2017 SIFER Trade Show: French Ardennes and the rail industry

The 10th international railways industry trade show took place in Lille in March 2017. Several French Ardennes companies were present

The 10th international railways industry trade show took place in Lille in March 2017. Several French Ardennes companies were present.

More than 5,000 professionals gathered at this trade fair, which has been running every other year since 1999. This is the only international railways B2B trade show in France which encourages those working in the sector (large contractors, outfitters, suppliers, subcontractors, operators and public transport managers) to meet, network and develop business opportunities.

The challenges of internationalisation are becoming more pronounced and export accounts for a quarter of the sector’s turnover. Meeting foreign contractors (47 different nationalities present) is essential to break into new markets.  French Ardennes SMEs working in the sector were therefore present at this important event to display their expertise and demonstrate that their now-how is adapting to meet the demands of tomorrow’s railway systems, to ensure presence in future markets.

FTV (FIXATION TECHNIQUE DE VIREUX) having received an award at the MIDEST Trade Show for its hermetic nut-screw system, was one of a group of exhibitors from the French Ardennes. Virginie Rodrigues, its chairman, was very pleased of the involvement of her company in the trade show.  She was able to network with specialist business contacts and also to make actual contact with engineering offices in order to set up upstream processes.  She said: “This trade show is a real gateway to innovation. Here the partnerships of the future are formed.” She also wanted to commend the Grand Est region partnership and said she would sign up again. The next large scale event FTV is taking part in is the International Paris Air Show taking place in June, in partnership with CCI Ardennes.

The other exhibitors from French Ardennes came from a wide range of sectors: SEFAC, specialist of vehicle lift and maintenance equipment manufacturer, Electro-Shunt, manufacturer of flexible connections, braids and cables, IDREP, an industrial electronic systems maintenance company, and also Amphenol, Wheelabrator (based in Charleville-Mézières), the Lambert group and Bourguignon Barré.

French Ardennes businesses stand alongside major players in the rail industry, confirming how strong its industry is.


By Ardennes Développement, the Ardennes economic development agency - ardennes-developpement.com