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Proud shear baler producer Copex turns 70

2018 has been an exciting year for French recycling equipment manufacturer Copex thanks to a full order book. The company, led by Frédéric Malin, has also been celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Some 200 guests including employees, customers and their partners recently gathered at the Copex headquarters and main production facility near Lorient in Brittany, France to celebrate the company’s birthday.

In 70 years, Copex has built a reputation for its reliability, robustness and innovation with customers both at home in France and beyond. The company generates 60-70% of its turnover internationally and now does business in around 40 countries.

‘I am proud of the expressions of solidarity from our French customers,’ said Malin who has led Copex since the late 1990s, becoming owner of the company through a management buy-out.

Global footprint

Malin said he was honoured that customers and partners from Australia, China, Russia and the USA travelled thousands of kilometres to join the party. ‘With China it is because we have a partnership, not in terms of manufacturing locally, but as a way for a French company to exist there; Russia is one of the historical markets where we have installed many machines, especially since 2005; while in Australia and the USA we work with agents who, since 2006 and 2014 respectively, have provided a local technical service.’

Remain sharp

For Copex the end of 2017 was marked by ‘a very nice’ achievement: the installation in the Paris region of a 1 700 tonne cutting force shear. ‘We have returned to success with a full order book at the same time knowing that the market remains unpredictable and capricious,’ Malin noted.

He added that Copex will continue exploring new markets such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh while strengthening its position in the Gulf region. ‘Combined with the upcoming development of new applications for our presses, this will enable us to meet the challenges of the next 70 years.’

A baling press innovator

Since its start-up in 1948, Copex has specialised in the design and fabrication of hydraulic baling presses for scrap. The first scrap shear, with 1 000 tonnes of capacity, was installed in 1975 and was soon followed by the first mobile version. By the early 1980s, scrap shears and baling presses had become the company’s core products and today Copex is a major global supplier in the recycling equipment market.

Some of the highlights in its history include production of a 2 200-tonne cutting force scrap shear in 1996 and the introduction of a new generation of hydraulics in 2007. In 2011 it launched Lidex, a scrap shear with side compression, followed two years later by a new generation of mobile scrap shears under the Reflex brand name. Copex launched a new-generation, two-ram baler at the end of 2014, followed a year later by its new range of S-Wing scrap shears. To date, close to 900 pieces of equipment worldwide carry the Copex label.

Pictures and sculptures

To mark the 70th anniversary, Copex employees were invited to reflect on what Copex meant to them. A professional photographer then helped shape the many ideas expressed. Customers, too, were asked to send in photos. The winner, the Spanish recycling company RD San Juan, was offered a mural sculpture created by French artist Frédéric Daty whose other works were exhibited at the Copex headquarters.

A special profile on Copex highlighting the company’s successes has been added to the November/December issue of Recycling International

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