Sames – A Stroke of Excellence
The French expert in paint and sealant solutions with a century-long history is emerging with a new identity and a new name – Sames.
For nearly a century, Sames has been providing services and equipment for the application of liquid and powder paints, adhesives, and sealants to bond, protect and beautify all types of surfaces.
The company designs, produces and markets complete solutions – manual guns, automatic and robotic sprayers, dispensers, pumps, and dosing machines. Sames’s solutions are at the cutting edge of technological innovation with the utmost respect for the environment.
In October 2022 the century-old company embarked on the next stage of development under a new name, to present a unified identity for its historical brands and to better meet the technological and environmental challenges of its customers, partners, and employees.
A Century of Tradition
The company’s roots go back to 1925 when the business was first established under the name of Kremlin, the company that introduced the first air spray gun in Europe to the finishing industry. The popularity of this gun spread so quickly that all types of spray guns became known as “Kremlins”.
Two decades later, Sames was created, which later introduced the first manual industrial powder coating gun to the world. The two companies, both of which launched several ‘world firsts’ innovations over time, eventually became members of the EXEL Industries group, a world leader in spray technologies, and merged into Sames Kremlin in 2017.
Three years later, Sames Kremlin acquired German Eisenmann Intec, an expert in bonding for the automotive industry, which became Sames Kremlin Intec. Finally, and most recently, the brands merged into Sames in October 2022.
Bond, Protect, Beautify
Cédric Perres, Sames CEO, says: “Although we now operate as a unified Sames group, the legacy names have been preserved in the products to secure continuity and stability.”
He explains that the group now employs over 1000 people in its 3 production plants in Germany and France, and a network of subsidiaries in 15 countries from Europe to North America and China.
“Compared to our larger competitors, we are a small but still global player. We specialise in providing services and equipment for the application of liquid and powder paints, adhesives, and sealants, which are used across a variety of sectors from automotive and aerospace to PCs, mobile phones, handbags or shoes. Anything painted or glued is quite possibly treated by our equipment.”
He reflects that with a comprehensive range of products and solutions it is impossible to highlight just one that would stand out but reveals that the company is now working on an innovation based on printing, instead of spraying. This will allow the application of multiple colours within a single process, achieving perfect colour alignment on a surface.
‘Green’ Before ‘Green’ Was Invented
“The technology that we are developing right now is fully in line with our DNA, which has been CSR-driven from the very beginning before the concept of CSR was even thought of. Since the founding of the company, the focus has always been on putting the right dose of product in the right place at the right time, in other words, the correct use of the minimum amount of product needed. With this approach, we have been environmentally driven for close to 100 years,” says Mr Perres.
He points out that there are also other reasons why the environment is firmly embedded in everything the company does. Sames is headquartered in Grenoble, in the beautiful region of the French Alps, where ecology is an integral part of the community. CSR is also reflected in the company’s name: Sames, which stands for “Simply Applying Most Efficient Solutions”
“Over the years, the company has filed over 106 active patents and innovation has always been key for our development. We invest over 4% of turnover in R&D with a view to coming up with solutions that are even more efficient and environmentally friendly, such as the new printing technology that I mentioned earlier.”
The Human Touch
By transforming its identity, Sames is affirming that it is much more than a supplier of spraying equipment and solutions. It is a player committed to its ecosystem, around three fundamental values: the ‘human touch’ summarised in the company slogan ‘enjoy being the best together’; excellence and customer satisfaction; and responsibility for tomorrow – protecting the environment and beautifying the world.
“Our slogan reflects the family spirit of the company. Our employees feel cared for, get to share the vision, and clearly see the purpose of their work. The human touch also applies to our customers. Although we are the smallest fish in the international pond competing against multinational global players, customers come to us as they can see a human being behind the scenes and enjoy the close relationships we strive to establish.”
Sames’s customers come from a variety of sectors including automotive, wood, leather, and others. This diversity has no doubt helped the company to stay strong in challenging times. “Diversification is very important to me,” says Mr Perres, adding that when he arrived in the company in 2009, 90% of its output was sold to the automotive industry. Under his management, Sames managed to reduce this volume to 50%, aiming to reduce it even further.
He affirms that today Sames is in a good place. The company has opened a new wet paint technical centre at its German site and is recently investing in a complete refurbishment of its production facility in Paris.
Speaking of the future, he affirms that Sames is looking at expanding both in terms of technology and global reach, focusing on Japan and the US. Sames currently exports 90% of its output, with the North American and the Far East markets being the fastest growing.
Considering the business’s development over the last decade, Mr Perres can be rightly proud of Sames’s achievements under his management. “When I arrived in 2009, the company was losing money.”
“I told the staff that my first job was put the smile back on their faces – if a customer sees a grumpy face, he will not place an order. The orders have kept coming so we must have done something right,” he says, stressing the importance of a joint effort and praising his great team. ‘Enjoy being the best together’ seems to be paving the way for Sames’s future.”