NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP: protection and quality

Surface protection is essential for the fasteners sector.
 
Try using a bolt without an anticorrosive coating; after some time inevitably that bolt will have turned into a piece of rusty iron.
 
Now, try to imagine a flaming car, for example sporty, manufactured with details such as bolts, tie rods, sheets and anything else not previously submitted to a corrosion protection treatment. A few years will be enough for that car to be reduced to a scrap.
 
The moral is that a product is of quality only when all the components are of quality. Corrosion protection treatments come into force in this concept.
 
NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP is a company, world leader, engaged in research and implementation of corrosion protection systems and is part of the Japanese chemical group NOF Corporation. It is divided into three branches all over the world: Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.
For Italy and Turkey, NOF METAL COATINGS EUROPE is represented by SIE Srl of Turin.
 
The pride of NOF METAL COATINGS is the invention of waterborne anti-corrosive zinc lamellar technology. Water is the basis of the Group’s products and in particular the well-known DACROMET®, later perfected with GEOMET®, products sold worldwide through licensing agreements.
GEOMET® product range is free of CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction) mentioned in the European Directive on end-of-life vehicles, as well as other substances dangerous to health. Developments are still ongoing to reach the target of zero VOC content. It must be acknowledged that at NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP, respect for Environment is one of the grounding value of the Company, together with services, Quality and innovation.
 
I was welcomed at the headquarters of the European branch of the group, which is located in Paris - precisely - in the beautiful region of Chantilly, by Mr. Jean-Marie Poulet - President of the European branch of the NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP and Mr. Vincent Le Berre – CEO, and future President of the Company. Also present at the interesting meeting were Mr. Eric Ros - EMEA Sales & Business Development Director, Mrs. Stéphanie Dupuis - Manager, External Relations and Legal Affairs and Mr. Mario Caracciolo - Market Manager Italy & Turkey.
 
“Our company philosophy - says President Jean-Marie Poulet - has always been to develop products that respect man and his environment. Respect for man in the workplace regarding safety and working conditions. Respect for the environment as regards pollution.  
 
Our business is realized through the sale waterbased products under a license agreement authorizing to use our brand and therefore we are committed to ensure that our licensees operate in compliance with the rules and respect the environment. Ours is an attention, which I can well say, not always found in other producers and that for us means a great organizational commitment and also on the investment front. “
 
But from the context of ecology inevitably the discourse moves to that of economic reality and in particular I ask how past periods of crisis have influenced the Group’s activities.
 
“The crisis - notes President Poulet - was an opportunity for internal reflection and to revise the entire corporate structure. Above all, the inauspicious period of 2007 - 2008 had a very heavy effect as it hit hard all our customers and particularly that of fasteners. We had to review both the production plans and the management plans. Today the situation is much better but that experience cannot and should not be forgotten. A consequence of the past crisis was that of the management of the stocks at the customers who could no longer be oversized as in the past. We have therefore moved on to a new form of supply, supplying customers with smaller quantities of product but ensuring a quicker delivery service.
This of course also required a total revision of our distribution system. “
 
The CEO, Vincent Le Berre, intervenes: “For example, in Italy the supply to customers is now offered with a very regular service so that they do not need a super stock in their warehouses.”
 
In other words - emphasizes the CEO Le Berre - we have paid more attention to the characteristics and the real needs of our customers in order to fully satisfy their needs and expectations.”


 
“We have the good fortune - President Poulet resumes - maintaining excellent relations with the car industry, the mechanical industry and especially with the fastener industry, all this allows us to make some syntheses on the basis of which we can take good decisions. Consequence of the past crisis - continued Poulet - was also our choice to look for other sectors in which to expand our business such as the wind sector and the railway sector.”
 
At this point it is natural to ask what commercial strategy it is possible to put in place in a strongly globalized market.
 
“Thinking global and acting locally. - sentencing Poulet - We have highly skilled and dynamic teams of technicians and managers who travel all over the world and participate in coordination meetings with the various companies in the group. Regular meetings are organized for marketing, commercial techniques, researches and developments as well as technical assistance management to ensure that we offer equal service and the same attention to all our customers.”
 
What about the technology that is constantly evolving? One wonders what the future of anti-corrosion coatings systems technology might be.
“As far as we are concerned - note the President Jean-Marie Poulet - we are always on the alert, always ready to anticipate the decisions regarding the ecological aspect. Our product - it must be said - is strongly correlated to the sensitivities and to the laws of environmental protection that are different from nation to nation. There are very receptive countries in terms of pollution, others much less.
 
We also need to think about the future in terms of raw materials, which today are easily available while tomorrow their supply could become a big problem. It is therefore necessary to always guarantee the availability of raw materials, today more than ever threatened by political tensions and economic wars between the large industrialized or developing countries. We are almost certain that the problem of supply as well as that of pollution will continue to be always a priority. It is a moral obligation to respect the environment by combating pollution in all its forms. In particular, the emissions of harmful gas must be reduced, hence the need for a total overhaul of the transport systems of goods and of people who are one of the main sources of atmospheric pollution. That’s why today we hope that electric cars can become a possible solution to the problem. “

 
“One of the advantages of our product - the CEO Vincent Le Berre intervenes - is that the functionality and therefore the duration of the operation have been increased. Another crucial point is that of water that must be seen both in terms of consumption and pollution. It is clear that those companies that have not already developed a correct environmental protection technology in the future will no longer be able to compete and progress in the global market.” “ We have planned to invest more and more on a technology that globally respects the environment and protects the health of individuals and at the same time is efficient in its anticorrosion function.” concludes the CEO Le Berre: “NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP which, as said, is very careful to combine the protection of the environment with the protective efficiency of its products, has continuously promoted and promotes research and studies whose results will generate new patents and later new products that will respond to the demands and expectations of customers and being more and more environmentally friendly.
 
Will all these renewal commitments make it possible for NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP to find new outlet markets?


 
“In relation to our technology - says President Jean-Marie Poulet - we asked ourselves the question of acquiring new markets. We provide highly selected, highly technological and therefore expensive products that negatively affect our ability to compete in the global market. On the other hand, we must point out that the technology of our product category is becoming increasingly complex and refined. For example, the components required by car manufacturers, due to the extreme sophistication of their functionality, are increasingly difficult and complex to produce, and so even products for anti-corrosion coatings must have ever-increasing characteristics. We must specify that the sectors of application of our products are: the automotive and truck industry, the fasteners industry, the wind energy sector, the railway sector, the building industry and construction machinery, the electrical equipment and agricultural machinery.
 
The new frontiers for the anti-corrosion product are new materials such as carbon fiber, a sector in which we have promoted research, in harmony with the major car manufacturers, for the definition of current products.
 
On the other hand, NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP is committed to establishing itself in various countries such as China, Mexico, India and Russia.”
 
So what is the wish of NOF METAL COATINGS GROUP for the future?
 
“Following our path - says Jean-Marie Poulet - of innovation respecting the environment and in the interests of customers and end users.”
 
After our meeting, Mr. Poulet together with Mr. Le Berre invite me to visit the offices and laboratories of NOF METAL COATINGS EUROPE. Thus, I have the opportunity to see the Group’s guiding spirit realized. Love and respect for the environment can be perceived in the harmonious integration of the whole modern and bright office and laboratory building in a natural setting of gardens and greenery. In France there are the administrative and commercial offices and the chemical research and quality control laboratories as well as the area reserved for the study and development of industrial application processes and the World Training Center and the “GEOMET® ACADEMY”. The production of the various brand products “GEOMET®” is made, for Europe, at the plant located in Belgium.
 
Needless to say, the offices of the headquarters are modern and pleasant in their design so as to make the work more motivated and pleasant, but the magnetic center of the whole complex are the laboratories. They are many, full of highly technological tools that allow all kinds of tests and experiments. A true paradise for a specialized technician and a concrete proof of how practically the Group wishes to prefer quality over everything.

 

Date : 22.11.2018