Canadian Plastics

Sepro expanding robot operations in France and U.S.

In France, Sepro will increase production capacity at its headquarters facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, and launch a new global training facility nearby. In the U.S., Sepro will add large-robot assembly capabilities to the systems integration and service operations already in place at its operation in Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 23, 2017   Canadian Plastics

On the heels of what it describes as “four years of record-setting sales growth,” France-based robotic automation maker Sepro Group is undertaking a multi-phase, 11 million euro expansion project.

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, Pa.

“During the past four years, we have more than doubled the number of robots sold, from 1,300 in 2012 to more than 2,700 in 2016,” said Jean Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group. “We have reached the limits of our production capacity and we need to invest.”

The expansion of Sepro Group’s corporate headquarters and production facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, from its current 13,000 square meters to nearly 20,000 square meters, will take place beginning within the next few months and last until the summer of  2018. “A key element of the expansion is the plan to separate robot manufacturing from robot integration workflow,” said Jean Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group. “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.”

Artist’s rendering of Sepro Group’s plant expansion at La Roche-sur-Yon, France.

Also, the facility’s robot integration business units, where Sepro professionals develop custom robotic automation cells, will expand by 50 per cent. Offices will also be expanded and the company will create a dedicated “innovation space” in its headquarters building.

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,” Renaudeau said. “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,” Renaudeau said.

The second phase of Sepro’s expansion in France will relocate its training centre from the current headquarters site to a new 800-square-meter facility, in the nearby municipality of La Roche-sur-Yon. The new centre will include five training rooms with eight full-time trainers and will house some twenty-five robots, including 3-, 5-, and 6-axis robots from Sepro, Sepro-Stäubli, and Sepro-Yaskawa.

Artist’s rendering of Sepro’s new training centre at Robotics Campus, La Roche-sur-Yon, France.

Sepro Group is represented in Canada through its Sepro Canada subsidiary, which is headquartered in Montreal.


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