Essemtec France has been operational since the beginning of 2011 and will be technically and administratively independent from Essemtec Switzerland by the third quarter this year. Adrian Schärli spoke with Georges Bouvier, Business Manager, about the reasons for founding Essemtec France, his targets and the future vision.
Georges Bouvier, why has Essemtec founded a subsidiary in France and split from the previous representative?
The drivers were to get closer to customers and to improve marketing. Essemtec's product portfolio has grown remarkably. In the past, it was only supplying SMD placement machines for prototyping small batch manufacturing. But today, Essemtec builds machines that reach speeds of more than 20,000 components per hour. There are new printers, reflow ovens, dispensing machines, storage systems and more. Essemtec is serving a much larger and broader customer range than before. It also serves different customer types.
And this requires more closeness to the customer?
Exactly. Knowhow transfer is important, as is quick reaction and competence. One problem of Essemtec's representative in France was that it could not identify with the Essemtec brand.
A distributor deals with products of multiple brands; it does not want to focus on just one. There was even a competitive situation internally with the newest machines from Essemtec. After Essemtec had established good rapport with its own subsidiaries in other countries, it was a logical decision to do the same in France.
So your task is to focus on Essemtec and improve the brand recognition?
Correct, this is our task. We want to do this independently of the mother company.
What do you mean by this?
We want to be independent regarding sales, support and administration so that customers can rely fully on us. Currently, we still need some support from Essemtec Switzerland, but by the third quarter we will be ready regarding staff and infrastructure. This will give us more flexibility and faster reaction times.
How do you see the market?
Essemtec's products are innovative and an ideal fit for the French market. There are many companies building prototypes or requiring high flexibility for small series production. Essemtec has offered such solutions since it was founded in 1991, but for many years Essemtec also has offered turnkey solutions for series production. These are most interesting for customers in France and Northern Africa.
Many of our customers have production branches there, e.g. in Tunesia. Therefore, it is logical and important that Essemtec France also looks after this market and makes the Essemtec brand known in this region.
The Cien Exhibition in Paris is taking place in May 2011. Will you be there, too?
Yes, we will represent Essemtec in Hall 4, and will exhibit many of its products, including the Cobra.
What is the Cobra?
It is the newest SMD pick-and-place machine from Essemtec, the most modern machine in the world. It features a great design, uses linear motors and carbon fibre parts, and has eight pick-and-place axes and 240 intelligent feeders. It is highly flexible but also very fast. Materials and technology are from the latest available. Additionally, the machine is operates using ePlace software.
You are becoming more enthusiastic as you describe the system.
The Cobra really is a great machine, and I am enthusiastic about it. I can only invite everybody to visit us in Paris and experience the Cobra themselves. I am sure that our visitors will be as delighted as I am.
The Swiss machine manufacturer Essemtec is a market leader in manufacturing flexible production systems for industrial users. Essemtec has been developing, manufacturing and marketing equipment and machines for all processes in the electronics industry since 1991: printers, dispensers, pick-and-place and soldering systems. Manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic systems are available. The range of products also includes transportation and storage systems, as well as software solutions for planning, simulation optimization and documentation of manufacturing. All Essemtec systems are optimized for maximum flexibility. Users can switch from one product to another quickly, making maximum use of available production capacity. Essemtec - Be more flexible.