To promote and disseminate a culture of innovation within the Group, Vallourec is taking steps to enhance knowledge sharing, project team performance and networks of expertise.
These multidisciplinary teams bring together all the Group's businesses, including steelmaking, hot rolling, heat treatment, threading and non-destructive testing.
Using internal and external benchmarks to share best practice, the teams develop common indicators for all plants and analyze overall equipment performance.
Set up several years ago, the process committees moved up a gear in 2011 in order to promote rapid, continuous progress in manufacturing processes.
To raise the profile of careers in engineering, innovation and R&D, Vallourec has established an 'Expert Career' program in order to offer new career opportunities to Group engineers working in Technology and R&D.
These engineers can now choose, at each stage of their career, between management responsibilities and responsibilities for technical expertise, with equivalent status and pay.
To facilitate this, the Group's Human Resources Department has established bridges between the two career paths.
To encourage initiatives within the Group, every year there is an Innovation Day at which two Innovation Awards (products and process) are presented.