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EMKA in France – a portrait

Whether food, wine or haute couture: France stands for quality products. Thanks to a strong sales organisation it is therefore logical that EMKA, as world market leader, is concerned to establish German quality products in France as well. Locally, EMKA operates the sales site Bourrè and the production site Henriville. We take a close look at EMKA France.

Henriville: production with highest product competence


Directly on the German-French border EMKA France Fort is located in Henriville, about 600 km from the Bourré site. The branch was initially founded in 1996 under the name Fort Sécurité with the support of Fort Lock Corporation USA. One of the company’s most important customers was EMKA Beschlagteile in Velbert. When times became challenging in the USA, the CompX group bought Fort Lock and separated from the French unit. Friedhelm Runge purchased the site and merged it with the EMKA France branch. Since then, the site has developed further, doubling its area to 2,400 m2 in 2001 and increasing its machinery. 

The production-only site mainly manufactures locks and locking systems for switch cabinets, lockboxes, lockers and letterboxes. Specific locking projects include protective boxes for vehicle batteries, street lamps, sunglass holders and food vending machines. In addition, Henriville products are also used in gaming machines, motor cars, petrol pumps, elevators, ski roof racks and much more. The monthly volume is about 500,000 locks of various kinds, especially for caravans and electrical installations. About 90 per cent are exported to EMKA Germany. From there, EMKA ships the products to its customers in Germany and to 55 countries via its worldwide distribution network.

The team comprises about 53 employees. The site has a design office, a quality and logistics department as well as its own purchasing department. Production is speedy and meticulous and running in two shifts. The small individual parts require a lot of skill. With zinc die-casting machines and automated insertion and assembly machines, EMKA Henriville relies on a high automation grade. Fast deliveries are ensured by stocking many semi-finished parts that are in stock and only need to be assembled ready for use, depending on the customer’s needs.

“Our daily challenge is to respond quickly to all requests and to deliver our products at the best costs,” says Xavier Olivero, General Manager at EMKA France Fort. “Grand Est was the region in France most affected by the coronavirus. Nevertheless, we managed to continue producing with a smaller team and without interruption. Now – at full strength again – our goal is to diversify production and put our energy into new projects.”

Bourré: Distribution and logistics centre in the heart of France

As early as 1986, EMKA expanded to France with a small office in Paris. With the relocation of its sales office to Bourré, EMKA France was then able to set its course for further growth at the beginning of the new millennium. Bourré is located in the Département Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Locally, the EMKA Group took over the French company ROLEZ in 2001 as part of its continuous growth policy and expanded its product portfolio to include compression latches and accessories. Besides the classic mechanical products such as quarter turns, EMKA France also sells many gaskets for control cabinets, the railway, food and caravan industries. Bourré currently employs a staff of 20. Customers naturally include all the major control cabinet manufacturers in France, but also companies such as Air France and the French Ministry of Defence. 

EMKA France sees a great future in the field of electronic locking solutions, because intelligent systems with access monitoring are becoming more and more in demand. Electricity providers are also increasingly turning to electronic systems. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the team in Bourré has identified new potential in the area of Click & Collect. Similar to in-store pickup, there is the possibility 
of depositing goods in electronically locked cabinets that customers can open by code. “We definitely want to expand these systems in the future,” says Ludovic Ohoundegnon, General Manager at EMKA France. “In addition, we would like to invest in our team and go deeper into consulting to develop custom-fit solutions for our clients. The benchmark here is the German sales organisation with a field sales force that has been strongly positioned for many years and the technical support of project engineers.”