Sourdillon has been supplying components for the gas industry since 1919 and celebrated its centenary this year. With more than 100 years of experience, the company is an undisputed expert for high performance gas burners. Three years ago it was taken over by the Selni Group, a specialist in the manufacture of motors for the white goods sector.
“Sourdillon is a good fit for the Selni Group,” says Selni Group Executive Vice President Yann Genies. “Not only do our products complement the Selni Group’s areas of activity, our international positioning creates synergies for their global expansion strategy.”
While people have cooked over naked flames for centuries, in the 21st century there is something of a north/south divide in Europe. Cooking with gas is the most popular method of cooking for domestic stoves in Southern Europe while more people have switched to electric hobs in the north.
“Our main market is Europe,” notes Mr. Genies. “However, we are also strongly represented in the US and South America, Asia and Africa where cooking with gas is the preferred method.” Africa is of particular interest as the company anticipates dynamic growth on the continent in the future.
“Our customers are the manufacturers of gas stoves and ovens,” says Mr. Genies. “We offer them products from our standard range or tailored products created specifically to their specifications. In these cases, we create a solution that will then go into serial production for a set time period, usually around ten years.”
This timescale reflects how the technology behind gas burners has remained relatively constant. “Digitalization in the sense of automation or remote control is not applicable in this sector,” confirms Mr. Genies. “There is no way today that we would want to manipulate a gas stove remotely via smartphone. The potential for an accident is too high. Our focus lies in using smartphone technology to increase safety, for example by automatically shutting off the gas supply if the flame goes out.”
A new development that is already going into serial production is a new valve that represents something of a revolution in the industry. “It is much lighter than previous models and also has enhanced safety features combined with improved performance,” describes Mr. Genies. “It was launched this month to a widespread positive response from customers.”
Another innovation is the new WOK Evolution 3 burner which has been developed to make cooking steaks and other cuts of meat even easier. An integrated sensor indicates when the right temperature has been reached for an optimal result. The ability to switch from high to low heat intensity in an instant is one of the main advantages of cooking with gas.
Sourdillon is also working on touch control technology that will see the disappearance of traditional knobs on gas hobs while maintaining instant control. “Cleaning the hob is much easier when you remove the knobs,” explains Mr. Genies. “We have taken the needs of users into consideration and expect to present our touch solution to the market by the end of the year.”