Interview with Claude Bourget - LACROIX Electronics - Exotec

Interview with Claude Bourget - LACROIX Electronics

March 1, 2024

During our visit to the LACROIX Electronics site, Claude Bourget, Director of the Electronics activity at LACROIX, gave us a long interview, in which he explains in detail the intralogistics challenges of the Group’s new factory, and the implementation of a Skypod® system to meet them. In the demanding context of a complete relocation of LACROIX Electronics’ activities, and therefore deadlines to be met to avoid penalising production.

Hello Claude Bourget, can you tell us about LACROIX’s Electronics business?

Claude Bourget: Electronics is the foundation of our industrial activity. As such, we are involved in the design, industrialisation and production of embedded systems and industrial connected objects.

What is the history of this site, which you recently inaugurated?

C.B: The origins of this site go back more than 40 years, when we started our Electronics business in an old industrial building. We recently moved to the Symbiose plant, a one-of-a-kind facility built in Beaupréau, Maine-et-Loire, marking an important milestone in our history.

What areas of improvement did the Symbiose plant pursue?

C.B : The Symbiose plant is based on three major areas of improvement. Firstly, industrial innovation, with elements such as automation, digitalisation and Lean Manufacturing. Secondly, a strong focus on environmental innovation, with CSR features that are at the cutting edge in France. Finally, a priority on social innovation, aimed at improving the quality of life at work and giving meaning to the day-to-day work of our teams.

Can you tell us how the Exotec® system was incorporated into this project, and the benefits it has had on the ergonomics and reliability of your operations?

C.B: The Exotec project encompasses several aspects, in particular the automation, digitisation and management of our storage. In terms of ergonomics, the Exotec system has considerably improved workstations, reducing operations that had little or no added value for the company, and enabling better use to be made of our teams’ skills. Reliability has also been enhanced thanks to optimised stock management and order preparation, made possible by the precise identification of each part number.

How did the teams get to grips with the Exotec system?

C.B : The Exotec management software proved to be extremely user-friendly, significantly speeding up the training of shop teams compared with previous systems. Its ease of use has been a strong point, enabling operators to integrate quickly and contributing to a rapid resumption of industrial operations after the move.

What concrete results have you seen since the Exotec system was introduced?

C.B: We saw a significant improvement in the reliability of operations from the very first day the system was up and running. The fact that it was installed at the same time as the building was being finished meant that we were able to meet our deadlines and budgets for the move. In addition, the efficient support of Exotec’s Control Centre was a major asset in maintaining and optimising the system when it was commissioned, and since then.

In conclusion, how would you assess the impact of this investment?

C.B : We are very satisfied with the efficiency and reliability of the Exotec system. For us, this investment in a French company, contributing to the relocation of industry in France, was a successful strategic choice. Exotec represents a concrete example of the revival of industry in our country, and we are proud to have contributed to it.

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