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  • About the 3M Group in France
  • Did you know that
  • 3M’s Partnership Policy
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    About the 3M Group in France

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    The 3M group in France consists of 3M France and Laboratoires 3M Santé. The two companies realized turnover of FF 5.87 billion in 1995, 31% generated from exports.

    3M has done business in France since the 1950s, and first established its registered office in Paris. Soon after, in 1954, it built a factory in Beauchamp in the Oise valley. In 1976, 3M’s growth and desire for space, the proximity of its Beauchamp factory, and the opportunity to recruit locally prompted the company to become one of the first to leave the capital and move to the Paris suburbs, in Cergy-Pontoise.

    3M France S.A.

    Like the group as a whole, 3M France S.A’s businesses are highly diversified, ranging from office products and consumer stationery to household and municipal cleaning products, abrasive technologies, auto repair products, chemicals, electrical products, electronics products, telecommunications, traffic safety and signs, health and environmental protection, graphics communication, and adhesive technologies.

    3M France S.A employs 2,900 people and operates three production facilities, a technical center, research and development laboratories, and two European distribution centers.

    The Beauchamp Factories, A Leader in Environmental Protection

    Beauchamp is 3M France’s biggest production facility, with more than 800 employees and six areas of manufacture: paper products (Scotch™ and Magic™ tape, Post-it® Notes) printed Post-it® Notes, Scotch-Brite™ products, abrasives, products for the graphics and communication industry, industrial adhesive tapes, and telecommunications connectors. Two thirds of what the facility produces is destined for export to other European countries.

    The Beauchamp plant has anticipated air quality legislation, and has reduced solvent emissions by over 80%. Three factors account for its performance: pollution control installations, including a heat recovery and steam production system, a used solvent collector, and a regenerative heat incinerator; product reformulation; and the development of solvent-free processes. The program, which received support from ADEME, won the APAVE Environmental Prize in 1994.

    The Tilloy-lez-Cambrai Factory at the Crossroads of Europe Sets the Example for Safety

    Built in 1975, the Tilloy-lez-Cambrai factory is the newest 3M France production facility and has 150 employees. The plant produces consumer and industrial adhesives and glues, mastics, covering and coating materials, hollow glass microspheres, and ground marking tape. In 1995, 3M decided to invest FF 150 million in the Tilloy site to install a new line to manufacture ground marking tape and to expand the glass microsphere production line.

    Tilloy’s geographic location at the crossroads of Germany, the Benelux countries, the United Kingdom, and France enables it to serve the European market. Twenty-nine percent of the products manufactured at Tilloy are sold in France.

    To make sure all of its employees work under healthy, safe, and environmentally-friendly conditions, 3M is underwriting and implementing programs to increase employee awareness and train workers in industrial accident prevention. The cooperation, competence, and watchfulness of all of its employees has made the Tilloy factory an international safety model for the 3M group: three years have gone by without an accident resulting in a work stoppage. Compared to other big French chemical companies, 3M has one of the best safety records in France.

    The Villebon Site, Producing Products for the World

    Built in 1971, the Villebon-sur-Yvette plant has since been upgraded and automated. With more than 90 employees, it is responsible for making automotive trim and supplies for surface-mounted components used by manufacturers of electronic components. In both the automotive and electronics industries, most of the products made at Villebon supply large international groups. The plant handles its own deliveries in France and Europe.

    The Rueil-Malmaison Technical Center and Research and Development Laboratories

    3M France conducts its research and development work at the Rueil-Malmaison facility, which has over 90 employees. Multidisciplinary teams drawing members from the Marketing, Research & Development, Engineering, and Production Departments develop new products that anticipate and satisfy market needs. The laboratories and engineering departments also provide customer advice, training, and information services.

    The Rueil-Malmaison Technical Center works on abrasive technologies, household and municipal cleaning products, electrical equipment for industry and specialty electrical products, telecommunications products, auto repair products, traffic sign products, industrial adhesives and glues, graphic communication products, and specialty products and additives. The Rueil-Malmaison facility also includes a European adhesives laboratory, which is in charge of research and development for adhesives and glues, mastics, and surface coatings for industry and aerospace.

    A New European Distribution Center in Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône

    As part of 3M’s plan to reorganize its European Logistics Division, the company has spent a total of FF 318 million on a new distribution center. The new system aims to restrict 3m product receiving, storage and delivery to just five European countries: England, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. This new organization will improve quality and customer service. Operations are currently in the process of being moved from the Gennevilliers distribution center to the new Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône center.



    Laboratoire 3M Santé

    The product of a 1987 merger of the medical activities of Riker (pharmaceutical specialist), of 3M (biomedical) and Moser (fine chemicals), Laboratoires 3M Santé is a subsidiary of the 3M group in France. Its two facilities, in Malakoff (which will join Cergy head office from January 1st 1998) and Pithiviers, employ 620 people and generate turnover of FF. 1 billion.

    Its commercial operations, which are based in Malakoff, encompass three main areas :

    • Pharmaceutical specialties, notably for the treatment of cardiac and respiratory disease,
    • Medical products, including immobilization, skin health products, asepsis, sterilization assurance, orthopedic product, patient assessment, microbiology, medical specialties for industry and consumer products,
    • Dental products, including restoration, mold, adhesive supplies and orthodontia.


    The Pithiviers Facility

    3M established its pharmaceutical production plant in Pithiviers back in 1967. Today, the facility is also home to research and development activities, fine chemicals production, the manufacture of pharmaceutical specialties and biomedical products, and a customer service department. It employs 250 people. Pithiviers also serves as the distribution center for all 3M Santé products. In 1993, the Pithiviers facility became the European distribution center for all 3M dental products.

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    Did you know that


    3M developed an automatic library checkout system, originally designed by 3M employees in Australia? It is marketed in France as the Console Auxiliaire de prêt (Auxiliary Loan Console).

  • Scotchgard™ leather protection treatment was discovered by chance? A researcher who accidentally spilled a fluorinated chemical on one of his shoes during an experiment noticed that it did not get as dirty as his other one! The Scotchgard™ treatment later found a variety of applications, both protective (fabrics, decorations, clothing) and medical.

  • 3M™’s Scotchprint™ electronic graphics system was used to reproduce a famous Sistine Chapel painting in the immense illuminated window (measuring over 17 sq.m.) over the entrance to the Pizza Pino restaurant in the Vélizy shopping center?

  • A study by the German Environmental Institute published in 1996 in Germany’s Manager Magazine picked 3M as the third most environmentally-friendly chemical manufacturer in the world?

  • 3M mounted a 150-sq.m. display in the streets of Copenhagen, made using the 3M™ Scotchprint™ graphics system, of an official photograph of Denmark’s royal couple to mark their silver wedding anniversary?

  • The theme of a Guggenheim Foundation exhibition in Venice was “Do-it, Post-it®,” or how to create a work of art using Post-it® notes? The works exhibited included Andy Warhol’s Marilyn and Michelangelo’s David.

  • 3M laid 1,000 sq.m. of 3M™ Nomad™ floor matting on the ancient mosaic floor of the Saint Mark basilica in Venice, to better protect it from 13 million visitors?

  • APAVE awarded 3M the Ile-de-France environmental prize in 1994, in recognition of its work to reduce pollution from its European Post-it® notes production line at the Beauchamp facility?

  • 3M was ranked 123rd in terms of turnover among the top 1,000 companies worldwide by L’Expansion magazine in November 1995?

  • According to the November 1995 issue of the magazine Le Nouvel Economiste, 3M is the 102nd-ranked international group, all industries combined?

  • 3M is the world’s leading supplier of tape, offering over 900 varieties?

  • In 1995, 3M made 27 percent of its sales from products that were less than four years old?

  • 3M has facilities in over 60 nations outside the United States and sells its products in nearly 200 countries?

  • Since 1990, 3M has opened subsidiaries in ten new countries (including Israel and Morocco in 1995) and expects to establish at least 12 others between now and 2000?

  • 3M ranks 11th among the most admired US companies (March 1996 Fortune magazine ranking)?

  • 3M is one of the Dow Jones’ 30 blue-chip stocks?

  • 3M supplies stationery products (Scotch™ products and Post-it® Notes) to the Allons z’enfants play centers? These activity workshops, created by teachers, look after children between the ages of four and seven years in various shopping centers, while their parents shop in peace.

  • At the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Marie-Jo Pérec, outfitted by Reebok, wore lightweight shoes whose soles were coated with a 3M microreplicated surface to grip the ground firmly?

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    3M’s Partnership Policy


    The 3M group has developed a number of sponsorship programs, throughout the world. Its initiatives reflect the company’s basic values (contribution to society) and highlight its belief in creativity, practicality, cooperation, and partnership. 3M does not restrict itself to financial support: it commits personnel, products, and ideas to projects.

    Our goal in France is to become involved mainly in areas where the skills and knowledge of 3M employees, 3M products, or 3M services can improve the life of everyone. Accordingly, 3M has been active since 1988 in the fight against cancer, alongside the Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer (French National Anti-Cancer League) and Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM - French National Health and Medical Research Institute). A study to determine the causes of certain cancers has been conducted on a sample of 100,000 women for ten years. 3M helps publish a newsletter to inform the women in the study of its progress. In the same vein, 3M is working with the Quotidien du médecin (Physician’s Daily News) to keep general practitioners abreast of the latest epidemiological findings.

    3M has also applied its expertise in safety and traffic sign products to develop programs to enhance children’s safety. In 1990, the group launched an experiment in conjunction with the city of Annecy, installing a ground guidance system in the vicinity of the city’s pre-schools and elementary schools. Christened Les petits pas (Little Steps), the markings were intended to teach children how to cross the street safely. 3M also put together a teaching kit in 1993 with the help of teachers, artists, and road safety specialists. The kit, called L’Enfant au Coeur de la Ville (Children in the City), uses games and songs to make 6- to 11-year-olds more aware of urban hazards. It helps teachers introduce children to traffic safety rules and supports the efforts of mayors to promote the safety of children in cities.

    In the same spirit, 3M agreed in 1995, at the request of the weekly magazine Auto-Plus, to sponsor the “Draw a School Exit” contest. Launched in 1994 by Auto-Plus, the contest also aims to make children more aware of traffic hazards encountered daily. The winner earns a revamped school exit area for the town, courtesy of 3M and Auto-Plus, and a trip to Disneyland Paris. All elementary school children in France are eligible to enter the contest by drawing the areas immediately surrounding their school and suggesting ways to make exit routes safer. The winning drawings are selected by a 3M/Auto-Plus panel of judges.

    Here is a hyperlink to the international section on this topic.


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