Skip to main content
Industrie — Le 5 October 2017

The foundation of industrial success

The capital of the Alps is home to many industrial leaders: Caterpillar, ARaymond, Radiall and ECM Technologies, among others. A wide array of SMEs support these leaders and operate in niche markets as well. From mechanics to metalworks, plastics processes, automation or electricity, Grenoble unites SMEs and major companies that can evolve and collaborate to meet the demands of tomorrow.

© AdobeStock

Grenoble’s industrial ecosystem is successful in large part thanks to the tight web that connects corporations, major companies and SMEs. Whereas SMEs might have suffered from dependent relationships in the past, they have learned to develop and diversify their markets in order to control their growth and ensure sustainability.

Caterpillar: an industrial powerhouse

Caterpillar, poids lourd de l'industrie grenobloise.
Caterpillar, poids lourd de l'industrie grenobloise. ©DR

Caterpillar is the leading employer in the industrial sector. This American company has been established in Isère since 1961 and currently employs 1,500 people at its research department and factories in Grenoble andEch irolles. The site is the group’s leading production unit in Europe. More than 90% of locally produced machinery is exported (tractors, track loaders, hydraulic excavators, undercarriages, etc.). Among Caterpillar’s 200 factories worldwide, the Grenoble site was recognized for its excellence by earning two industrial performance prizes in 2015 and 2016.

“We always wanted to stand out and above the crowd. The quality of our industrial organization, the continuous modernization of our equipment and the investments in employee training are factors that count much more than our location in Europe or the cost of
manpower,” explains Laurent Rannaz, president of Caterpillar France. As a result, the subsidiary has invested 6.45% of its payroll in training. In 2011, a dedicated training center was created and it has already clocked 14,000 hours of training (including 20% for external companies).

A high-performing, responsive ecosystem

The region has other international leaders su ch as ARaymond. Created in1865, the company specializes in fasteners and assembly systems. With 6,200 employees, the company has diversified to grow in six markets. Another local player, ECM Technologies,
was founded in 1928. As a supplier of high-tech industrial ovens, the company grew from 120 employees in 2012 to 335 current employees . The acquisition of Semco Technologies in 2016 will be the starting point for the company’s international growth in Germany.

Travail des métaux
Travail des métaux © AdobeStock

All of the region’s industrial companies share the same leitmotif as Olivier Six, CEO of CIC Orio and president of the Grenoble CCI commission on industry and company services: “Our industrial environment must represent excellence. This means increasing productivity and fostering continuous improvement and investments. We cannot afford to think a company is OK and therefore can slow down. That’s the best way to lose out!” CIC Orio is a metallurgy specialist that grew from 6 to 150 employees in a little over ten years.

Similarly, the metalworks specialist, Parolai Stil’Eco, reported a 20% increase in revenue for 2017 (revenue 2016: €4.1 million). This growth was made possible thanks to the diversification of its offer. The company works on metal pieces that go from the miniature
to str uctures big enough to carry its clients’ production robots. “Responsiveness, versatility, proximity and investment in work equipment and employees have become our guiding values,” highlights Jérôme Lopez, the company’s director. The company will
soon be expanding to meet growing demand.

A growing industry


Un emballage Weepack
Un emballage Weepack ©DR

Automatique et Industrie shares another perspective on growth. The company offers global automation and energy management solutions for industry and infrastructures. Twentyfive percent of its business is dedicated to exporting automation solutions for
airports. Acquired in 2006 by Pascal Mioche, the company grew from 5 to 80 employees and from a revenue of 700,000 euros to 6.4 million. Quality and a responsive customer service are at the heart of GEM’s success. The company, which is based in Voiron, specializes in screw-cutting and lathing (expected revenue 2017: €5.5 million; 45 employees). “By automating our factory we’re able to compete in markets such as the automobile industry. We train young recruits so they can advance within the company,” says Angélique Jsan, administrative manager.

Gueripel (revenue 2016: €4 million; 35 employees) is specialized in technical tubes. Over the past decade, the company re-oriented its work towards the train, cryogenics and military sectors. “There’s room for companies that want to grow, especially with
complex or technological products,” underlines Alain Lebre, director. Since 2014, thanks to the economic recovery and increasing sales, the company has been growing strongly. In Saint-Marcellin, Weepack (revenue 2016: €3.1 million; 22 employees) offers specialized packaging made from foam, wood and cardboard in order to protect many products in the electronics, electrical, aeronautics and watch industries. The company’s research department is recognized for its know-how. “Since the recovery in
2010, we have focused on five pillars: technique, sales, finance, HR and sustainable development. We recently invested in a 2,000 m2 logistics warehouse in Saint-Egrève to help boost our customer service,” explains Jacques Grégoire.


Add new comment

The comment language code.
Votre commentaire
Text format

HTML restreint

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang class title aria-label> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> <span class> <div class>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Email html

Please enter your email address
Please enter your name
Cette question sert à vérifier si vous êtes un visiteur humain ou non afin d'éviter les soumissions de pourriel (spam) automatisées.
Leave this field blank

A lire aussi



Abonnez-vous à nos newsletters S'abonner