The Rubber and Polymers industry in the Val d'Oise




media48852The Hutchinson group is the world leader in industrial rubber, with sales of €3.1bn in 2008 and a total workforce of 27,500 on 118 sites in 26 countries. It is active on all the key markets in the Automotive business, the Aerospace Industry and for consumer goods. Hutchinson's operations in France date back to 1853 and the creation of the Aigle brand, which used to manufacture rubber boots in Montargis. Hutchinson is now part of Total's Chemicals division. In the Val d'Oise, the group is represented by a Hutchinson subsidiary in Persan and Le Joint Français in Bezons. Le Joint Français, a subsidiary of the group which was bought out in 1987, specialises in the manufacture of O-ring seals. It has a workforce of 500 in Bezons and a turnover of €130m. The «Sealants, adhesives and profiles» division does business in three highly technological product families and manufactures specific products for each:
the aeronautics industry: new sealants that reinforce the air-tightness of aircraft parts used on all civil aviation models by Airbus, Boeing, Dassault, Embraer, EADS, etc. as well as in military aviation, and soundproofing products for cabins,

the automotive industry: sealants for fixing windscreens and structural reinforcement,
the construction industry: sealants for double glazing and fire insulation in buildings.
"The development of this type of product is becoming increasingly cutting-edge", comments François Souchet, Managing Director of the "Sealants, adhesives and profiles" division and director of the four Le Joint Français factories (three in France and one in Shanghai), "we have to develop new products and applications corresponding to the ever-increasing needs of our customers".










The historic Val d'Oise SME, Chevalier, was founded in 1925, manufacturing orthopedic belts which were shipped all over the world. Many years later, in 2001, Jean-Marc Oudot and his partners took over Chevalier, still with excellent performance in silicone injection moulding for small, detailed and often very sophisticated technical parts for airtightness and suspension (miniaturisation). Just prior to this, Chevalier had taken over Cléret, which manufactures small dual-material technical parts made from rubber and metal. The companies target the automotive and industrial markets.
With a workforce of 65 in Argenteuil in the Val d'Oise and a subsidiary employing 14 people in Romania, Chevalier and Cléret, which have a combined annual sales volume of some €8 million, are aiming to consolidate their positions and develop a strategy directed towards new markets for moulding technology in the medical, pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics sectors.
Having been located in the Val d'Oise for 90 years, today Chevalier and Cléret appreciate the département's road links to Roissy airport and the la Défense business district, as well as the wealth of resources its networks represent. Both SMEs have a 

sustainable development policy, which includes using ready-to-use, processed silicones - minimising waste and hazardous handling in this sector in which «clean» manufacturing is a must.



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