Welcome to Suzhou (China), behind the scenes at the 822 Fab House
Today, November 20, Hutchinson’s third Fab House, the 822 Fab House, is being opened in China. An opportunity to review the benefits of the Fab House, and of this latest creation, at a time when we are seeking to innovate locally in line with the requirements of Automotive and Aerospace customers.
First there was the 507 Fab House, Hutchinson’s “beating heart” opened in 2016 in Châlette-sur-Loing (an hour’s drive south of Paris), in a completely renovated Gustave-Eiffel building. The same year there was the 616 Fab House in Grand Rapids (Michigan), an epicenter of the automotive industry, at the heart of the Group’s historic American factories. From now on, there will be the 822 Fab House in Suzhou (China). “The Fab House are located at the center of our activities and are also symbols of Hutchinson’s presence on the three continents. Places dedicated to innovation and sharing of experiences, like the 822 Fab House opened on an iconic Hutchinson site in China, at the heart of the Suzhou Industrial Park”, proclaims Frédéric Le Du, CEO of Hutchinson China, who is today opening the Group’s third innovative Fab House in the presence of Jacques Maigné (CEO of Hutchinson), Chris Anner (Senior VP for Asia), Hutchinson’s operational committee and numerous customers, suppliers and target schools.
Hutchinson’s 25-year presence in China
The Fab House assert their local specificities. At the 822, bamboo – the region’s iconic plant – is everywhere, in the interior architecture (bamboo floors) and in the decorative elements (bamboo alleys). The place is also punctuated with reminders of the site’s historic industrial activities – here, primary suspensions from trains to support columns of the platform which presents our products and solutions, there, autoclave rails to move product exhibition platforms, there again, anti-vibration cables to decorate the arches of the lobby… The Railway industry is one of the sectors developed in this part of the world, like the automotive industry and aerospace. In addition to a sales office in Beijing, we have four industrial sites in the country: Wuhan (the first, opened in 1995 – Automotive Market), Chongquing (Automotive), Shenyang (Automotive), and Suzhou (Automotive, Aeropace and Railways).
Innovating, innovating and innovating again!
Places of innovation by their very nature, the Fab House share a common objective: to host our employees, partners, prospects and customers from all over the world for all occasions (training seminars, brainstorming sessions, telepresence meetings and commercial events). With the same philosophy: Innovating, Sharing and Experimenting. “The Fab House are places of sharing designed for enjoying new experiences and opening oneself to new perspectives. In our Fab House, days are inspiring and full of discoveries”, says Valérie Soupet, Senior VP Communication. The Chinese engineers invited to a design thinking program (MIP) at a preview at the 822 Fab House clearly understood this, as did the participants at the first sessions of the Hutchinson Management School. Tomorrow, the 822 Fab House will primarily host our customers and our employees, to define with them for example their advance needs. “Everything moves very fast in China: if we want to still be present in the future in hybrid or electrical vehicles, we need to increase our local innovation capacities ten-fold”, states Frédéric Le Du.
A product showroom
The Fab House are also a showcase for our technical and innovative know-how. At the 822 Fab House as at the 507 Fab House, the “big tables” present all the main product families manufactured. The test machines presented on the ground floor of the 822 Fab House prove Hutchinson’s test capacities in China, and we will soon be seeing a mock-up of a hybrid car which will present our latest on-board technologies in augmented reality. This should interest the multinationals operating in the Suzhou Industrial Park, one of the biggest (with an area of 300 km2) and most powerful economic centers in Asia. High-tech industries, electronics and pharmaceuticals in particular, rub shoulders there with automotive giants like Volkswagen, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, etc. Without forgetting numerous new technology start-up incubators. A highly favorable industrial ecosystem for Hutchinson China, which has been operating in the country for nearly a quarter of a century.
“China is a country which appreciates long-time friends, something Hutchinson can be proud of”, concludes Frédéric Le Du.