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French coffret maker Marotte invests in a new factory

Pascale Ruchon

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French coffret maker Marotte invests in a new factory

French manufacturer of wooden boxes and coffrets for the luxury industry, Marotte is injecting €4.4m, the equivalent of its annual turnover, to renovate its industrial capacity.

Of Marotte’s total investment, approximately €1.8m is slated for the construction of a new factory on the boxmaker’s current site, near Lons-le-Saunier in France’s Jura region, with the remainder being spent on equipment. The funds will enable the company to double the size of its production runs by mid-2022 to reach 8,000 to 10,000 pieces in the luxury sector.

The equipment will integrate four collaborative robots dedicated to machining, finishing or machine loading tasks. "With this new facility, we are focusing first on safety, then on reducing the arduousness of the work involved and only thirdly on improving productivity," Damien Marotte, co-director of the company with his brother Xavier, explains to Luxe Packaging Insight. “The robots stop their tasks when touched and the operator can work alongside them without any risk," he adds.

Sustainable development concerns were also primordial: the factory will be equipped with a biomass boiler fed by the plant's production waste, while a robotized finishing line (an €800,000 investment) will reduce the environmental impact of the site’s varnish and lacquering operations. This high-speed drying machine offers a high rate of lacquer transfer to each piece (90%) and can automatically recover the over spray, which means less waste and cleaning without toxic solvents.

While the 45-person, family-owned company saw a slight drop in profitability in 2020, it reported a 20% increase in sales. "The environmental factor is important to our growth," explains Marotte. We only work with certified wood, 80% of which comes from Jura and the rest from European forests. Our exclusively French production makes us more agile. This played a role when production in China was shuttered for six months and even when the Suez Canal was blocked for several days in 2021."

Luxury packaging accounts for around 75% of Marotte’s sales, while the remainder is dedicated to technical parts for tabletterie. Both are growing markets. Export represents about 30% of its activity.

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