The 2011/11/25 at 09:42
Energy, aeronautics, construction, the nuclear industry… The savoir-faire of Saint-Gobain Seva spreads to a range of sectors. As a 100 % subsidiary of Saint-Gobain Pont-à-Mousson, the company’s prime mission is to be an internal supplier for the group – which represents almost 75 % of its turnover – in its domains of competence. “Having as a main client the group to which one belongs is a strange configuration. As a result, we are subject to a very high degree of rigour,” says Christophe Regnault, Chairman of the company.
The offer of Saint-Gobain Seva is characterised by its diversity. Metallurgy and mechanics are key poles of development. The company also designs industrial equipment as well as sophisticated tools that for example may be used for the manufacturing of fibreglass or mineral wool. Another important domain is equipment for construction and housing, for example door-closers from the Sevax brand, allowing doors to be opened and closed in stores and hospitals, or motorised sliding door systems.
Clients of the company are located in many countries all over the world. Its turnover comes to 60 million euros and is 70 % based on export. “We deliver to China, Thailand, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and Europe, whether to neighbours of France or to Eastern European countries. The offer is also exported to the African continent,” explains the Chairman. The activity of Saint-Gobain Seva is completely in line with the group’s housing strategy, supported by three poles of activity. These encompass a Construction Product pole made up of piping (Pont-à-Mousson), insulation (Isover), façade rendering (Weber) and sheetrock (Placoplatre, Gyproc); an Innovative Materials pole including glazing, ceramics, abrasives and other advanced materials; finally a Distribution pole organised around brands such as Point P and Lapeyre in France.
R&D activities are at the heart of the company’s missions. “We carry out applied research by relying on fundamental competences inside or outside of the group, via laboratories with which we collaborate. Our staff includes 300 persons, 20 % of whom are managers and 40 % technicians. Most of our teams work to develop new solutions or improved solutions,” specifies Christophe Regnault.
The fact that so much talent is gathered together allows innovation to be permanently generated. “For example, we have set up a cutting-edge technology, “hyperquenching”, that consists of cooling metal at the speed of 1 million degrees Celsius per second,” illustrates the Chairman. In the field of metallurgy, the company has developed ties with numerous research laboratories in France as well as overseas (Japan, Russia…). The company also has its own metallurgical laboratory and a team of engineers specialised in this domain. Competitiveness is above all based on innovation and the production of new solutions. The company will shortly be releasing on the market a motorised sliding door for private housing. Solutions of this type are appreciated as much for their reliability as for their simplicity of use. “There’s no need to knock down a wall for repairs or to install it. The client can even also install the product himself without any particular knowledge,” specifies Christophe Regnault.
Finally, in the interests of meeting all the expectations of its clients, Saint-Gobain Seva carries out energy diagnostics. The company is chiefly launching itself in the area of carbon assessments, for “it has become essential to integrate the energy savings dimension in various products,” insists the Chairman. In the future, the company wishes to continue its continual technology watch and extend its influence overseas. “Depending on the international economic context and namely the health of real estate, the share of different countries will vary in our turnover. Asia has interesting potential, but also South America which is sometimes less in the spotlight,” he continues.