Following four years of record-setting sales growth, Sepro Group has announced a three-phase, €11 million expansion plan. In France, the automation company plans to increase production capacity at its headquarters facility in La Roche-sur-Yon and launch a new global training facility nearby. In the United States, Sepro plans to add large-robot assembly capabilities to the systems integration and service operations already in place at the Pittsburgh, PA, plant.
|The headquarters in France will expand to nearly 20,000 square meters.|
The largest maker of robots in France, Sepro 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,” said Jean Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group.
The expansion of Sepro Group’s corporate headquarters in France from its current 13,000 to nearly 20,000 square meters will take place over the next months into the summer of 2018. A key element of the expansion, said Sepro, is separating robot manufacturing from robot integration workflow. This change, together with added space, will increase production capacity for the company’s 3-, 5- and 6-axis robots from 3,000 to 5,000 units annually.
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 to North American 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 to 2,000 square meters.
The second phase of Sepro’s expansion in France will relocate its training center from the current headquarters site to a new 800-square-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. The center will house some 25 robots, including 3-, 5-, and 6-axis robots from Sepro, Sepro-Stäubli, and Sepro-Yaskawa. The company currently has training centers in Oyonnax, France; Dietzenbach, Germany; Pittsburgh; and near Chicago.