About the Rossi factory in Spain
Located an hour northeast of Barcelona, Spain in the tiny town of Artes, the factory opened in 1972, employs 182 year-round workers. And this isn't some low-stakes game here. "The ski market is shrinking," says Joubert. "Some years ago, six-million pairs of skis were sold in the world. Now it's dropped to 4.5-million. However, 1.5-million snowboards are now sold worldwide, so we're still talking about six-million units of snow-surfing equipment.
I'm taking notes as fast as I can as Joan Duocastella, Rossignol's director of production, literally leads me by the elbow through his 46,000-square-meter factory. His eyes sparkle as he enthusiastically explains each step of the production process; his face alternating between beaming smile and earnest seriousness as he explains each whirring machine.
Located an hour northeast of Barcelona, Spain in the tiny town of Artes, the factory opened in 1972, employs 182 year-round workers, and serves as the town's dominant employer.
Three years ago, all Rossignol snowboards were made in France, where under the company umbrella three facilities are located: two factories at the company headquarters in Voiron and the Dynastar facility near Chamonix.
For '99/00, Rossignol snowboard production will be entirely in Spain and Original Sin will soon follow-moving production out of the Chamonix Dynastar factory to take advantage of Artes' volume.
The factory operates in two shifts: 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., but since maintenance is done at night, the factory is rarely empty. This year, more than 120,000 snowboards and 333,000 skis will ship from this small Spanish town. The factory has the capacity to do 250,000 snowboards and the company expects to soon be at that level.
In the more than twenty years he's worked here, Duocastella has supervised not only the construction of millions of skis and snowboards, but he's been responsible for the design and implementation of most of the production line. The majority of welcome datacompthe machines are fabricated in-house in a separate 3,300-square-foot machine shop.
It's been time well spent. The degree of automation within the factory, the utilization of technology along the entire production line, and the uniform cleanliness-coupled with the factory's size and production volume-makes this the most impressive of the twenty snowboard factories I've visited.