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High precision for a cleaner future

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Joseph MARTIN is following the current scandal over cheat software in Volkswagen diesel vehicles very closely. There are two possible outcomes of the emissions scandal for the French supplier.

“Volkswagen is an important customer for us,” says Managing Director Laurent Martin. “The scandal could mean a drop in orders or it could have the exact opposite effect if Volkswagen is obliged to repair all of the affected vehicles and improve performance in new ones. It could mean major investment in exactly the parts in which we specialise.”

Every year, over 3.5 million new diesel vehicles are fitted with components supplied by Joseph MARTIN. “Our parts are small but vital components in the fluid control systems of both petrol and diesel vehicles, passenger cars and trucks,” says Mr. Martin. “The new regulations in the diesel sector are particularly relevant for us. We work on components that allow vehicles to conform to the latest Euro six and seven standards.”

Joseph MARTIN specialises in bar turning and high precision sub-assemblies ranging in size from 0.5 to 22 mm. It s tooling and mechanical workshops are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art CNC machining centres which are operated by a team of highly experienced technicians. The company has its own research and design department where it can design and build any tools and equipment needed.

“In order to meet the standards of precision and cleanliness demanded by our customers, we have to invest continually in production, assembly and inspection processes,” says Mr. Martin. “It is an ongoing commitment that ensures we can continue to work to the high standards required.” The company’s production is certified according to ISO 14001 and ISO/TS 16949.

The research department is also heavily engaged in development work on technical innovations. “The components we manufacture represent the state-of-the-art in the industry,” insists Mr. Martin. “We have a wealth of experience on which to draw and our machining equipment is the most modern in the market. We are always thinking one step ahead and are already developing solutions that will easily satisfy the lower tolerance limits being introduced.”

This is important work as the Volkswagen scandal will certainly have wider repercussions for the car industry in general and emissions testing in particular. The current system, whether being cheated or not, depends on results obtained under idealised conditions that do not reflect actual driving conditions. From that point of view, all manufacturers have improvements to make.

Joseph MARTIN plays its part in helping car manufacturers improve the efficiency of their vehicles by ensuring the highest levels of quality in surface finishing and accuracy. Joseph MARTIN’s experienced engineers are able to advise clients on a range of aspects influencing the performance of fluid control components from the choice of materials through to decisions regarding the design of sub-assemblies and is thus a valued partner.

“We produce in large series of up to eleven million pieces so it is vital that the components are well-designed from the start,” says Mr. Martin. “From prototypes through to mass production, we optimize the entire value chain.”

The automotive industry accounts for 80% of Joseph MARTIN’s 25 million EUR annual turnover. Thanks to the efficiency of its production, the company is able to compete in a variety of markets and already exports to Turkey, Romania, Poland and China.

“Reducing air pollution is a major driver of growth and innovation at present and this is a market with massive potential for our products,” says Mr. Martin. “We expect this market to grow strongly in future and that exports will grow to 60% of our turnover.”

The company has expanded strongly in recent years with the acquisition of a second production site in Bonneville, just 4 km away from its administrative headquarters in Vougy, in 2011.

The Bonneville site offers 15,000 m² of space and is twice as large as the Vougy site. Joseph MARTIN employs 200 people at its two sites and is aiming to increase turnover to 30 million EUR in 2016.

“We believe in lean management structures and are already implementing Industry 4.0 practices,” says Mr. Martin. “We are also part of a network of external partners, universities and research institutes that is working on bringing new developments to market. We are an active member of this consortium which we see as the key to the continued success of our family business.”

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