GB Boucherie NV: Cutting edge technology for the brush industry
Izegem was always a center of the brush industry. Over time, the manufacturing process of brushes has evolved from manual into a highly automated process. In this evolution, the Boucherie company played a major role for the last 90 years.
"From the time when my grandfather Gerard B. Boucherie started building machinery in 1928, he was far ahead of his time because of his passion for automation and new technology,” Bart Boucherie Jr. explains about the early years of the company. “In addition to brush machines, he also built woodworking machines, and already at the beginning of the nineteen-thirties, we exported our machinery all over the world. His passion passed on to my father, Lionel Boucherie, who further expanded the company together with his brothers. He also added injection molds and machines for the toothbrush industry to the range. Today you can find our machines from Australia to the southernmost tip of Argentina.
Toothbrushes, better and flashier
Although highly automated production cells for household brushes are still a core business, another segment has become more important since the late 1970s; machines for the toothbrush industry. Bart Boucherie Jr.: “Our first toothbrush machines focused on output, but for the last 25 years, all our customers focused on making brushes that do a better brushing job, had better quality and a flashy look. We are therefore constantly developing new production processes for such applications.”
Responding to global reality
Since last year, the fourth generation in the family business has also started: Lisa Boucherie, daughter of Bart Boucherie Jr., joined the company and, in the meanwhile, has acquired knowledge in the different departments of the company. “I hope to make it possible for our production to remain in Izegem in the future” she says. “In the field of simple and conventional toothbrushes, in the recent years we have experienced more pressure from the far east, where the cost of building machines is lower. In order to provide an answer to that, we have developed a simplified version of those machines that are faster to build, with easier-to-produce parts. However, such developments cannot be underestimated; it takes a lot of energy to create radically new designs. A team of flexible and technically strong employees is also essential, and our people certainly don’t work on an assembly line. Even serial work is very limited.”
Boucherie & Borghi
Beginning May 2014 Boucherie joined forces with Borghi from Italy. The range was expanded with many types of machines that were not built in Izegem, so the customer portfolio immediately became many times bigger. The Boucherie-Borghi Group has 156 years of combined experience and 500 employees in the Italian and Belgian headquarters, as well as 9 subsidiaries in 7 countries. There is a continuous and very intense exchange of knowledge and technology between the two sister companies, with workgroups preparing the machines of the future for both companies of the Boucherie Borghi Group.
Here you can find the article on the local newspaper. (Please choose Edition 01/10/2017)
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