The articles of association of COSSARDEAUX - GROSDIDIER is incorporated with share capital of 60,000 FF. by Maître Godon, notary at Donchery, on August 24, 1927, for the purposes of: commercialization, industry, sale of cast iron and all commercial operations related to the cast iron industry, for 18 years, from September 1, 1927.
1930 - 1940
The old name is left behind in 1934 in favour of "La Fonte Ardennaise”, which sounds more like a brand. In 1936, Émile Grosdidier, the majority shareholder, becomes the sole administrator. The customer base changes in 1937 as clients from the electricity sector begin to arrive.
Starting at the beginning of the 30s, mass electrification accelerates with the growth of industrial facilities and housing reconstruction. The company participates in the founding of an electrical equipment manufacturer called ELECTROFONTE. The factory is expanded and more casting operators are employed. The foundry pours between 10 and 15 tonnes of metal each month and has around 15 workers.
1950 - 1960
Production increases to around 50 tonnes per month with fifty employees by 1951. Martial Grosdidier, an arts and crafts engineer, joins the company four years later and commences the process of mechanisation. In 1958 the company structure is changed from a limited liability company to a corporation, 70 employees now produce over 100 tonnes per month.
1960 - 1970
In 1963, Martial Grosdidier becomes the Chairman and his brother, Gérard Grosdidier becomes the General Manager, they aim to develop original commercial services with greater proximity to customers. Traditional mechanization completed, 142 employees now produce 260 tonnes per month. Switch over to the DISAMATIC process in 1969, a technical, financial and commercial revolution to meet the growing demand for large runs of parts.
1970 - 1980
La Fonte Ardennaise (LFA) expands internally with the purchase of 3 DISAMATIC machines (1973, 1980 and 1982) and externally with the purchase of the old Ricat-Grisard foundries at Vrigne-aux-Bois (1975). Launch of the export service in 1978.
1980 - 1990
By 1983 the 3 LFA units are producing 1300 tonnes per month and employ 411 staff. A year later the Toussaint company is purchased in Haybes specialising in the moulding of spheroidal graphite cast iron. 1085 sees the incorporation of the Dumas foundry. One of the group’s largest investments is made here: a DISAMATIC 2130. A sales office is opened in Cologne in 1987.
1990 - 2000
1997 sees investments in LFA1 and LFA2, the acquisition of a “SED” machining site and the launch of CEVA Technologies. S.A. with a Board of Directors and CEO is converted to an S.A. with a Supervisory Board and Management Board in 2000. The company continues to develop two main areas: investment to increase capacity and to optimise internal and external growth.
Acquisition of AFC (Redon) which specialises in the casting of safety-critical parts for cars, public transport and heavy vehicles, complementing the existing skill set and volumes and providing cross-over synergies between the various factories.
Expansion of LA FONTE ARDENNAISE group (1200 staff) in Serbia, the geographic location of which has high industrial potential. The main customers of Mecafor Products wanted it to be located in a central European company as they were located at the same place. This strategic choice is a logical continuation of the policy of LA FONTE ARDENNAISE and will allow it to maintain the customer growth prospects essential to the group.
After 6 months of uninterrupted work, the largest investment ever made by LA FONTE ARDENNAISE becomes operational: a complete DISAMATIC 231 format X moulding line (750 x 535mm). This facility is a true foundry within a foundry and brings the capacity of AFC units to over 27000 tonnes/year, confirming its position as the leading spheroidal graphite casting company for safety-critical parts.
2011 - 2012
The CAETANO foundry in Seville is acquired by LA FONTE ARDENNAISE on the 27th of July 2011. This latest-generation facility was constructed in Guillena in 2005, it is just 30 minutes from the international airport of Seville and brings additional production capacity of 25,000 tonnes to the group. Its two vertical joint moulding lines and the two medium-frequency melting furnaces enable lamellar and spheroidal graphite casting to be done to the most demanding standards. Its location in the south of Spain offers new perspectives for growth in both Southern Europe and North Africa.
LA FONTE ARDENNAISE: installs a DISAMATIC 250C – 850x650 to replace the 2130 model installed in 1986.
2014 - 2015
An industrial robotics department is set up at the LFA2 machining plant to cover all assembly requirements.
MECAFOR: Commencing in 2008 in SENTA (Serbia), MECAFOR's business takes on a new dimension with the inauguration of a brand new 5000m2 factory in KIKINDA on 20 October 2016, a town with a strong industrial potential located to the north of the capital, BELGRADE and close to the Hungarian border. This approach naturally fits into LA FONTE ARDENNAISE's strategy for the development and support of its clients in emerging markets.
2017 - 2019
2017: Commissioning of an Epoxy/Polyurethane powder surface treatment line on the SED site in La Flèche (72)
August 2019: A new DISAMATIC 240A moulding line is set up at LFA ESPANA.
Installed as a replacement of the LORAMENDI 5070 line, this 2M € investment completes the 10 DISAMATIC lines already operational on all the sites.
It also contributes to standardising the production resources in all group foundries.
LFA1 foundry workflow
The commissioning of a brand new shot-blasting line on 6 January 2020 in the LFA1 foundry is an additional step in the production workflow.
Located in a brand new 5000m2 extension of the foundry, this line composed of a WHEELABRATOR CT6 shot blaster and a 50 metre vibrating unit around which the different touch-up stations are positioned makes it possible to continuously check, finish and package all the produced parts.
2020: MECAFOR continues its growth with the construction of a 4000m2 extension intended to increase its machining capacities and implement a brand new aerospace sector activity.
MECAFOR obtained the AS9100 aerospace certification in September 2020.
2021 - 2022
SOCOMETA, recognised aluminium and copper alloy foundry specialist located in CONFOLENS in the Charente region of France joined the group on 1st December 2021.
This first alloy acquisition outside foundry is part of the group policy to diversify the offer around cast parts.
SED is growing with a third extension of 1500 m2 to the buildings.
This extra surface area will be used to increase machine assets to be able to meet the increasing demand for machining services from out customers.