Industrial risk management: Aëxor opens a branch in Provence

success story
Industrial risk management: Aëxor opens a branch in Provence
19 May 2016 / Implantez, Générale, ITER, Eco-Industries
300 companies around the world call on Aëxor

Aëxor, the Paris-based company specializing in industrial risk (ATEX: explosive atmospheres) just opened a branch at the Arbois technology park near Aix-en-Provence. This young SMB, which is already operating in Asia, is gunning to advise, train and assist major buyers in the region. It plans to spread out from Marseille across the Mediterranean to position itself in the Algerian market.  

Nothing can stop Carine Vignolles. She was raised in a family of entrepreneurs and, after earning her Master's II degree in physics, she founded Aëxor in Paris in 2007 because she firmly believed that she could carve out a niche in ATEX industrial risk prevention.

"Our engineering department specializes in ATEX industrial risk and vacuum technologies. We carry out inspections and zoning at companies and industrial sites and provide training. We also design special machines and prototypes," Carine Vignolles explains, backed by a team that has grown continuously over the years. Over time, the young start-up naturally branched out to a wide variety of other businesses. So far, a total of 300 companies around the world call on Aëxor. These include heavyweights like Thales, Essilor, Air Liquide and Dannon.

"For Essilor, we upgraded some of the machines they use to make eyeglass lenses. We also work with Dannon, which uses solvents. These industrial firms are required to perform ATEX risk analyses," notes Vignolles, who is now in charge of a team of eight employees (HSE engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, designers, automation engineers and electricians). To help grow her micro-enterprise, she made a bold gambit to move into the ASEAN region. "We earn 20% of our annual revenue in the Asia-Pacific region," says the Aëxor boss, who also wants to expand in France and the Mediterranean basin.

The appeal of a region with a diversified industrial sector

She is a strong believer in the industrial potential in Bouches-du-Rhône, which is why she just opened her first branch outside greater Paris.  Her eureka moment came when she met with the Provence Promotion teams at the Enova trade show in 2015. The economic development agency also helped Aëxor in its real estate search and put the company in touch with local economic actors (Mase Méditerranée Giphise, Novachim, Satt Sud Est, etc.).

"Provence Promotion really persevered to convince me of the many advantages in this region with so many oil and gas companies. Provence has many business sectors that we could penetrate, including cosmetology, pharmaceuticals, perfume making, agri-business, timber and nuclear power.  We even responded to an ITER call for tenders. We are positioning ourselves in the ATEX risk management market," says Carine Vignolles, who has several trips planned this year to Algeria, where new markets are likely to emerge, especially in oil, gas and agri-business.

Photo: Carine Vignolles, Aëxor Manager.