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With manpower of 22,600 and 1,500 enterprises, metallurgy andmechanical engineering equipment hold the number one place onAuvergne's industrial stage, closely followed by the highly symbolic rubber and tyre sector.
Metallurgical and mechanical engineering activities
Metallurgy and mechanical engineering are true special features of the region, ranging from the production of special steels, particularly for the aircraft industry to knife making all well as the manufacture ofautomotive accessories. Some of these activities such as the knife making are the national benchmark with the knife manufacture of Thiers representing 7O% of the national production.
Backed by traditional expertise, these sectors have developed and are today on the cutting edge of innovation. The arrival in Auvergne of theViaMéca cluster bringing together many SMEs and big groups vouches for this.
Similarly, in terms of training, Auvergne is home to the IFMA, Institut Français de Mécanique Avancée (French institute for advanced mechanical engineering), the only engineering school of this type on a national scale.
The metallurgical and mechanical engineering activities also benefit from a technology transfer platform dedicated to mechanical engineering and computer-integrated manufacturing: MEC@PROD.
This cluster is focused on two approaches:
- an industrial approach to boost relations between stake holders and sub-contractors,
- an R&D and technology transfer development approach
It is backed by research laboratories and teaching centres: Université Blaise Pascal, the CNRS, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (national centre for scientific research), CEMAGREF, Centre National du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts (national centre for agricultural mechanisation and rural, water and forestry engineering), or even IFMA, Institut Français de Mécanique Avancée (French institute for advanced mechanical engineering).
The rubber sector remains Auvergne's trademark, not only thanks to the Michelin group but also because this activity concentrates ten times more manpower than the other regions of France. The sector employs close to 18,000 and pools 42% of France's rubber research resources. Other high flyers in the rubber field such as Goodyear Dunlop Tires France or Trelleborg have also opted for Auvergne, alongside dynamic and sometimes leading market SMEs such as Silicone Plastique Caoutchouc Voreyzien and Caoutchouc Velay Applicationsrepresenting 100% of the French silicone teat production!
Plastics engineering is also a special feature of Auvergne. Hence theSainte-Sigolène basin in Haute-Loire where close to 40% ofFrance's polyethylene films comes off its lines.
Auvergne has mastered multiple skills in plastics engineering: extrusion, injection, rotational moulding and thermoforming. The scope ranges from merchandising to agriculture: sleeves and plastic fittings, polyurethane foam, plastic injection for cutlery, packaging, etc.
The successful combination of the research potential and the dynamism of the economic players of the sector are rounded up in the rubber and polymers cluster, Elastopole, including Auvergne..