Forging: our unique know-how
For more than 100 years our main mission has been to provide all our customers with quality products that ensure both safety and optimum performance for their sports and professional activities.
Wichard was founded in 1919 in Thiers by Henri Wichard. The company specialized initially in the manufacture of forged safety parts for industry. In the early 1970s, it took a decisive turn by working with the top sailors of the time, such as Moitessier, Tabarly and Alain Colas to develop its first boat fittings. However, it still maintained its powerful industrial activity.
50 years later, the Wichard brand has accompanied generations of sailors around the world. Wichard products are now fitted by all major yards, used by the most demanding sailors and sold in 5 continents through the company’s global distributor network.
Choosing a Wichard product means above all choosing a quality product that will ensure safety and performance during your voyages.
Why choose a Wichard forged product?
Proven corrosion resistance
Superior mechanical and fatigue strength
Production and quality control
Made in france
Wichard has been forging its products in France (in Thiers) since 1919, always with the same passion and exacting requirements.
Design by CAD – as an eco-friendly company Wichard also applies eco-design principles.
Tool Manufacturing by HSM (High Speed Machining) – For a single product, 4 tools are required: 2 forging tools and 2 cutting tools. Several hundred tools are made at Wichard annually.
Folding pad eye tooling.
Wichard selects its stainless steel from French or, if necessary, other European suppliers. Steel is delivered either in coils or bars. Every batch is subject to traceability and Wichard inspects each batch of material to check its quality. We use mainly 316L, 17.4PH and Duplex stainless steel or titanium (for the medical sector).
The automatic forge line is dedicated to volume production of industrial, safety and automotive parts. It is capable of forging up to 2200 parts/hour.
Wichard has a series of forging presses enabling all types of parts to be produced.
8 forging presses are installed on the Thiers site; from 600 kg/m to 2000 kg/m, including one (900 kg/m) board type.
The blacksmith’s trade is a demanding one that requires both precision and concentration. It takes about 3 years to train a blacksmith.
A manual forge for parts for the industrial sector.
Tribofinishing is a process that is used to alter the surface condition and the sharp edges of metal parts.
Several wearing treatments are performed to deflash the parts. Brightening gives the parts their final appearance.
For most Wichard shackles, the bending is done cold. Except for high-strength 17.4 PH stainless steel forgings which need hot bending because of the type of stainless steel.
At Wichard, every snap hook is assembled by hand by qualified operators. The snap hooks are checked individually before the following step.
Every production batch is subjected to a series of checks; here the dimensional inspection of a part destined for industry.
During destructive testing, here on a tensile test bench, Wichard checks the compliance of working and breaking loads with the data given in the documentation.
A forged part will never break suddenly without warning! It will start to deform before breaking.
As some Wichard products (shackles and snap hooks) are used in industry, the company applies specific marking including the Maximum Working Load. This MWL only needs to be taken into account for industrial applications. It is the breaking load divided by 5.
Since 1919100 years of history
Founding of the company by Henri Wichard. It specialized in hammer forging – mainly producing scissors, knives and parts for weaving looms. - Development of subcontracting for industrial markets (From 1919 to the 1960s)1919
Development of the first ranges of boat fittings (shackles and snap hooks)1960's
First boat fittings catalogue - Development of the famous part#. 2480 snap hook1970
Creation of the second production site in the Felet zone in Thiers – Installation of the automatic forging line capable of forging up to 2200 parts per hour - Launch of halyard snap hooks, sail snaps and eye bolts1972
Development of the titanium forge for producing medical prostheses1978
Design Oscar awarded to the quick release snap shackle - Swivel snap shackles and eye straps1984
Lifeline hooks and sailing knife range1986
Folding pad eye and eye strap range1988
Barman’s knife and handwheel babystay adjusters1990
U-bolts, Wichinox and swivel snap shackles (parts#. 2384 and 2385)1991
Opening of the U.S. subsidiary; Wichard inc.1992
Double pad eyes and new swivel snap shackles1993
Acquisition of the Maillard company in St Malo (plastic injection) to produce Wichard blocks1994
Wichard ball bearing and plain bearing blocks – New babystay adjusters - Single-handed knife1995
Patented" thimble shackles, eye straps (ref 9212, 9412), a range of fixed tiller extensions, and simple blade, shackle key and Bosco knives1996
2-point folding pad eyes - a range of stainless-steel blocks1997
DAME AWARD awarded to the double safety snap hook1998
Development of a parachuting buckle range and telescopic tiller extensions1999
A range of trigger snap shackles, and multi-function pliers2001
Acquisition of the Profurl brand, specialized in the design and manufacture of sail furlers2002
Opening of the Australian subsidiary, Wichard Pacific – a range of Roller blocks – Mooring products2003
Launch of the first boom brake and deck accessories2004
Acquisition of Forginox, a cutlery forge in Thiers.- A quick-release trapeze hook, new fixed tiller extensions (aluminium and carbon) and opening luff rope prefeeders2005
Installation of a high-speed machining platform for production tooling. ISO 9001 certification2006
A new range of ball bearing and plain bearing blocks, and the Gyb’easy boom brake2007
Speedlink: A range of trigger snap shackles2009
Greenox maintenance product – the MX halyard shackle2010
ISO 14001 certification2012
Acquisition of Facnor (sail furlers), Sparcraft (masts and rigging) and Sparcraft Rigging (rigging) – Proline: New range of harness tethers2013
Softlink: textile shackles2014
A range of fairleads2015
ISO 9100 certification – new Offshore and Aquaterra knife ranges2016
Acquisition of Lorima (carbon mats) and Peguet (quick links)2018
Wichard celebrated its centenary!!2019
The Offshore Rescue knife range2020
Eco friendly An eco-friendly company
Here at Wichard, we take our duty to protect the environment seriously. This dedication is reflected in our ISO 14001 certification, which we’ve had for many years. So what does this actually involve?
- Following all the applicable environmental laws, regulations and recommendations,
- Working constantly to reduce and eliminate pollution,
- Designing environmentally-friendly, recyclable products,
Reducing the environmental impact of our sites:
- By reducing our consumption of raw materials and energy,
- By using clean production processes,
- By avoiding any emissions into the environment which could pollute our air or waterways,
- By processing our waste efficiently.
- Working together with our partners and employees to keep on improving.
Brands Wichard Group brands
Wichard is one of the leading manufacturers of on-board equipment. Their products are renowned for their reliability, safety and quality, and are available in more than 35 countries.Visit the website
Thanks to their expertise and our forge, Wichard has earned its place in several industrial markets: automobile, aeronautics, medical, parachuting and industrial supplies. They have the tools to handle both mid- and large-scale production runs.Visit the website
A pioneer in the design and manufacture of roller furling solutions for boats, Profurl is internationally renowned for the quality and endurance of their products: manual furlers, motorised furlers, roller housing, etc.Visit the website
Since 1981, Facnor has been designing and manufacturing innovative sail furling systems for large-scale yachts, ocean racing craft and coastal and offshore cruisers.Visit the website
Since 1962, Sparcraft has been synonymous with nautical excellence, specialising in the design and manufacture of masts, booms and rigging of the highest quality.Visit the website
As the manufacturer of the legendary Maillon Rapide® Quick-Link system, Peguet provides universally versatile and high-quality products which are used in a wide range of industrial and sports sectors.Visit the website
Maillard produces various pulleys and accessories for the Wichard brand. We put our tools and expertise to good use for our industrial clients.Visit the website
LORIMA is the world’s leading manufacturer of carbon masts for racing and cruise boats. Thanks to this expertise, they have also made inroads into industrial markets (wind power, aeronautics, automobile, etc.)Visit the website