Micro-drilling specialist Delta Composants unveiled a revamped visual identity this summer along with a new name, Delta Neo. The French company’s luxury business, which accounted for some 25% of sales last year, versus just 12% in 2018, remains a priority for development.
While historically Delta Neo’s core business was in supplying wire and metallic strips, its luxury division is all about decoration. The company specializes in micro-drilling with production based out of its headquarters at La Ferté Bernard in western France; the decoration activity accounted for close to 30% of the group’s €13m turnover in 2019. For higher-volume projects outside of the luxury space, it operates a factory in Romania.
Decoration of leather goods makes up the bulk of Delta Neo’s luxury activity, followed by paper products ranging from new year’s cards, menus, book covers, coffrets, folding boxes and fragrance blotters. (In September 2019 the company decorated the cover of our sister magazine Formes de Luxe with a constellation of apertures). The company also works on secondary packaging, including coffrets, folding boxes and metal tins.
New materials on the horizon
For Delta Neo, leather is perhaps the material with the most potential, followed by paper. “In addition to offering minute precision (the drills range in diameter from 0.3mm to 6.4mm, while larger perforations call for the detourage technique) micro-drilling on leather has the advantage of not leaving an odor, and on paper it leaves a pristine surface, especially on white or lighter shades where laser perforation can burn the material,” explains Delta Neo Managing Director Stéphane Guillochon.
But its catchment area is not limited to paper and leather, it also works on cardboard, plastic, wood and some composite materials. There are projects in the pipeline to decorate a wider range of materials, including textiles with specific coatings allowing them to be compatible with micro-drilling. Mineral materials are also an area of research, including glass, ceramics and even diamonds. From a volume perspective, Delta Neo is exploring the creation of original shapes for its drill bits rather than working solely with cylindrical perforations. While Delta Neo’s expertise is currently in 2D applications, Guillochon is not ruling out the possibility of working in 3D in the future. “For now, our focus is on decoration of flat materials as entering the realm of 3D calls for significant investments on our tooling. But it could be a possibility down the road.”
While the company, like many of its fellow luxury-goods suppliers, has been impacted by the health crisis, Guillochon is upbeat for the future. “The key to developing our luxury business lies in the qualitative aspect of micro-drilling as a factor of differentiation. As we happen to be the only company on the French market with this expertise, the cards are stacked in our favor,” he affirms.