80 years of discoveries driven by innovation at your service
Beginning life as a simple workshop, BERNARD CONTROLS has developed into an international group specializing in electric actuators, now ranked in the world top 3 and leader in the nuclear sector. The core values of innovation, customer satisfaction and an international vision have made the company a key player within the industry. For us, there is no compromise between high technology and high customer satisfaction. This is the essence of the “Always by your side” promise.
- 1936: Mr. Lucien Bernard set up a manufacturing shop of electric motors in La Plaine Saint-Denis, to the North of Paris
- 1949: Foundation of the company
- 1960s: Beginning of international expansion: 1st subsidiary established in Germany
- 1960s: « Les Etablissements Lucien Bernard » starts specializing in electric actuators
- 1970s: Invention of the Butterfly valve. ‘BC’ creates the 1st quarter-turn actuator specially designed to operate this new type of valve
- 1981: The company name becomes L.BERNARD, status as Limited Company, & Mr. Etienne BERNARD is nominated C.E.O
- 1989: Buyout of the sole French competitor JOUCOMATIC
- 2008: Launch of a new Nuclear range.
- 2010: L.BERNARD becomes BERNARD CONTROLS. A new identity for a new momentum!
- 2011: Launch of a new Oil & Gas range
- 2012: BC improves its offer and creates 2 product labels to better address customers’ needs: FIRST BC & BC PREMIUM
- 2014: New Group organization focused on Service Excellence & Customer Satisfaction BC, Always by your side
- 2017: Launch of new ranges of quarter-turn and multi-turn actuators
- 2016-2021: Development Plan focus on innovation
The origins of BERNARD CONTROLS
Our story began in 1936 when Lucien Bernard opened an electric motor workshop in La Plaine Saint-Denis, to the North of Paris. Interrupted in 1939, business started again after the Liberation of France in 1944.
Les Établissements Bernard was created in 1949 and started specializing in electric actuators a few years later.
By 1960, we were already looking beyond the French borders and opened our first subsidiary in Germany. More subsidiaries were then added in Europe, the United States and Asia. We have also been developing in the Russian area.
In the late 1990s, we opened a commercial arm in Beijing and added a manufacturing workshop in 2004, which later became a factory in 2008. Today, this is an important production site with an independent R&D center.
At BERNARD CONTROLS, we continue to expand internationally alongside our customers thanks to the support provided by dedicated infrastructures across the globe, particularly in strategic areas like the Middle East and Africa.
Inventor of the quarter-turn electric actuator
In the 1970s, the butterfly valve was invented, but there was not yet a perfectly adapted actuator. Committed to innovation and providing concrete solutions, we created the first compact quarter-turn actuator specially designed for this new type of valve.
In 1981, we became L.BERNARD presided over by Etienne Bernard, the current CEO and son of the company’s founder. In 1989, we opened a production site at Gonesse, near Roissy CDG airport, and then bought the electric actuator division of Joucomatic, our only French competitor.
In 2008, a new product range reinforced our leading position in the nuclear market.
A turning point in 2010
2010 marked a turning point for the Group: a new global identity and the new name of BERNARD CONTROLS to refer to our expertise in control systems. This momentum continued into 2011 with the launch of an electric actuators for the Oil & Gas industry, where we have experienced significant growth ever since.
To further optimize operations, tried-and-tested approaches - including Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen – were implemented.
In 2012, we decided to segment products using two labels - First BC and BC Premium – to express our capacity to offer solution to satisfy all your needs. This desire to place your satisfaction at the center of the company led to an evolution of the Group organization in 2014, in line with the “Always by your side” promise.
Facing towards the future
In 2014 we proposed a Duty and Modulating Classification and created a dedicated application for actuator selection named "GPS Actuator". This invaluable guide provides you with assistance in choosing the right solution in just a couple of clicks.
In 2015, more capital was raised to support our growth and R&D ambitions. Being a family-based company guarantees a high level of continuity and current COO Guillaume Bernard represents the 3rd generation of the Bernard family. This stability feeds the long-term success of a SME, which has evolved into an international middle-market company developing rapidly across a wide selection of markets.