Interview with Franck RETTMEYER, Chairman & CEO of ALLIMAND, Designer & Manufacturer of paper machines and nonwoven since 1850

Mr. RETTMEYER you are working flat out at the end of this year, with prestigious contracts, particularly the paper machine which will manufacture banknotes for EUROPAFI / BDF … What are your success factors? Is the economic recovery on a global scale or is this level of activity specific to the ALLIMAND Group ?

Franck RETTMEYER : The recovery doesn’t only concern the ALLIMAND group. In 2008 – 2009, we decided to refocus on paper with very high added value. This focus has allowed us to take orders including that of EUROPAFI and complete our portfolio with nonwoven machines built worldwide. This conjunction of elements, driven by a market that invests, and also the strong packaging market, allows us to take orders and turn effectively at “full throttle”.

For next year, your order book looks healthy with the order a new nonwoven machine in Asia, a special paper machine in China, and the delivery of the paper machine for EUROPAFI. So Asia is the Eldorado for paper machine manufacturers ?

Franck RETTMEYER : Firstly, this nonwoven machine in Asia represents a new success for ALLIMAND, and in addition to other paper machine orders taken a few months ago. China is not the Eldorado; on the contrary, the Asian continent has become less and less accessible these last few years. However, the Chinese have a particular demand for machines and highly technical processes, which ALLIMAND can meet.

The new S4 hydraulic headbox – the latest ALLIMAND development.

Your merger-acquisition project in the UNITED STATES is starting to take shape … Can you tell us more and tell us the direct impact it will have on the products you offer, your market and finally in terms of employment in the area…?

Franck RETTMEYER : This project will materialize by the end of the year. It will allow ALLIMAND to strengthen its high-tech machinery and therefore reach new customers through the acquisition of new technologies. Given the slowdown in investments in Asia and China, it was essential to find new markets, and the North American market is particularly appropriate for this type of machine.

We have already delivered a nonwoven machine in the USA this year, to a large international group. This merger and acquisition is a continuation of this order. An appointment will be made by the end of the year, the time to finalize contracts which are complicated to draw up, considering the US laws.

ATIP 2016: What message would you like to get across in the framework of the 2nd meeting of the Paper Union Association, as a captain of industry ? What place can the industry hope to occupy in today’s French economy…?

Franck RETTMEYER : A technical association is always representative of the companies it represents. The ATIP manages to gather together paper makers and manufacturers. We can only encourage them to continue on this path. For a manufacturer like ALLIMAND, it is the opportunity to present its references, its success with its customers and new products. This year we will present our new S4 hydraulic headbox – the latest ALLIMAND development – for which the first commercial success was recorded in Thailand.
This question concerning the place of industry in the French economy is more political. Certainly, until recent years, consumption was favored at the expense of the creation and manufacture of products on French soil.
We need a strong industry, strong agriculture which will also help develop the service sector. To reverse the trend in unemployment and boost investment in France will require more time in a country whose growth is almost zero…

CONGRES ATIP : 8 – 9 November 2016

GRENOBLE – Alpes Congrès