In a few words, could you present your role and the SYMOP’s activities?
Created in 1907, the SYMOP is a professional union which gathers machine and production solutions manufacturers. Our 280 members have followed the evolution of production technologies. Beginning with the machine tool, the SYMOP gradually equipped itself with production softwares, digital control, robotics and measurement (or metrology), industrial vision and control activities. In 2018, the SYMOP created a new group representing the additive manufacturing, which entails 3D printing. One of our working group represents the packaging machine manufacturers. What makes the originality of the SYMOP, however, is its ability to be relevant to all industrial sectors.
The SYMOP is part of the Federation of Mechanical Industries (Fédération des Industries Mécaniques) and is a founding member of the Alliance for the Industry of the Future (Alliance pour l’Industrie du Futur).
This year, the SYMOP joined the French Packaging Association (CNE) as a member of its 9th college (other companies and associations): could you explain what encourages the SYMOP to support the CNE and its actions?
We see ourselves as “industrial solutions providers”. We think that the answer to the major transformation and mutation challenges of the 21st century will be largely industrial. This is why we find the CNE’s approach very interesting: it brings together, within a community of interest, all the packaging players including machine manufacturers. How can the circular economy be efficient without intelligent machines?
What are the biggest concerns of the SYMOP’s members regarding packaging? Can the CNE rightfully provide information about some of those concerns?
First, it would evidently benefit our packaging machines group to share some of the work of the CNE that could have a direct impact on the conception of their machines. Other interesting actors are also gathered in our union, like those of machines for paper industry, which monitor the potential evolutions of paper and cardboard in the packaging sector. Finally, I think that robotics, sensors and connected factories – topics we work on transversely or through the Alliance for the Industry of the Future – are themes that need to be investigated. The entire industrial process is “augmented” through the evolution of digital technology and the members of the SYMOP are the technological links of this process.
The CNE is attentive to its members. What are the key issues, emerging or not, that the CNE could investigate as part of its upcoming workshops?
If you will allow it, I will answer your question by reversing it. To be efficient as industrial solution providers, we think that we should first know how to listen closely to the demand and its developments. What are the major developments? There are the social changes linked to the consumers’ new expectations, the structural developments coming from the standardisation and of course technological breakthroughs. It seems to me that the CNE is a place of exchange which perfectly include the development of demand and connect all the actors of the chain to provide answers.
Joining such a network is a great opportunity for the SYMOP. With other industrial organisation such as Geppia, we are joining this network so that our member companies can become actors of the industrial response. We think of our involvement in the CNE as a driving force of change and innovation for our members.