Specialist in the design of machines and lines for production and conditioning, Guelt (Quimperlé, 250 employees, €27M turnover 2017) offers ever more efficient and innovative technological solutions to its customers, which include major names in the agri-food industry like Lactalis, Sodiaal, Intermarché, Sodebo, Charal, Larzul, Tartefrais, Bigard, Fleury Michon, Hénaff, Euralis, Filet Bleu, Tipiak, etc.
Founded forty years ago, the company and its partners (4 sites in France, 305 employees, turnover : €38 million in 2018) have an annual growth of 15% and rely heavily on export expansion, particularly in Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary), but also in Canada, the Maghreb and Africa. The SME has been able to industrialize its offer with standardized, modular and eco-designed machines adapted to the needs for flexibility and sustainable development of manufacturers, banking heavily on innovation (5% to 7% of annual turnover).
Agri-factory of the future
Guelt attends every year the CFIA (Rennes) where it has won several awards, be it for its Operskin® tool to “skin” film wrap foods on a flat holder (cardboard or plastic) that fits automatic and semi-automatic sealing machines; the MSG Dual, a modular equipment that combines box make-up and filling, or the Opp 2000, a fully-electric, ergonomic sealing machine with a centralised control system using a touch screen. In 2019, Guelt presented an innovative packaging line on CFIA’s Agri-factory of the future hub. The result of a collaboration with a consortium of twelve other industrialists including seven in Bretagne, BDI and the Valorial hub, this smart and agile line combines three areas: the machine, the operator and the 4.0 factory.
Acquisitions and partnerships
In 2013, Guelt took a majority stake in Picpac Systems (Saint-Félix), a specialist in robotics and industrial vision. This has allowed it to expand its markets through complementarity, in the knowledge that it is also diversifying into niches such as precision machining for the nautical industry (~ 8% of turnover).
At the end of 2018, Guelt acquired Méca-Système (70 employees, €8M turnover) which brings 40 years of expertise in the mechanization of corrugated cardboard (volume production of trays, American crates, etc.), thus strengthening its know-how in the design of complete end-of-line solutions.
More recently, Guelt has sealed a partnership with the German group Leybold specialising in vacuum pumps and vacuum measuring equipment. Leybold introduced its new dry vacuum pump on the Guelt premises. It is specially adapted to the food industry, as it ensures optimal food security by avoiding any risk of food contamination. These vacuum pumps will be added to the equipment designed and manufactured by Guelt.
The boating market
Guelt became interested in the boating market in the early 2000s. In 2009, Michel Desjoyaux won his second Vendée Globe with a straight keel out of the Guelt factory. Today, its keels, bulb keels and other foils are fitted to the largest offshore racing boats – twenty out of thirty in the last Vendée Globe. This is a highly-demanding sector in terms of the design of mechanical parts, which must be both light and robust.
The challenge for Guelt Nautic’s teams is to be able to process different materials (titanium, bronze, plastic) within sometimes very short deadlines. Boating accounts for between 8 and 10% of the company’s turnover. It is above all an interesting area for expanding exports, especially in luxury yachting.