Girbau, a world leader in comprehensive professional laundry solutions, is celebrating its 30 years in France by enhancing its steadfast focus on the country. With the slogan “30 ans ensemble”, the company’s leading clients, distributors and employees wanted to join Girbau France on this special, exciting occasion.
France was the first country where Girbau launched its internationalisation process. Today, it is a strategic site worldwide, where in addition to its sales and service subsidiary, it also has a manufacturing and R&D centre, Girbau Robotics, in Grésy-sur-Aix (in the Rhône-Alpes region). The plant, which specialises in machinery for process automation (feeders, folders, stackers) and ironers, measures 6,600 m2 and employs 100 workers. Thanks to Girbau’s concerted effort to drive innovation and improve its facilities, in recent years the factory has taken a huge leap forward in terms of reliability, quality and features, which has led to a 34% increase in productivity since it was acquired.
In the words of Mercè Girbau, CEO of the company: “Girbau France marks the group’s first venture into international expansion, and right now it represents the future. We have consolidated the Girbau Robotics plant as one of the group’s most important manufacturing centres in the world, with innovation as its main engine. To us, France is a strategic market where we want to continue growing and which is a major focal point for us.” She highlighted this at the 30th anniversary celebration of Girbau France held yesterday in the Girbau Robotics plant.
The celebration welcomed the top authorities in the region, including the mayors of Grésy-sur-Aix and Aix-les-Bains, Robert Clerc and Renaud Beretti, respectively; the departmental minister of Savoy, Claude Giroud; the first lieutenant mayor of Aix-les-Bains, Marina Ferrari; and the regional minister of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Marie-Pierre Montoro-Sadoux.
Attending alongside Mercè Girbau were Antoni Girbau and Pere Girbau, the founders and former CEOs, accompanied by the organisation’s management committee and the general manager of Girbau France, Eric Zatkowski. The guests included clients from France as well as the employees of Girbau France and the Girbau Robotics factory.
Girbau France has more than 4,000 clients, 4 exclusive dealerships and 20 official distributors in the country. One of the most innovative products manufactured at the Girbau Robotics plant is the Compact+ ironer, which will also be exhibited at the Clean 2019 fair in New Orleans as the ideal solution for solving space problems in its segment, since it merges 5 functions in a single machine: feeding, ironing, drying, folding and stacking.
Solid international presence
Headquartered in Vic (Barcelona), Girbau has a solid global presence. Today the company, which started its internationalisation in 1989 with its first subsidiary in France, operates in more than 100 countries and has 15 subsidiaries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Oceania and Asia, along with manufacturing centres in Spain (Vic), France (Aix-les-Bains) and China (Shanghai).
The group has more than 1,000 employees and invoiced 170 million euros in 2018.
Innovation as an engine
Its heavy emphasis on RDI, along with the 2018 creation of the Girbau LAB, an open innovation platform, have placed the company at the vanguard of innovation, energy efficiency and sustainability. In this sense, Girbau makes every effort to develop the best and most cutting-edge solutions on the market. One good example is Girbau Sapphire, a remote connectivity solution to control laundry equipment.
Via the Girbau LAB, last May the multinational participated in Vivatechnology 2019, the largest event in Europe for networking between companies and start-ups held in Paris from the 16th to 18th of May. Girbau is thus expanding its ecosystem of collaboration with international start-ups and accelerators, along with its focus on disruptive solutions in the laundry sector in the areas of Clean Tech and the Internet of Things.