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The future of automated manufacturing


E.R.I. develops, manufactures and markets custom-engineered, automated production and assembly lines for diverse industrial applications. The name stands for Etude Réalisation Industrielle, or Industrial Design and Fabrication.

Based in Romans-sur-Isère in southeastern France, E.R.I. has a sales office in Paris, employs a total of 50 people and turns over ten million EUR.

“We adapt the whole process, from the initial idea to design and manufacturing through to turnkey installation,” says Operations Director Olivier Guyon. “A project takes between six and twelve months and also includes operator training at the customer’s premises. We cover the complete value chain, with the exception of maintenance services.”

As a pioneer in automation solutions, focused on new technology development as one of its core activities, E.R.I. has just presented a revolutionary, new technology based on the use of magnetic force.

This novel manufacturing technology is not only uniquely fast but also highly precise, with tolerances of less than 20 μm. E.R.I. is currently testing its magnet-based assembly technology in a project with a major customer from the pharmaceutical sector.

“This technology has the potential to change the whole industry and become the new standard,” states Mr. Guyon. “It uses 180 linear servo motors capable of moving workpieces with a maximum weight of 5 kg and is controlled via iPad.”

E.R.I. supplies its automated manufacturing solutions to a wide range of customer markets, including power generation, pharmaceuticals, utilities, consumer goods, food and automotive.

Exports to customers in Europe, the USA, North Africa and Asia account for around 40% of turnover. The global success of the French mechanical engineering business can primarily be attributed to its ability to innovate and focus on new technology development.

“We started with our new magnet technology three years ago and have constantly refined it to achieve new levels of speed and precision,” explains Mr. Guyon. “Now it is ready for the market and will change the future of automated manufacturing. E.R.I. is determined to further enhance its magnet-based assembly technology to enable real-time data processing and storage and thus to provide a complete traceability chain. We are entering the era of industry 4.0. Today, the raw material input is recorded and the finished product output, but not the individual processing steps in between,” states Mr. Guyon. “Our technology will support this in the very near future. Every step in the manufacturing process will then be available, stored and retrievable for many years. This new technology will allow us to develop new target markets and customer segments.”

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