Asking Santa for the means to grow
Although the company could rely on large accounts and satisfied customers, the potential for developing collaboration was close to zero. “We had to target large industries that had not yet concentrated their suppliers as much as the automotive or aeronautical sectors. By 2017, it was clear we had to master the metal transformation value chain, and expand through organic and external growth. However, in our business assets generate turnover,” de Tellier explains.
So, an investment plan was drafted with help from the entire company. “I asked them to write a letter to Santa”, de Tellier recalls with a smile. Team members took accurate inventory of the company’s hardware deficiencies, and came up with a “wish list” worth 5 million euros – reduced to 3.8 million euros in three years by taking priorities into account.
Taking the first step with a Prima Power laser machine
The first investment had to be an automated laser-cutting machine with a mixed load palletizing tower – but picking the right manufacturer was key, and Arc Industries’ needs and objectives were quite broad until they met Guy Solmini, Sales Manager at Prima Power France: “Before selling us anything, Prima Power was interested in our production and processes. Guy encouraged us to go further on automation in order to move forward faster,” says de Tellier.
Arc Industries also needed a specific maintenance contract that could combine fast intervention and controlled costs: “Romain had a tall order, and we learned a lot from this exchange. We worked both with the customer and with our management, to do something we had never done before. In the end, this made us a leader in terms of maintenance and has become a selling point for us,” admits Christophe Berquet, Sales Director of Prima Power France.
De Tellier also went on company visits to see different machines in operation. Soon, “Prima Power stood out. We observed performances with different thicknesses and tested their software to make sure it could unfold a complex structure.”
Finally, Arc Industries invested in a 4-kW Prima Power Platino Fiber laser machine with LST sorting and stacking robot, able to handle thicknesses up to 25 mm for steel and 15 mm for stainless steel, with cameras for remote control and a nine-drawer Compact Tower storage – with two drawers for skeletons – which can operate at night, for a total of almost 3,000 hours/year.