From a clever assembly system of aluminium profiles and accessories, Norcan offers customised modular solutions such as structures, workstations,carts, means of access and conveyors. By combining these solutions, it is able to offer complete specialised installations. Founded in 1987 in Haguenau by Paul Hannes, former manager of INA Roulements-Schaeffler, the company was taken over in 2014 by Stéphane Fauth, a native of Alsace, who is passionate about the world of industry and who aims to grow the business.
Paul Hannes, a native of Mulhouse, was 63 years old when he founded Norcan with his daughter MarieJosé Lambla and his son Jean-Victor. Interned in the Schirmeck concentration camp during WWII for acts of resistance, engaged in the First French Army after many adventures in Germany, he joined Manurhin in Mulhouse where he was for ten years a highly effective business manager. He was noticed by the brothers Wilhelm and George Schaeffler, owners of the INA Roulements Group (bearings manufacturers), headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria (Germany). In 1962, they offered him the job of general manager at their plant in Haguenau (today known as Schaeffler France), which then had 100 employees. When he retired in 1984, there were more than 1,400 people. Marked by his war years, Paul Hannes is driven by a “regional patriotism” which led him to say in 1997: “The best way to enrich a region is to found businesses and make them successful by creating the greatest possible number of jobs.”
This is a piece of advice that he would not fail to put into practice by creating, in addition to his responsibilities in the Schaeffler Group, SM Noral (North Alsace Mechanical Company) specialising in linear guidance. He sold it in 1987 to INA Roulements in order to set up Norcan. “I felt that aluminium profiles lacked a simple and clever fastening system”, he said. With the engineer, Matthias Keller, whom he recruited onto his team, he developed profile assembly around the standard M8 fastenings without welding. In the grooves of the profiles a variety of accessories can be attached. “At first, we cut and machine finished aluminium profiles by the metre, but we soon realised that to stand out from our competitors we had to design turnkey solutions”, says Marie-José Lambla, daughter of Paul Hannes and co-founder of Norcan of which she became CEO, while her brother Jean-Victor, general manger, was in charge of logistics and trading. “We are fortunate that our parents got us started. We were all proud, in the family, of having been asked to enter the Stock Exchange on the secondary market. The adventure lasted four years, after which we bought back our shares”, said Marie-José Lambla.