Girbau is celebrating 30 years in France by enhancing its steadfast focus on the country. With the slogan ‘30 ans ensemble’, the company’s leading clients, distributors and employees met to celebrate the occasion at the Girbau Robotics plant on 17 June.
Mercè Girbau, CEO of the company: “Girbau France marks the group’s first venture into international expansion, and right now it represents the future. We have consolidated the Girbau Robotics plant as one of the group’s most important manufacturing centres in the world, with innovation as its main engine. To us, France is a strategic market where we want to continue growing and which is a major focal point for us.”
The celebration welcomed top authorities in the region, including the mayors of Grésy-sur-Aix and Aix-les-Bains, Robert Clerc and Renaud Beretti; departmental minister of Savoy, Claude Giroud; first lieutenant mayor of Aix-les-Bains, Marina Ferrari; and regional minister of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Marie-Pierre Montoro-Sadoux.
Attending alongside Mercè Girbau were Antoni Girbau and Pere Girbau, founders and former CEOs, accompanied by the organisation’s management committee and the general manager of Girbau France, Eric Zatkowski. The guests included clients from France as well as the employees of Girbau France and the Girbau Robotics factory.
France was the country where Girbau first launched its internationalisation process. Today, it is a strategic site worldwide, where in addition to its sales and service subsidiary, it also now has a manufacturing and R&D centre, Girbau Robotics, in Grésy-sur-Aix (in the Rhône-Alpes region). The plant, which specialises in machinery for process automation (feeders, folders, stackers) and ironers, measures 6,600 m2 and employs 100 workers.
Girbau has made a concerted effort to drive innovation and improve its facilities, and in recent years the factory has taken a huge leap forward in terms of reliability, quality and features, which has led to a 34% increase in productivity during the past three years.
Girbau France has more than 4,000 clients, four exclusive dealerships and 20 official. One of the most innovative products manufactured at the Girbau Robotics plant is the Compact+ ironer, which will be exhibited at the Clean 2019 fair in New Orleans as the ideal solution for solving space problems in its segment, since it merges 5 functions in a single machine: feeding, ironing, drying, folding and stacking, says Girbau which globally has more than 1,000 employees and invoiced 170 million euros in 2018.
Its strong emphasis on RDI, along with the 2018 creation of the Girbau LAB, an open innovation platform, have placed the company at the vanguard of innovation, energy efficiency and sustainability. One good example is Girbau Sapphire, a remote connectivity solution to control laundry equipment.
Via the Girbau LAB, in May the multinational participated in Vivatechnology 2019, in Paris, the largest event in Europe for networking between companies and start-ups. Girbau continues to expand its ecosystem of collaboration with international start-ups and accelerators, along with its focus on disruptive solutions in the laundry sector in the areas of clean tech and the Internet of Things.