Every elevator is unique

Thanks to its ingenuity, Ascenseurs Menétrey SA continues to turn specific customer requests into innovative products, even after nearly 100 years as a family firm.

Fabian Baer

Whether square, slanted, round, or transparent, whether for food service, freight, cars, or beds – the repertoire of Ascenseurs Menétrey SA knows no bounds, just as its customers require. “Every elevator made in our production facility meets a specific customer need and starts from scratch,” says Managing Director Gil Menétrey.


The elevator manufacturer in Romont (Canton of Fribourg) is an impressive example of the idea that even long-established companies can employ innovation successfully. In the case of Ascenseurs Menétrey SA, this is because of the special manufacturing technology developed by company founder Léon Menétrey, which allows the company to meet a wide variety of customer requests. In short, the company has wide-ranging technical expertise that makes it possible to offer made-to-measure products.

Swarm intelligence rather than robots

This approach allows the company, which is now run by the fourth generation of the Menétrey family, to work without robots or CNC milling, relying instead on swarm intelligence. The latest example of this is the new CelticLift, for which Ascenseurs Menétrey SA won the Canton of Fribourg’s Innovation Award in 2021. The model was developed in cooperation with the EPFL, the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts ARC Neuchâtel Bern Jura. The CelticLift is more economical and easier to maintain than traditional models, while boasting at least 10% more floor area, reduced weight, and new cabin interior ergonomics.


Short paths and open doors

The principle of swarm intelligence is followed at Ascenseurs Menétrey SA not only in the form of collaborations with universities in Western Switzerland, but also in the company’s daily work. “My office door is always open, and I am involved in the operational side of business as much as possible,” says Gil Menétrey, summarizing his philosophy. Since taking over as the head of the company in 2015 at age 32, he has attempted to flatten the hierarchy and in doing so to promote a collective dialog.


Long-term expertise is crucial

As there is no formal education in elevator manu-facturing, Ascenseurs Menétrey SA relies on long-standing and experienced employees in order to hold its own on the market. For this reason, regular training and progressive working conditions are important at the elevator manufacturer. As a positive consequence, the company has repeatedly been listed as one of the best employers in Western Switzerland in recent years by Bilan business magazine.

About the company

Number of employees: 128
Founded in: 1924
Headquarters: Romont
Area of activity: Elevator development, production, installation, and maintenance
Noteworthy: Sophisticated manufacturing technology that enables a customized solution for each product.