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Codipro was founded in France by Marc Lecourt, who set up in business in the basement of his house near Le Mans (Sarthe). The aim of Codipro, operating mainly as a representative for screws and bolts for France and the southern European countries, was to provide fast delivery to SMEs who, because of the huge demand from the automobile industry, had up until then had to put up with delivery times of several months.
The ‘pro' in Codipro refers to the professionalism of Mr Lecourt, who had gained experience in the automobile sector, first as a designer and then as a method-control developer. The ‘Cod' in Codipro refers directly to one of the rigorous technical systems used in production control: the founder of Codipro is fanatical about ‘coding' his products, providing exhaustive documentation to ensure that they are used properly according to best trade practice.
1978: SCREWS AND BOLTS AND FORGED PARTS
The company, with its stocks and workshop in the basement of Mr Lecourt's house, expanded its standard and custom screw and bolt business, adding representation for standard forged parts.
1989: FIRST PATENT FOR AN ARTICULATED RING
Codipro was now also selling lifting rings manufactured to the DIN 581 standard, but the end of the 1980s marked the start of production of swivel safety rings under the Codipro brand, following registration of its first patent. This articulated ring, unlike a traditional ring, could also carry a load on the side, and not only at the top, without risk.
It stemmed from a call for help from a customer who was worried about lifting machinery weighing 20 tonnes with equipment that could only support 5 tonnes. The invention of the founder of Codipro could be used to lift 20 tonnes without risk, and above all to turn in all directions.
1990: AN ACTIVE contribution TO OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY
As an indirect witness of bad practices in certain factories, resulting in a large number of accidents, the founder of Codipro took on the problem of safety, which became the key feature of the brand of rings he produced.
Over time, he refined his first patent and registered three new patents, accompanied by a registered design. As Codipro products exceeded the European safety standards in force, Mr Lecourt did not hesitate to attribute a safety factor of 5 to his rings (a ring should start to deform when it lifts five times it theoretical maximum load), where the standard only required a safety factor of 4.
1991: NEW PREMISES
A year earlier, Codipro left its original premises to invest in 11 brand new buildings constructed by Mr Lecourt on an industrial zone at Changé (on the outskirts of Le Mans). In order to cope with the growth in business in general, and to hold his stocks of screws and bolts and ring components in particular, Codipro moved to the largest of these buildings.
1995: 20 YEARS, THE AGE OF MATURITY
Codipro's ability to respond to the most complex needs in record time, while still paying regular visits to the factories of its customers and suppliers in order to evolve in line with their practices, enabled it to prevail in mainland France and southern Europe as an unrivalled specialist, not only in screws and bolts, but also in custom safety lifting rings, with only a minimal team (3-4 persons). Its turnover was in the region of 1.7 million euros, broken down as follows: 35% for screws and bolts, 65% for lifting rings; 35% of its turnover was realised abroad, in six European countries.
2004: TAKEOVER WITH continuitY
Mr Lecourt sold Codipro to the shareholders of No-Nail Boxes, a small Luxembourg-based industrial group whose location at the heart of Europe opened up new horizons, allowing the company to spread out from its historic roots. Six months of fruitful collaboration between Mr Lecourt and the new team in charge sealed the success of the Codipro handover.
2005: SUCCESS IN TWO COUNTRIES
In France, Codipro SA continued with its fastener business (screws, bolts, washers, threaded parts) and distributed on its territory the high quality articulated lifting rings, now manufactured at the Codiprolux SA site in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (at Warken, near Ettelbruck).
2006: AT THE TECHNOLOGICAL LEADING EDGE
The production of lifting rings moved to Warken in Wiltz, in new establishments housing the industrial activities of the group to which Codipro belonged. Two assembly presses, an engraving machine and a test machine occupied 150m2, while a further 300m2 was allocated to storage.
2007: ENHANCED R&D
In order to meet the rising expectations of its customers and anticipate trends, Codipro boosted its research and development capability, setting up an in-house design office and collaborating on a regular basis with the Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) concerning the strength of materials and for the development of new products.
2011: internationalisation REWARDED
The first Export Award was given to Codipro by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Export Guarantee Office, rewarding its efforts to extend its reach sustainably to the global market. Following its takeover in 2004, the number of countries to which Codipro exports has risen from 6 to 32 countries and 11% of its turnover is realised outside Europe.
Codipro, which has ISO 9001, ISO 14001 andCSR certification, celebrates its 37th anniversary with 15 employees, who do everything in their power to provide fast delivery to sectors that include the moulding industry, handling/transport/logistics, shipbuilding, offshore drilling, lifting, aeronautics and wind power.
Since it was taken over in 2004, the company has more than tripled its turnover (1.3 million euros in 2005 – 5million in 2011) and its annual output of rings has risen from 14,000 to 45,000 units.
These results are welcomed by Mr Lecourt, the founder of Codipro: “I sold my company to extremely serious people who have developed the business significantly. Without making a break with the past, but using the experience it has accumulated.
Day-to-day business at Codipro has always involved resolving its customers' problems, even the most complex ones, as quickly as possible. In parallel with this fast response time, which requires a stock of materials ready for transformation, technicians capable of working even on non-standard thread cutting systems are also required. Which is in fact the case. The result is that, just like yesterday, today Codipro is capable of satisfying a customer who tells it on Friday that it lacks a vital ring for unloading machinery from a truck due to arrive at its site on Monday morning at 8 o'clock”.