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In Reux, the Chauvin-Arnoux company with 140 employees has been manufacturing state-of-the-art equipment for more than 40 years

Sébastien Remy, industrial director, oversees the Reux, Vire and Villedieu-les-Poêles sites ©Camille RUFFRAY

Difficult for ordinary mortals to understand the production of the Chauvin-Arnoux company in Reux, near Pont-l’Evêque (Calvados), one of the largest employers in the sector. Yet we know without knowing the products of the company specializing in electrical measurement. “We manufacture top-of-the-range equipment in cutting-edge sectors. Measuring equipment in the field of electricity; such as meters for manufacturers or even for the arms, nuclear and submarine market”, summarizes Sébastien Remy, industrial director of the three Normandy sites, Reux, Vire and Villedieu-les-Poêles.

A thriving historic business

“The company was co-founded 129 years ago by Monsieur Arnoux and Monsieur Chauvin, in a small apartment in Montmartre in Paris. These two engineers, passionate about electricity, gradually set up their company and then production sites,” recalls Marlyne Epaulard, communication director of the Chauvin-Arnoux group. Quickly owned by the Arnoux family, of which the 5e generation is now at its head, the company is an initiator in its field. “She filed numerous patents in the field of electrical measurement, with certain emblematic ones such as the ammeter clamp in 1927 or a more forgotten object such as the exposure meter intended for photography but also in the railway or even aviation field. »

Chauvin Arnoux Reux Pont-l'Eveque
Emilie Rivière, coordinator of a production island. ©Camille RUFFRAY

“We have the double hat of engineer and creativity. »

French society has considerably developed with the acquisition of start-ups and competitors, adding other areas to its know-how in electrical measurement: thermal measurement, in the food industry, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. “60% of our products are exported around the world, to Europe, but also to the Middle East, China, the United States and Scandinavian countries. »

Chauvin Arnoux Reux Pont-l'Eveque
Or more complex like this electrical box. ©Camille RUFFRAY

Reux, hub of the group

While the group whose head office is located in the Paris region has four production sites in France, including three in Normandy, the Reux site occupies a central place. Historically on the one hand: it is the second to have emerged in the region. “In the 1960s, the Arnoux family transferred its production to Conches, before closing it to open the site in Reux in the 1970s,” recalls Marlyne Epaulard. Secondly, because he is the biggest employer and supplier of the group. “This is where all the finished products of the entire group are assembled and from where they are shipped around the world”, sums up Sébastien Remy.

Chauvin Arnoux Reux Pont-l'Eveque
Elisabeth Alleaume, production operator. ©Camille RUFFRAY

The almost hand-sewn industry

The Reux site includes both the Chauvin Arnoux entity and Manumesure, a group subsidiary. The buildings of 7,000 m2 located in the Reux business park thus bring together 200 employees, including 140 for Chauvin-Arnoux. In the 4,000m2 production building built in 1994, “10,000 measuring devices or accessories are produced every month. A volume spread over several hundred references”, specifies Sébastien Remy.

Within its walls, no robotic machines but a large workshop where the staff of the company with great know-how work meticulously. “Everything is done manually, in small series and sometimes made to measure. The production operators show a great deal of meticulousness,” emphasizes Sébastien Rémy.

Chauvin Arnoux Reux Pont-l'Eveque
Products with a design close to watchmaking. ©Camille RUFFRAY

“We have a multitude of professions that are often forgotten in the industry and which persist”, adds Marlyne Epaulard. Among these historical trades and almost artisanal, that of “crewworker”. “Like others, it’s a job that doesn’t exist anywhere else. You have to imagine that we are designing pieces identical to 40 years ago. We are close to watchmaking”, smiles the industrial director. A company so specialized in electricity that it designs its control devices itself. You are now… informed!

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The company is constantly recruiting

Established for 40 years, the company has seen many of its employees stay by its side throughout their careers. To support these retirements, Chauvin-Arnoux is recruiting. Currently, two production operators are wanted. “You have to be meticulous and conscientious,” recalls Sébastien Rémy, who adds that the company takes care of the training internally. An electrical technician and two storekeepers would also be welcome. Group-wide, around forty positions are permanently open in France.

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