Walter Grzymlas founded Saturne Technology at the turn of the century. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

Walter Grzymlas founded Saturne Technology at the turn of the century. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

Luxembourg-based Saturne Technology specialises in laser cutting of metals. Its customers include some of the big names in aerospace.

What do a TGV component, a rocket engine and a Rafale component have in common? They are all manufactured at Saturne Technology, a Luxembourg SME based in Contern.

Saturne Technology makes haute couture laser cutting.

Walter GrzymlasCEO and founderSaturne Technology

“Saturne Technology makes haute couture laser cutting,” says its founder and CEO, , with a smile. A materials metallurgy engineer, the Frenchman left the workforce to set up his own business in Luxembourg in 2001. “It was the most attractive country,” he admits.

In his 5,000m2 hall, lasers and other 3D printers produce 1.5m parts every year. “Our strength is our knowhow, with a service that extends from design to validation, without forgetting the production of parts for the customer.” In the aerospace industry, it takes between two months and two years from design to delivery of parts.

The United States in its sights

In this niche, exports are a major factor: three-quarters of production leaves the grand duchy. To raise its profile, the SME takes part in between three and five trade fairs a year: “We were at Le Bourget last June at the stand of the French ministry of the economy, which is fortunate because it would have cost us ten times as much if we had to go it alone.”

The company’s CEO says he is keen to promote his company’s Luxembourg identity abroad, and is starting to look beyond Europe’s borders. “We would like to open a branch in the United States within the next five years,” says Grzymlas.

His company is targeting three specific sectors: aeronautics and space; medical, with the manufacture of implants, operating tools and amputation blades; and general industry. “It’s very diversified, but the products are always complicated to make and have high added value.”

Expensive inflation

Another market is beginning to whet the SME’s appetite: that of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. It sees growth potential there, but is remaining discreet about its involvement in this market.

What is certain is that, in the shadow of the order book, there are two swords of Damocles that are well known to companies: soaring energy and raw materials costs, which are forcing Saturne Technology to eat into its margins.

Last year, it recorded a loss of €1.7m, double that of 2021, according to the balance sheet published with Luxembourg’s business registry, the Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés.

This article is part of a summer series dedicated to Luxembourg entrepreneurial success stories. See you next Wednesday with Hein.

This article was first published in French on . It has been translated and edited for Delano.