Sepro Group Announces ˆ11 Million Expansion Of Robot Operations in France and U.S.
| Subj: Press-releses
Following four years of record-setting sales growth, Sepro Group is announcing a three-phase, ˆ11 million expansion plan. In France, the plan will increase production capacity at Sepro’s headquarters facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, and launch a new global training facility nearby. In the U.S., the plan will add large-robot assembly capabilities to the systems integration and service operations already in place at the Sepro America operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Today, Sepro is the largest maker of robots in France and also is a leading global supplier of 3-, 5- and 6-axis robots used in the automation of plastics injection molding machines. During the past four years, the company has more than doubled the number of robots sold, from 1,300 in 2012 to more than 2,700 in 2016. All of that growth means one thing: “We have reached the limits of our production capacity and we need to invest,” says Jean Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group.
Expanded production in France
The expansion of Sepro Group’s corporate headquarters and production facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, from its current 13,000 sq meters to nearly 20,000 sq meters, take place over the next months until summer 2018. A key element of the expansion is the plan to separate robot manufacturing from robot integration workflow. This change, together with added space, will increase production capacity for Sepro 3-, 5-, and 6-axis robots from 3,000 to 5,000 units annually.
The facility’s robot integration business units, where Sepro professionals develop custom robotic automation cells, will expand by 50 percent, enabling work teams to complete up to 70 specialized projects annually for clients in Europe. The company operates three other integration centers as well: one at its Sepro America subsidiary for the North American market, one in Germany at the Sepro GmbH subsidiary, and one in China. Offices will also be expanded and, in line with Sepro’s commitment to connecting not only robots and molding machines but also people and ideas, the company will create a dedicated “innovation space” in its headquarters building.
Large robot assembly in North America
In the fourth quarter of 2017, Sepro’s investment plan calls for expansion of the Sepro America facility in Pittsburgh to allow assembly of large robots. Adding assembly capabilities represents the next logical step in growth for the facility, which is already a hub for systems integration and the assembly of complex automation cells in North America. The expansion will help optimize delivery schedules in North America clients, while achieving savings in logistics and transport. The current expansion will support assembly of robots designed for use with injection-molding machines of 800 tons or more that are bound for clients in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. It will more than double the assembly/production area of the facility, increasing it from 900 square meters to 2,000 square meters.
New global training center
The second phase of Sepro’s expansion in France will relocate its training center from the current headquarters site to a new 800-sq-meter facility, in the nearby municipality of La Roche-sur-Yon. The new center, which will include five training rooms with eight full-time trainers will be located within a new open, cooperative campus that is being developed as a regional center of excellence for robotics and manufacturing by the Pays de la Loire region of France and Oryon, a local economic development group. The move is part of a partnership strategy that Sepro has implemented in recent years to create stronger links with local and regional organizations, educational institutions, and technology leaders throughout the world.
Sepro trainers plan to move into the new training center in summer 2018 and begin training up to 1,500 course participants annually, a 50% increase over existing enrollments. The center will house some twenty-five robots, including 3-, 5-, and 6-axis robots from Sepro, Sepro-Stäubli, and Sepro-Yaskawa, and offer trainees a wide variety of hands-on programming experiences. When completed, the new center will be the newest of the company’s training centers, which are also located in Oyonnax (Ain/France), Dietzenbach (Germany), in Pittsburgh and near Chicago (USA). In, addition, and in keeping with Sepro’s global digital strategy, new e-learning and blended-learning services also will be launched in 2018.
Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, having equipped more than 30,000 injection-molding machines, Sepro Group is one of the largest sellers of robots in the world. Its 3-, 5- and 6-axis servo robots, special-purpose units and complete automation systems, are all supported by the Visual control platform developed by Sepro especially for injection molders. This unique controller is a key component in what the company refers to as ‘agile integration’ – a collaborative approach to equipment connectivity and interoperability between the robot and the IMM that can be tailored to exactly suit the specific needs of processors and injection-molding OEMs. For Sepro and its customers and partners, “The Future is Wide Open.”
Source: Sepro Group