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André Frei was one of the pioneers of local industry when in 1956 he decided to found his own tungsten-carbide tooling factory. Today, under the direction of his son Christian Frei, the family firm, which employs 20 people, is continuing to expand and is turning to new markets.

With the industrial activities of the firm growing fast, following the example of its product range, André Frei set up a workshop at Sur-le-Bennevis in 1968. His 2 sons joined the team in the seventies, which provided the opportunity for an efficient restructuring of the expanding business. According to their particular training, Luc - the eldest - became technical manager, responsible for R&D and quality and Christian took on the post of administrative manager, responsible for marketing and exports.

A family business... In 1986, André Frei & Fils, the company's new name, bought the premises of the Lauber factory in Court, which it has already enlarged twice, in 1990 and 1995. The firm's plant is regularly modernised to keep up with developments in the field : CNC machine tools for lathe work and 3-dimensional machining which is particularly useful for undertaking the complete manufacture of mechanical parts according to drawing. The range of products has also grown considerably. The business still produces feed fingers for automatic lathes of practically all listed brands, rotating tips, push rods, wheel carriers, sleeves and chucks, stops and nuts and bolts, clips, tungsten-carbide jaws, gears for gearboxes, etc. One department occupying nearly a third of the new annexe manufactures cam blanks in cast-iron and steel for all types of machinery.

... at the top of quality and precision André Frei & Fils is continuing to diversify and expand. For example, it bought up the Tavannes and Sabi brands of precision measuring instruments in 1996, for which it will in future take care of the development, manufacture, sale and after-sales service. Interested in the reorientation of his career, Luc leavesthe family firm in October 2000. This change entails the set up of a new judicial statute for the society which becomes so a limited company with this company's new name "André Frei & Fils SA". Today, the objective of the family managementis to maintain its high level of know how, reinforce the quality of its services - particularly in terms of keeping to deadlines and maintaining stock levels -, and make progress in new export markets.


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