Socla remains at the forefront of plumbing innovation

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Located in Son-et-Loire in Virey-les-Gran on a plot of 20,600 m2, Socla, a subsidiary of Watts Water Technologies Inc. since 2011, has invested 900,000 euros for the modernization of the production site.

A historical player in the protection of water networks from pollution, Socla – a company for the production of fittings – founded in 1951, is investing in the future. With a production capacity of more than 9.5 million products, the Virey-les-Gran plant, built in 2001, covers a production area of ​​20,600 m2 (85,000 m2 in total land area) and employs 204 people. “The largest in France and one of the most important in Europe for the Watts group”, explains site director Guillaume Gerbron. Among the products developed by Socla are non-return fuses, non-return valves, gates, pressure reducers. Watts also provides fire safety, air conditioning and heating systems. Living space is represented by several solutions (robifix, thermostats, etc..). “Very wide range to provide our customers with turnkey solutions”Guillaume Gerbron clarifies. “Historically, Socla was broadcast in Europe, today we go through offices and structures owned by Watts, which respond more quickly to demand through adapted supply,” He continues. Only 14% of Socla’s products are sold directly to end users. “

Modern laboratory
The Virey site is a logistics center for delivery, paint (epoxy powder), manual, semi-automatic or automatic assembly and includes a test area for control valves. The Virey-le-Grand factory, located in the open, overlooks the surrounding meadows. It has a state-of-the-art laboratory with an area of ​​620 m2, where equipment is tested and which can test solutions developed for customers. Equipped with a pool with a capacity of 340 m3, it can be used to test the endurance or resistance to salt spray to measure the durability of corrosion solutions. When working in a closed circuit, the maximum flow rate of these units is 3400 m3 / h. The metrological service certifies the devices.

Increase the safety and flexibility of the production tool
Socla has invested almost € 900,000, including € 450,000 in 2021, to modernize its production site, bring it into line with environmental regulations and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its production, to ensure the safety of operators at all stages of production. to double the automatic production of built-in valves, increase the productivity of certain operations (installation of seals, leak tests, markings) and improve processes by replacing the solvent ink on the cartridge; € 300,000 for the treatment of large diameter gates (400 mm to 1200 mm) in order to optimize the flexibility of the production line and respond to specific customer requests; € 140,000 to control the carbon footprint and optimize thermal comfort, in particular by recovering heat from the compressor to heat the laboratory and maintenance offices located nearby. Thanks to the measures already taken, in particular with regard to lighting, electricity bills fell by 25% (20 million kWh, reduced to 11.5 million); as for gas products, the increase is about 33,000 kWh per year.