Machine tools are considered as a strategic sector for developed countries. The 19th and 20th industrialization had impressed the rich countries, of which France, where the engineering culture, professional schools and the industry still exist.
The mutation of the market
A few years ago, France was among the first five global powers, supported by nuclear power and aeronautics. The machine-tools was an integral part of these sectors and was in the top five of the French industrial poles.
The machine-tool sector still exists but the majority of its turnover is dedicated to the manufacturing of special machines. Moreover, the market suffered from the mutations caused by the globalization and mergers and acquisitions. That is how we can count fortnight manufacturers of machine-tools from catalogue on the 313 machine-tools manufacturers (wood, metal). A lot of buyouts and groupings took places the last ten years : Comau France is part of the Fiat group, Forest Liné from the MAG group for example.
The family businesses still remain
But, all are not depending on big groups, Dufieux, for example, 5th in the ranking of the machine-tools manufacturers, is build with private funds. Realmeca, 6th in the ranking, is a family-owned company. A few familial SMI’s develop a building activity on a sales offensive, while remaining closed to the worldwide users’ needs. They have also innovative technological assets while positioning on the global market.
The relief of the French manufacturers is ensured. Staubli is an example. By perfectly answering the industrial demands of machine tools, while positioning on main geographical markets and communicating in a regular manner, manufacturers would recover strength to the French machine tools activity. The difference will come from the man and the know-how to highlight the “Made in France” quality of the machines. Because, only the added value would enable to make the difference.
It is also possible to procure second-hand machine-tools on specialized market. We can find all the big brands for machine-tools as Huron, Berthiez, Cincinnati for example. The price for a used machine-tool can be reduce by half for a very satisfying quality. Besides, marketplaces exist to facilitate the search of used machines and the transaction with the selle