Last week, the Paris Expo exhibition centre, Porte de Versailles, hosted the 2019 edition of the Equip Auto Show, an international meeting place for players in the field of automotive aftersales and services for mobility.
On this occasion, 7 innovation prizes were handed out to laureates, selected among 35 finalists (out of a total of 142 applicants) by an international jury of about 50 journalists from 15 countries.
The award for “Services to professionals and services for connected mobility” went to the French group Lacour (specialised in digital solutions for automotive aftersales professionals) and its SERI solution: Scan Estimate Result Intelligence.
A long-term project
SERI is a bodywork inspection tool that combines a mobile gantry capable of scanning a vehicle in its entirety, image analysis algorithms, a manufacturer’s reference frame and a 3D restitution of damage. “The system is integrated on a trailer and deployable in a few hours. It automates the choice of repair service: paintless dent removal, repair or replacement of parts,” explains Romain Carre, Lacour Group project manager.
The technology behind SERI, Caroscan, has Luxembourg origins. It has been developed by the start-up Virelux Inspection Systems, based in Differdange, which has been working on the topic for 18 months. “We develop innovative metrology solutions for the automotive and aerospace industries,” explains Tom Reichert, CEO of Virelux. “We initiated this project by focusing on a solution capable of measuring the entire body of a car in absolute 3D, without the need for any prior information.”
Currently in its finalisation phase, the control solution targets a vast market including all professionals likely to have to validate bodywork quality: fleet operators, car rental companies, garages, entry or exit points to industrial ports, insurers, experts and so on.
“The Lacour group was searching for new ideas, and quickly showed great interest in our technological solution,” says Mr Reichert.
An active support
Virelux is currently experiencing rapid growth and regularly receives awards. A year ago, it received the FEDIL Innovation Award in the “SME” category for its project “Optifrag – Automatic fragmentation control of automotive glazing”: an automated optical control solution, designed to replace a manual counting method on paper film.
“With the Lacour group, we have a great gateway to France,” explains Mr Reichert. “We are in the process of discussing the future use of SERI technology. We are for sure aiming for international development.”
“We can only congratulate ourselves on the success of Virelux, which is a company that Luxinnovation has supported at various stages and is active in the Materials & Manufacturing Cluster,” explains Johnny Brebels, Director Company Relations and Support at Luxinnovation. “It is a typical example of what the agency can bring, particularly through its cluster and funding support activities. And in this case, these services have been able to contribute to international expansion and success.”
Six Luxembourg exhibiting companies
Five other Luxembourg companies were also present at the Equip Auto Show: Autotuner (engine diagnosis), Dynabrade Europe (creation of tools for industry), Fleetback (digital solutions), Flowey LCI (maintenance products) and RS-Tronic (repair and maintenance). “We are particularly pleased with the growing presence of Luxembourg companies at high value-added exhibitions in France. Equip Auto is certainly one of them and allows us to present a wide range of solutions and technologies in the automotive and mobility sector,” comments Laurence Sdika, Economic and Commercial Attaché at the Luxembourg Embassy in France, who also represents the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and is the Secretary General of the Business Club France-Luxembourg (BCFL).
“We are particularly delighted with this prize awarded by Equip Auto, which rewards a great cooperation between a promising Luxembourg start-up and a major French group. In addition, we are delighted that some of the participating Luxembourg companies proudly display the national colours or the logo “Made in Luxembourg”. This contributes to promoting Luxembourg’s expertise internationally.”
Photos: Virelux and Business Club France-Luxembourg