ADF invests €3.5 million in Fos to conquer new markets

ADF invests €3.5 million in Fos to conquer new markets
13 October 2016 / Investir en provence, Implantez, Générale, Energies, Eco-Industries, Aéronautique
and a step ahead

On October 7, 2016, ADF, a European leader in industrial maintenance and engineering services, broke ground on a new, high value added sheet metal unit in Fos. This facility at La Feuillane represents an investment of €3.5 million for the Fos-based group, which received financial support from local authorities. Provence Promotion played a decisive role in convincing the company to bet on the region.

While the business of Ateliers de Fos (ADF) is to improve the industrial production facilities of its customers, the group is preparing to add value to its own sheet metal unit that will come online in early 2018.
This investment in the Fos area was made possible by the powers of persuasion of the Provence Promotion team. The staff at the economic development agency for Aix-Marseilles-Provence worked hard to urge the investor to build at La Feuillane, the birthplace of this mid-sized company with a staff of 3,250, rather than in Portugal as originally planned.

A well-supported industrial plan

"ADF's investment in this production unit is €3.5 million, nearly one-fourth of which comes from public funding (national government, regional council, department council). That support definitely factored into our decision. In addition, Marseille-Fos is a major European port for shipping the modules we manufacture in our shop," noted Marc Eliayan, CEO of ADF, on October 7 at the cornerstone laying ceremony for the building.

Solange Biaggi, President of Provence Promotion, pointed out the important role the agency played in this project, especially in preparing the application for the regional planning grant (PAT) for which the La Feuillane was eligible. "ADF is not the only company to pit multiple countries against one another. Over the past three years, Provence Promotion has played a part in drawing 10 factories to the region in sectors such as cosmetics, green building materials and electronics", reports Solange Biaggi. 

ADF dives into Industry 4.0

With this high-tech sheet metal unit, ADF is entering the world of industry 4.0. Employing ultra-modern equipment (cutting, thick sheet roller, bender) and two 20-ton overhead cranes, the site's operations will be more automated and build in total traceability at each step. The facility will use digital technology and address part life cycle from the design phase. While the most tedious tasks will be entrusted to robots, ADF plans to hire 66 employees to work at the plant. That will include 50 journeymen sheet metal workers and welders who will swell the ranks at La Feuillane (220 employees).

Diversity of industries in the region

"This investment will enable us to better meet the needs of our customers and stay a step ahead. We are positioning ourselves in the health, aeronautics, defense, energy and nuclear sectors," stresses Marc Eliayan. ADF still earns half its sales from the traditional fields of steel, petrochemicals and refining.

ADF was founded in 1962 and played a role in the construction of Solmer, the steel factor that has seen become Arcelor-Mittal. The ADF Group employs 3,250 people worldwide (2,700 employees in France) and earns €285 million in annual sales, 13% of which comes from exports. ADF has 34 operational sites in five countries.

Photo: Ceremony to lay the first stone of the high value added sheet metal plant being built at La Feuillane. ADF's CEO Marc Eliayan flanked by Philippe Maurizot, Regional Council Member for Industry, and Solange Biaggi, President of Provence Promotion.