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Interview with Michael Steinhart, export business developer at Modelec

'We place a lot of emphasis on recipe tools to assist architects in their decision-making process'

Modelec, founded in 1976 by former engineer Raymond Hanin, focuses on the aesthetic value of electrical products, setting them apart from other manufacturers. Since the 1990s, Modelec has fully dedicated itself to the production of high-quality switches and sockets, with durability and design at the forefront. With over 30,000 standardised references and efficient production in France, Modelec offers timely and accurate solutions. The focus on craftsmanship and collaboration with designers results in unique, customised products that meet the highest quality standards, reinforcing their leading position in the market for high-end electrical equipment.

InteriorDaily spoke with Michael Steinhart, business developer export at Modelec.

What was the inspiration behind founding Modelec, and what sets you apart from other manufacturers of electrical equipment?
''Modelec was founded in 1976 by Raymond Hanin, a former engineer, who was among the first to understand the added value of aesthetic over technical products. This led in the 1990s to the development of multiple typologies of electrical products and over time to a complete focus on switches and sockets made from raw materials. Since then, this has been in Modelec's DNA.

More than 30,000 references are standardised, allowing us to provide a timely and accurate solution for a wide range of requirements. We have a highly standardised production to offer short lead times. To ensure a smooth process, we first ship mechanisms and have the front panels made to order within 6 weeks. Our products are manufactured in France and in accordance with current industry standards.

Modelec switches are highly appreciated by our customers (electricians, architects, and end-users) for their easy installation, high quality, and distinctive style.''

How has the long history of 'Made in France' since 1976 contributed to the brand identity and craftsmanship of your products?
''Our production facility is located outside Paris, where we have been working with the same partners for many years. This enabled us to develop a strong partnership at every level of the process, to maintain a very high quality and to develop new products.

Our customers know Modelec's history well and rely on our capabilities. Thus, we have managed to become a market leader in making high-end switches.''

Can you tell us more about your focus on making high-quality electrical equipment and how this translates into your design process and production practices?
''We specialise in designing and producing faceplates and mechanisms. A dynamic combination of form, function, and finish is at the core of Modelec in creating high-quality products.

Light switches and electrical equipment must be functional, but also an important element in the interior. Therefore, our Development department works together with Designers. From the first drawings to the validation of the product launch. All steps of product development are managed internally, so we have full control over the design process during the launch. This allows us to meet all standard requirements and meet quality expectations.

Modelec has a history of a family business and maintains this identity by maintaining a great team approach.''

In what ways are the products designed to meet the needs and expectations of customers in the current interior market?
''Our development team is able to create custom solutions for all projects, whether it's a specific size for a specific function, a custom finish for a large project, etc.

In terms of design, we work together with architects or craftsmen to develop collections with a strong identity. Steaven Richard, the famous metalworker, is behind the refined textures of the Modelec Fascination collection. Valérie Mazerat, an architect from Paris, designed the M-collection: a collection born from the marriage of the style of the 60s (flat button, softly rounded corners) and our contemporary craftsmanship, made of solid material.

We work closely with the distributor Spoel ID in the Netherlands and Belgium, closely collaborating with architects before and during the projects, to ensure we meet all their needs. We have a catalogue of many tens of thousands of references, and our sales team is always available to help customers navigate our offerings.''

What future plans does your company have to continue innovating and playing a leading role in the sector of high-quality electrical equipment?

We are working on new projects:

1. New collections

2. New functional additions and finishes to existing collections

3. Home automation solutions.

We also place a lot of emphasis on specification tools, to assist architects in their decision-making process. We have developed a brand-new website in 2023 with a 3D visualisation tool, so customers can choose the collection, plate finish, and toggle or button finish, and thanks to a handy feature you can simulate the integration of our switches in your spaces.

Our Online Configurator is designed to configure all the electrical connections and switches needed in a project, in just 6 steps. Choose your collection, finish, functions, adjust the quantities, add some engravings, and receive your quote immediately. Send this quote with 1 click to Spoel ID (the distributor in the Benelux) and receive a quote for your selected switchgear.

On May 29, 30, and 31, Modelec, together with DCWéditions and Spoel ID, will be at Design District in Rotterdam.

More information:
[email protected]

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