases in production and also to substantially improve industrial safety related to the manufacture of chemical products.
From 2010 onwards, SOCOMORE accelerated its international development, particularly in North America, thanks to the strategic purchase of companies with relevant synergies, in territories which the company wanted to conquer. This international outlook was based on analysis of the aeronautics market which was essentially evolving around four manufacturers: AIRBUS, its original client, BOEING, still essential, BOMBARDIER and EMBRAER who were going from strength to strength. Thanks to the support of investors who believed in its development (Crédit Mutuel Equity, ACE Capital Partners, Raise, BPI France), year after year, SOCOMORE introduced new ranges of complementary products to expand its offering (non-destructive testing, sealant removal, coatings, etc.) and to be a strategic supplier to the aeronautics, rail, automotive, nautical and energy markets. Thanks to its industrial partners and distributors, SOCOMORE expanded far from “base camp” by providing support and solutions to its clients at the most local level.
In 2012, SOCOMORE established a new factory in Elven, France, and strengthened its supply chain; adapting it to serve clients throughout the entire world and to support their development in the long term. In 2020, a new factory was built in Rhome, Texas.
At the same time, SOCOMORE has continued to invest in R&D, in particular by investing in the construction of a new laboratory in Vannes in 2021, in order to be able to offer clients ever more environmentally friendly surface cleaning solutions (DIESTONE A8284, SOCOCLEAN, SOCOGEL, etc.). Its teams work closely with suppliers, research laboratories, universities, and clients in order to develop solutions which meet the future needs of the market, with the “Green” dimension being given increasingly significant consideration. The 2024 environmental objective is to achieve 20% of turnover from “Green Technologies”.
Because SOCOMORE was lucky enough to be able to count on stakeholders who believed and who continue to believe in its projects, the company pays it forward by offering start-ups the possibility of benefiting from their teams’ experience, using their workspaces and their factories... and sometimes even by investing in their company. BreizhLab and SOCOMORE Ventures are a very good example of the SOCOWAY* spirit “Sharing Creates Value”, which drives all the teams.
During the 2020 health crisis, when aeronautic activity was at a standstill, and thanks to local authorities who made production possible in their factories, SOCOMORE supplied hospitals and associations with thousands of liters of disinfectant solution and hydroalcoholic gel. This collaboration was only natural, as since 2010 SOCOMORE has encouraged its employees’ involvement in charitable, humanitarian, cultural etc. associations. We have financed almost €150k of initiatives in these associations, which represents more than €2m over the past 20 years.
This new adventure in the disinfectants market became a permanent fixture with the acquisition at the start of 2021 of the SALVECO laboratory in the Vosges, with a large range of 100% plant-based hygiene, cleaning, and disinfectant products for professional and private use. SALVECO has significantly boosted the SOCOMORE Group’s use of plant-based chemistry; a logical progression of the Group’s approach of using chemistry which has less of an impact on the environment in its traditional markets.
A global team
In 2021, the SOCOMORE Group employed 315 women and men across the globe, in order to serve their clients at the most local level and to provide them with appropriate solutions, thanks to the local teams who understand the on-site challenges. More than any of the other partners who have contributed to its development, all the employees throughout the world have been the pillars of the Group’s development. The agility and adaptability of the teams, organizations, and processes, during periods of significant growth or in times of crisis, ensures that SOCOMORE is always up to the mark, alongside its clients. So, thank you all!
50 years of products
Throughout the last quarter of a century, SOCOMORE has expanded its portfolio of solutions to cover 5 areas
- Surface preparation and treatment
- Functionalized coatings
- Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
- Shims and sealants
- Hygiene and disinfection
Its solutions meet the requirements of very exacting product specifications, in particular when they are for use in critical operations. Its product offering ranges from consumables to airworthy items.
Our greatest strength is our sincere desire to support our clients throughout the world, by adapting to specific local needs. In particular, we meet specific territorial legislative requirements through legislative monitoring. The SOCOMORE teams also support many different types of clients:
- Equipment suppliers,
- Subcontractors (for maintenance),
- Service providers.
SOCOMORE has built up 50 years of high-quality experience and knows how to deal with the issues its clients face. Here are our partners’ main objectives which we provide solutions for:
- Reduction of VOC emissions
- Replacement of CMR products (carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic for reproduction)
- Replacement of Cr(VI) and borates
- Reduction of cycle times and costs
- Elimination of specific contaminants
- Resolution of corrosion or paint adherence problems
- A product for a specific certification
- A product that is compatible with specific materials
- Complete professional solutions, from cleaning to critical operations, with the same supplier
SOCOMORE is a recognized partner. We maintain our clients’ trust in us by creating strong bonds.
*SOCOWAY is SOCOMORE’s CSR policy. To find out more about our Corporate Social Responsibility policy go to this dedicated page.