A new General Manager and ambitious growth plans for Initial

On April 1st, Luc Eckenfelder, the former Strategy and Development Manager, officially took up his post as General Manager of Initial.

His appointment strengthens Initial’s team and he will continue to work alongside our 100 employees, as well as Alain Berthet and Bertrand Besnier, co-founders and company directors.

Picture of Initial’s co-founders: Bertrand Besnier (on left), Yvon Gallet (in middle) et Alain Berthet (on right).




An insight from Yvon Gallet, Chairman and co-founder of INITIAL.

Does this mean that you have found your successor?

We have actually been working together on this succession for over a year, in order to ensure continuity for all our teams and projects. Initial is adhering firmly to its key principles and its desire to support its clients with the design and production of innovative products.

Luc joined the Prodways Group in 2017 and, specifically, developed the RAF (Rapid Additive Forging) technology for large metal parts. Alongside this, he established a dedicated Additive Manufacturing training centre in cooperation with Initial. It was the obvious decision for him to join the Annecy team in 2018 to pursue our development strategy, in particular for the mass production of parts by additive manufacturing.

Will Initial continue to grow and move to a new site?

With a doubling in turnover over the past 6 years, we are about to reach the limits of our 3 current sites and have decided to open a new site in Annecy, in the autumn of 2020. This will allow us to bring all our employees and production facilities together in a single building and to meet our growth targets. This new 4500m2 plus building will enable us to combine our plastic and metal additive manufacturing, thermoplastic injection moulding, vacuum casting and 3D scanning production resources as well as our design office on a single site.

What developments will you be initiating or supporting in the months ahead?

We already have extensive experience of relocating operations and moving sites. The forthcoming relocation will be perfectly managed, we have 100% planned it and, of course, I will be involved in this move. I will actually be working alongside the team and will continue to take on specific assignments, both for Initial and the Prodways Group, in order to support new developments under the best possible conditions. We are moving up a level on the eve of our 30th anniversary, which we will be celebrating in 2021.

Of course, there are other developments, which are worthy of particular attention.
Initial has carried out 2 years’ in-house R&D into the high-speed production of plastic parts in high quality material, in particular for our 3D Molding solution. This represents a convergence of 3D printing and injection moulding, to meet the needs of the most exacting manufacturers.

We will also be rolling out a training programme on additive manufacturing for our clients, on behalf of Initial. Our aim is to assist them in evaluating the issues for their business sector and in understanding the available materials, as well as teaching them how to design or re-design for additive manufacturing. Here too, our main concern is to establish a tailor-made path, to enable us to adapt to their daily challenges. We are committed to focussing the training on what really matters to our clients: use. The technology must be understood and taken on board, to allow the user to concentrate on the product and its development.

Will we see you at the opening of the new premises?

Happily, yes. The entire team will be there to celebrate the opening of this new facility and I am looking forward to supporting the unwavering aims of Initial in terms of innovation and additive technologies(!).

New General Manager of Initial

Luc Eckenfelder, new General Manager of Initial,
shares his view of his position and the challenges facing him.

Read the interview