High-tech with a social touch

Avant-garde synergy between reintegration and high tech
Norkom focuses on restoration of watches and the production of precision parts.

A handshake between technology and solidarity: Equipped with 20 years of experience as a company director, 17 years ago Jean-Jacques Merlet felt the need to change direction. Inspired by a new vision, he turned to the Swiss disability insurance scheme with a bold proposition: To create a business that could not only be economically viable, but also play an important social role. "Norkom was discovered almost by chance, but what caught my attention was its deep social commitment," he explains with a thoughtful tone. "This realisation was a decisive turning point for me, and it led me to a radically different type of entrepreneurship." With his enthusiasm shining through, he continues: "In collaboration with my partner Alfonso Osuna, we decided to embark on this adventure. It was a unique opportunity to combine my business skills with a far-reaching social cause." 

A success rate of more than 80%

Norkom has distinguished itself as the only private company to engage in such a mission. Since its takeover, it has welcomed more than a thousand people, recording a remarkable success rate of over 80%. This figure reflects the number of employees who have found a job at the end of their training in the Franches-Montagnes-based company.

The Franches-Montagnes-based company also benefits from an innovative vertical structure that has been optimised to train its staff in areas directly aligned with the needs of their customers, whether they be watchmaking brands or companies from the machine tool sector. This approach allows for a smooth integration of learners into the real professional environment, preparing them effectively for the specific requirements of these industries.

Norkom Formation SA and Norkom Production SA

Located at the entrance of Switzerland's Franches-Montagnes district in Montfaucon in the Jura, Norkom is distinguished by its two complementary divisions: Norkom Formation SA and Norkom Production SA. Pioneering in the region, this company combines a social mission of professional reintegration with high-tech production, while developing a commercial partnership with Brütsch/Rüegger Tools.

Jean-Jacques Merlet (left), Administrative, Commercial and Technical Director and his partner Alfonso Osuna, Educational Director and specialist in supporting people in training.

Norkom deploys its know-how in the design and manufacture of nearly 3000 watch parts annually.

Own brands

With a team of around fifty employees and learners, Norkom's production segment excels in particular. The company deploys its know-how in the design and manufacture of nearly 3000 watch parts annually. Its creations, both elegant and innovative, find their way to consumers under the distinctive brands of UCS and Superkids, reflecting Norkom’s unique identity and quality.

The company focuses on refurbishment of watches and the production of precision parts. Its workshop, which specialises in aluminium work, offers a range of services integrating advanced technology and precision craftsmanship. From design to CNC programming, every step guarantees unparalleled quality. The company's fleet of production facilities, equipped with 3- and 5-axis machining centres and CNC lathes, is suitable for a wide range of production series, with rigorous quality control. Beyond aluminium, the workshop also handles the machining of steel, copper alloys and titanium, offering complete assembly services to meet the diverse needs of its customers. Mechanics, polishing, watchmaking, marking, engraving, aluminium anodisation and computer technology — all this know-how is integrated into the workshop.

Dual-role partnership

At Brütsch/Rüegger Tools, interaction with customers is regularly highlighted, which is why the company chose to collaborate with the Franches-Montagnes-based company. "This choice is all the more appropriate because Norkom plays a dual role in our ecosystem: that of a customer and also a supplier for our range of products," says Loïc Chatelain, Head of business unit horlogy, Brütsch/Rüegger Tools.

The Urdorf-based company supplies Norkom with its products and also acts as a reseller of the familiar Press 2000.50.1.

"This synergy between our companies only strengthens our partnership, which has grown and intensified over time."

The diversity of training offered is impressive, ranging from mechanics to polishing to computer science and the mediamatician profession.

From anodising to staining: Norkom Production SA anodises and stains parts made of different types of aluminium.

The impressive responsiveness of Brütsch/Rüegger Tools

The story of the collaboration between Loïc Chatelain and Jean-Jacques Merlet has unexpected roots: Loïc discovered the Montfaucon company during a company visit.

Norkom has been integrating various products from Brütsch/Rüegger Tools—such as screw grills and mechanical subcontracting parts—for just one year. When asked whether he was satisfied with his new partner, Jean-Jacques Merlet enthusiastically answers:

"I'm very happy. Their responsiveness is impressive: We receive parts the next morning for all orders placed by 5 pm. This is a must for us!"

The benefits of proximity

The relationship between the two companies has been consolidated around three pillars: fast and efficient delivery, a very friendly approach and attentive local service. "They don't just sell, they offer a real partnership," says the Norkom Director, highlighting the attractive positioning of Norkom products and Brütsch/Rüegger Tools' commitment to quality customer service. Hand in hand, Norkom continues to weave its unique history, combining technological ingenuity with social commitment. More than a company, it is a symbol of local spirit: The Franches-Montagnes district is where the precision of watchmaking meets the humanity of reintegration.

Precision fitting with the Press 2000.50.1 device

At the Norkom workshop, one innovation stands out: the pneumatic press for mounting crystals and watch backs. Positioned on a robust base, this machine features a sophisticated pneumatic piston, a control box and valve adjustment and can fit parts with rigour, finesse and precision. Its mission? To attach watch crystals to cases with unmatched precision and lightning speed. This device revolutionises the traditional process, replacing the conventional brackets with a system that perfectly adjusts the crystal to the watch case at high speed, with no scrap parts.

The Press 2000.50.1. Its mission? To attach watch crystals to cases with unmatched precision and lightning speed.

This pneumatic press features an adjustable force of up to 300 daN and a 50-mm adjustable-speed stroke. It is powered by a transformer converting 220 V into 24 V, operating at a pressure of 6 bar. The integrated Ventury system generates an efficient vacuum, while adjustable LED lighting ensures perfect visibility. Its productivity of up to 240 press-fittings per hour, with a series change in just 2 minutes, is supported by a Baumer DLM30 force sensor. Compliant with CE and RoHS standards, it guarantees safety and quality, with a two-year warranty testifying to its reliability and durability.

In short, it's the perfect fusion between advanced technology and craftsmanship!

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