Created in 1853, the Hutchinson group has become one of the leaders in technologies surrounding rubber transformation. As a subsidiary of the TOTAL energy group,the 5th largest in the world, Hutchinson now represents more than 25,000 partners and more than 80 production sites in 21 countries.
INNOVATION AT THE HEART OF THE GROUP’S DNA
Every year, Hutchinson spends a large portion of its investments on Research and Development. By developing partners in both basic materials research as well as applicable research, Hutchinson registers dozens of patents a year thanks to their numerous researchers and engineers.
Partner of Large Industries
As a partner and supplier of the largest industrials in sectors as varied as automotive, aeronautical, railway, construction and defence, Hutchinson develops its technological expertise in 4 specific fields:
- Transmissions (belts, rollers),
- Vibration, acoustic and thermal insulation,
- Fluid transfer.
History of Hutchinson
From shoes to tires
In 1853, Hiram Hutchinson arrives in France from the United States and founds the Compagnie du Caoutchouc Souple to manufacture rubber in Châlette-sur-Loing. He has his sights set on the shoe market, under the “à l’Aigle” brand.
In 1860, the firm takes its first steps abroad, opening its third factory in Mannheim, Germany, and selling to the Central European markets.
In 1890 the firm begins to manufacture bicycle tires.
Rubber can be used for everything: Hutchinson diversifies
In 1903 production of car tires begins, with the introduction of a new process. The Hutchinson bicycle tire establishes a name for itself with its single-strand model (used on the “Hirondelle”). The modern world, having mastered the automobile, now attempts to conquer the sky: Hutchinson provides coated fabric for the new airplanes and dirigibles.
In 1918, Hutchinson’s head office moves to the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
In 1920, Hutchinson works in 10 segments: shoes, clothes, fabrics, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, heavy vehicles, balloons, heels and technical products. The best-selling products of the time are floor mats, Kégresse caterpillar track belts for Citroën, and seals for jars.
A time of creativity
In 1932, the first artificial sponges are invented and given the name Spontex.
In 1934, Jean-Félix Paulsen and Strakosky, former colleagues at Citroën, found the Paulstra company to develop a process to get rubber to bond to metal via brass coating.
The first elastic suspensions for aircraft engines are manufactured in 1936. Rubber is then used to reduce the spread of vibrations through cars, trains and subways and to soundproof buildings, etc.
In 1948, following the purchase of a latex factory, Mapa is born and begins to manufacture gloves.
In 1965, 15 million pairs of gloves are produced, over 6 million of which are exported to around 60 countries.
In 1973, Hutchinson and Mapa merge and Jean-Félix Paulsen sells Paulstra to Hutchinson Mapa (which will be renamed “Hutchinson” in 1981).
In 1974, Total acquires a majority stake in the company. The new company has a staff of 13,500 spread over 26 plants. The Hutchinson Group now serves three main markets: cars, industry and consumer products.
In 1986, Hutchinson acquires two major companies: Le Joint Français (precision seals) and Corduroy Rubber Company (car anti-vibration systems), marking the real starting point of Hutchinson’s internationalization.
Lastly, in 1989, Spontex arrives.
Resolutely global and high-tech, Hutchinson is a company acknowledged for its expertise in the aerospace and automotive industries with strong brands in the consumer sector.
Increasingly high-tech expertise
Turning its attention to technical markets, Hutchinson joins forces with companies with cutting-edge know-how in the 1990s: Vibrachoc, Desmarquoy and Caoutchoucs Modernes (France), Fayette Tubular Products, National O’Ring, Stillman, Rodgard (USA), Vincke (Spain, Portugal), Parets & Intecsa (Spain), Ertec (Argentina), Parmagan (UK, Malta), Cestari (Brazil), Lacesa (Mexico), etc.
Aigle parts company with the Group in 1994 and, in 2009, Mapa Spontex follows suit, with the Hutchinson Group now becoming a specialist in elastomer applications for industry and the automotive sector.
Finally, the Group’s aerospace activities is given fresh impetus with the acquisitions of Espa (1998), JPR(1999), Barry Controls (2000), Techlam (2005), Jehier (2006), Strativer (2008), Kaefer and Keumah (2011) and Marquez (2013).
The Group unites around a single brand: Hutchinson
All of the Group’s entities are coming together under a single brand. The goal? To raise our profile among our customers and create unity among our diverse teams. Hutchinson’s identity has been redesigned, with a new logo, a new tag line, and the definition of the 5 values that unite us.
SECURITY AND COMFORT: DRIVING WITH PEACE OF MIND
The so-called rubber-metal parts play an essential part in the anti-vibration system placing you, as a passenger in the vehicle, in a “rubber protection cell” filtering all the vibrations coming into the passenger compartment and providing you with maximum comfort and silence.
Moreover, they play an essential role in your safety. During crash tests, Euro-Ncap defines precise failure points for engine mounts depending on the violence of the accident, preventing the engine entering the passenger compartment while absorbing the shock. It is therefore essential to replace engine mounts with original quality parts from an equipment supplier like HUTCHINSON.
Lastly, antivibration components prevent the premature wear of sensitive components on the chassis (wishbone, shock absorber) or engine (universal joints, belts, exhaust manifold, steering rack, gearbox, etc.). It is important to regularly check and replace these parts to prolong the service life of these components.