More than good news, “a source of pride” for the Plouhinécoise plant Albéa and its 220 employees. If the group has been heavily involved since the start of the health crisis by reorganizing its production around hydroalcoholic gel and various donations of tubes, the Morbihan site impacted by covid-19 was counting on a diversification of its activity. It’s done.
Originally specializing in the manufacture of lipstick tubes for major brands in the luxury industry (L’Oréal, LVMH, Yves Rocher), the local factory has landed a major contract with the NG Biotech laboratory in Redon (35), or the manufacture of three million units: cassettes for rapid diagnostic tests.
“A snub to covid-19”
“We are proud for several reasons”, confides the site director, Cyrille Guégan. “First of all, to produce a public health tool, but also to snub the covid-19 crisis which has put us in difficulty (wearing a mask caused the sales of rouge to drop to lips and therefore their production, Editor’s note), but which – ironically – now benefits us ”. All proportions kept, however, since the thousands of euros generated by this providential order are far from compensating for the losses, which are measured in millions. But all the same, “the symbol is strong and timely to restore the morale of the teams,” says Cyrille Guégan. As a reminder, in November and December, the factory had to close four weeks for lack of activity.
Short circuit for the production tool
A contract awarded in mid-November to the Plouhinec site which started production on December 18, “time to adapt the tool”. Thanks to the help of the mold maker SMPM in Auray and the machine renovator Air Applications in Guer, the production mold was ready “in just four weeks”. The Brittany region, taking this short circuit into account, paid a subsidy corresponding to 50% of the cost of this renovation.
“We were asked to produce three million units in two months and we started delivering at the start of the year. Our competitors in this market subcontract the decoration part. Here, we do everything on site, ”recalls Cyrille Guégan, who sees this new market as“ a long-term partnership ”, the cassettes being suitable for the production of other serological tests.