Lacroix counts on its new Symbiosis factory to establish itself as IoT champion

Lacroix is ​​counting on its new Symbiosis factory to establish itself as an IoT champion

On the occasion of the inauguration of his Symbiosis factory in Maine-et-Loire, Lacroix Group CEO Vincent Bedouin confirmed his willingness to take up the challenges of the IoT.

The inauguration of the Symbiosis factory by Lacroix CEO Vincent Bedouin (left) took place in the presence of Roland Lescure, Delegate Minister of Industry (right). © Celia Garcia-Montero

The IoT was at the center of the inauguration of the new Symbiose de Lacroix factory, Thursday 8 September 2022 in Beaupreau-en-Mauges, in Maine-et-Loire. After the official speeches and the morning site visit, the French equipment manufacturer devoted the afternoon to round tables on the challenges of the IoT: securing the supply of components, the need for massive investments in production plants to the needs of the market and the keys for resizing. Challenges that symbiosis has to face.

The group’s strategy was to automate the electronic component assembly plant as much as possible in order to improve operational performance. The highlight of the site: the component warehouse.

The automated storage tower consists of 6,500 component boxes, managed by seven robots. © Celia Garcia-Montero

Lacroix asked the Lille Exotec start-up to set up automated inventory management for approximately 500,000 million components used in order preparation. A nine-meter-high storage tower contains 6,500 crates of components, managed by the seven robots installed on site. The latter carry the boxes necessary for the operators. “Lacroix is ​​the first player in the sector in France (after Carrefour, Cdiscount or Decathlon in retail) to have an Exotec installation”, explains Eric Meynet, manager of the Symbiosis project, before adding: “Now it takes 5 hours to make products for Ledger when it took 5 days. The robots can manage 180 cash registers per hour. “

A turnover of 100 million euros in 2027

Symbiosis, operational since last February, will therefore aim to increase production. “The IoT is everywhere, in factories, buildings, cities, transport, etc. The needs of the market are colossal”, assures the CEO of the group Vincent Bedouin, who aims to achieve a turnover of 100 million euros. by 2027. The site has a line dedicated to prototypes for electronic design projects. “This design capability will accelerate time-to-market”, assures Vincent Bedouin, who will launch a new eco-design service.

Lacroix will offer its customers a new service related to the security of supply of components. © www.hadrienbrunner.com

A bet that marks the starting point of another initiative: with the IoT Continuum program, offered in collaboration with the manufacturer STMicroelectronics, the operator Orange and the supplier Sierra Wireless, Lacroix is ​​tackling scaling. “I don’t want to see a Proof of concept anymore,” Vincent Bedouin launches during a panel discussion. “These players already have experience, so they save us time in integration”, acknowledges Frédéric Gastaldo, co-founder and CEO of Tiko, a subsidiary of Engie, who has Symbiosis build a device to be installed on electric stoves to control consumption. After leveraging IoT Continuum support, Tiko will implement its solution on a large scale.

The new Symbiosis factory employs 460 people. © Celia Garcia-Montero

Symbiosis is also a resource for Lacroix to participate in the challenges of society. Especially with the inauguration of this plant, Lacroix is ​​positioning itself with regard to the move to France. With natively connected equipment, it is now possible to achieve energy savings of 30% and the objectives of the tertiary decree are achieved. For future projects, the teams are evaluating the possibility of implementing sensors on machines across the plant’s five production lines to perform predictive maintenance and leverage feedback to optimize production resources. Having made Symbiosis a showcase for the French electronics industry, Lacroix intends to face the international market. First step of this phase: Vincent Bedouin announced at the inauguration the appointment of Stéphane Klajzyngier, previously president of the Symbiosis plant, as president of Lacroix in North America.

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