France: for Evolis, industry is a tool for national sovereignty and economic dynamism that needs to be upgraded

On 1 December, the directors of Evolis, which was formed from the merger of three French professional organisations (Cisma, Symop and Profluid), held their first press conference since their creation in early 2022. Evolis now brings together players from the capital goods and industrial production machinery sectors, including the paper industry. Through the voice of its president, Jean-Claude Fayat (in the centre of the photo), Evolis recalled its key role in innovation and transformation of the sector. Industry 4.0 and decarbonisation are also at the heart of its action and place this organisation at the centre of the strategic changes to come.

Evolis represents 600 member companies, 82,000 jobs in France and has a turnover of 18 billion euros, of which 11 billion euros is exported. Productive investment is the key variable of the Evolis ecosystem: it represents the past activity and the future trend.
As such, the organisation published its analysis of productive investment for the first half of 2022.  In terms of evolution, while productive investment increased by 1.5% in 2022, it will decrease by 0.8% in 2023. Moreover, Evolis anticipates a 5 to 8% growth in sales for all sectors in 2022, with an increase in export sales of nearly 10%. However, in constant euros, i.e. excluding the price effect, this growth appears to be much less strong.

For 2023, the trend is also positive, with expected growth of between 5% and 9% overall for all Evolis sectors (+7% on the domestic market and between +8% and +9% for exports), with inflation expected to be slightly lower. Furthermore, investment in capital goods in the EU is expected to grow by around 2.7% this year, after a 9.7% growth in 2021.

Moreover, according to Evolis’ managers, the industry is a response to environmental issues, well before the regulations imposed and the current energy and climate crises. Its members are therefore working to decarbonise Industry 4.0. Remanufacturing (a combination of new and original materials that transforms used equipment into like-new equipment), water management, machine digitisation, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, short circuits, resource saving, etc.: there are many initiatives to decarbonise manufacturing processes, machines and all the equipment produced.

Finally, in the face of all these projects, the attractiveness of the industry remains one of the sector’s greatest challenges. The proportion of companies reporting recruitment difficulties reached 59% in November, one of the highest levels since 1991.

« We have set up a professional organisation whose aim is to highlight an essential link in the value chain of French industry, explained Jean-Claude Fayat. Decision-makers, public authorities, companies, the general public… We are committed to restoring the image of our sector of activity, which is constantly adapting to changing paradigms and contributing to the influence of French industry. » « In a context of reindustrialisation, there can be no strong industry without a strong production equipment and machinery sector, concluded Olivier Dario, General Delegate (on the right in the photo, with Alexandre Guillaume completely to the left, who represents MS, an Evolis member). Nor is there a strong industry without an innovative equipment and machinery sector. The industry sector needs a European policy of protection, not constraints. »

Valérie Lechiffre