Sectors: plastics and septic tanks
Main activity: manufacture of plastic parts by rotational moulding
Managing director: Antoine Machado
Location: Bascharage (Robert Steichen industrial zone)
Date founded: 2003
Specialising in the manufacture of plastic parts by rotational moulding since 2003, the Luxembourg company Rotomade has been growing rapidly since 2010. The secret of its success? The manufacture in collaboration with a sewerage and waste water treatment expert of a septic tank which is right now the most efficient on the market. The company markets it around the world through its subsidiary Biorock.
Coming from the world of plastics, nothing prepared Antoine Machado to be interested in the field of sewage and wastewater treatment. However, it is this very field that has enabled his company Rotomade to become so successful. "I’ve been working in plastics for more than 30 years," says Antoine Machado. "I set up Rotomade in 2003, with my colleague Gilles Delaisse after working in large groups and multinationals."
For Rotomade, the venture began at Ecostart, the centre for enterprise and innovation at Foetz, with the support of Luxinnovation. "We started from a trade we knew well, which was little known but which we identified as a being a trade of the future," explains Mr Machado, who chose Luxembourg for its central position, at the heart of Europe, and its multilingualism. Specialising in the design and manufacture of plastic vats by rotational moulding, the firm began its activity in response to the needs of industry, making parts to order in small or medium runs, before also moving into rainwater recovery. "I have to admit, we had a difficult start," says Machado. "In 2007 we left Ecostart to set up in Bascharage. Incidentally, we were the first occupant of the Site Industriel S.A. (SISA), the site formerly occupied by TDK and subsequently reconditioned." In spite of the difficulties, Antoine Machado continued to believe in his project and to look for new openings.
2010 marked a turning point in the history of Rotomade. It was then that the subsidiary Biorock was formed, in close collaboration with a sewage and waste water treatment expert, in equal shares. "The Biorock® system had been developed and distributed by our partner since 1988. He found in us the ideal partner. He had the expertise in the sector, we had the manufacturing capacity and sales force," says Antoine Machado. The septic tank sector is today experiencing strong demand throughout Europe. For Rotomade, which leverages its experience in rotational moulding to manufacture the vats, and Biorock, the growth has been outstanding since then.
In 2011, the group’s turnover reached 6.6 million euros. The target is to double the activity and reach a staff of 85 by 2015, compared to 45 now. To accompany this growth, Rotomade has taken care to review its structure and it became ISO 9001 certified in February 2012. "It’s just a stage in our development but this certification is a strong signal that we wish to give to our partners and customers, a sign of our desire for growth and quality control." Thanks to its biological septic tank system and competitive pricing, Biorock is producing good results with an almost exclusively export business. The countries bordering Luxembourg take 60% of our deliveries, and the rest go to Africa, South America, the Middle East, Scandinavia and England.
"Our product is differentiated by its simplicity," notes Antoine Machado. "It’s a biologically certified treatment system, which works without electricity and requires minimal maintenance and can remain unattended for long periods. It’s based on a mechanical and biological double filtration system. In a conventional septic tank the water is loaded with bacteria. Our system uses a complementary purification Biorock unit which produces completely neutral, colourless, odourless water that is close to rainwater."
In difficult economic times, the Rotomade-Biorock group is proud of its success, without in any way resting on its laurels. It has identified new markets, new regions to serve and new developments. "At each stage of the company’s development, Luxinnovation has been a special partner. Again today now that we are rapidly expanding they are still a source of sound advice," stresses Mr Machado, who does not hide his ambitions. "Our treatment systems are being carefully followed and we know that the competition won’t stand idly by. Innovation is key. We are embarking on an ambitious research and development programme. We aim to bring a more efficient product to the market in three to five years." Because to progress, you have to think ahead.