STIL Marposs: the alliance between an Provence-based SME and a large Italian group

success story
STIL Marposs: the alliance between an Provence-based SME and a large Italian group
Cosimi Corleto, CEO of STIL Marposs received on May 28, 2021 the "Invest in Provence" label
27 July 2021 / Grow your business, invest in provence, Optics / Photonics

The entity in Aix-en-Provence is continuing its R&D in advanced metrology and is opening up to the international market

In the highly coveted market for distance measurement sensors, the innovative SME STIL, based in Aix-en-Provence, is now playing on the world stage. Its acquisition in 2019 by the Italian group Marposs marks a turning point in its history and its international development. A strategy that is already paying off since STIL Marposs recorded growth of + 25% in its turnover in 2020. Upstream of this takeover, which combines technological and commercial strength, and with its "Go Between in Provence" program, Provence Promotion, in conjunction with Business France, provided the Marposs group with information on the attractiveness of the region for businesses. In 2021, with momentum remaining strong, STIL Marposs is considering an extension project.

By acquiring STIL in January 2019, the Italian group Marposs, world leader in precision equipment for the measurement and control of production processes, has access to cutting-edge technology to solve numerous industrial problems and gain in competitiveness. In the automotive and mechanical market for example, profound changes have occurred with the emergence of electric, hydrogen and hybrid engines requiring adaptations in terms of quality control.

"STIL responds perfectly to new market demands. We propose French design and manufacture of contactless sensors that can measure increasingly small and complex parts, whatever the nature of the material" explains Cosimi Corleto, who took over the management of the company in 2015 and is also Chairman of the French College of Metrology. "Our engineers work on the infinitely small, drawing on expertise acquired over more than 20 years. Thanks to our patented technology, we can determine distances smaller than a micrometer which are then transcribed into 3D files."

An Aix-based SME with strong technological potential

Marposs has been interested in STIL's unique chromatic confocal technology for several years. Unlike an infrared laser measurement which uses a single color, STIL uses all the colors of the rainbow, i.e., the entire chromatic spectrum, to achieve levels of high precision measurement. An innovation in metrology recognized by research centers, manufacturers and also by the government, which has twice chosen the company to represent French excellence. On the occasion of the Hanover Fair in 2016, Emmanuel Macron even visited the company on the Business France stand.

Discovery of innovative Provence

France, through the Crédit Impôt Recherche (CIR) system, is an excellent place for innovation. With the acquisition of STIL, the Marposs group also realizes the advantages of being located in Provence. There are research centers and large schools such as ENSAM or the Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne Campus Georges Charpak in Gardanne, and a lot of cutting-edge expertise in the field of optics-photonics with the Optitec competitiveness cluster and the collaborative work of Team Henri-Fabre on the themes linked to the factory 4.0.

Within the framework of European calls for projects, STIL has teamed up with two German manufacturers and ENSAM to propose the development of new intelligent sensors, capable of continuously monitoring the production of components within the production lines. This new technological development would make it possible to eliminate rejects and directly obtain good quality parts. It is a new technological challenge that is supported by Marposs, which is keen for its Aix-based entity to expand in these booming markets of the future.

International strengthening

The Marposs group competes with the big Japanese, American and German players. It is present in more than 20 countries and has a network of agents and distributors in 12 other countries. Today, STIL benefits from this strong commercial presence to distribute its products more widely to industrialists, the automotive and aeronautics sectors, as well as the cosmetics, medical, energy and telecommunications sectors, further highlighting the value of its expertise in the field of semiconductors.

The positive impact was quickly felt. In 2020, despite the pandemic, STIL achieved a 25% increase in turnover compared to the previous year with significant development in Asian markets, which the company already knows well since 70% of its activity is generated by export.

Today, the team is made up of around forty people, two-thirds of whom are engineers devoted to R&D and production. This workforce is evolving in line with the company's growth given that it is considering a medium-term expansion project in a zone near its current location in Aix-en-Provence.

"Our goal is to prepare for the future. We are ready to increase our production capacity, have already recruited 4 new staff members, and are planning to obtain our ISO 9001 certification by the end of the year" confirms Cosimi Corleto, who has received the Invest in Provence label from Provence Promotion in recognition of his investment in the region.