Valk Welding France celebrates 20 years of success

For two successful decades, welding robot supplier Valk Welding has been serving the French market, originally from Belgium and since 2003 from the north of Paris, in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen (Compiègne). With a unique focus on SMEs, the company's flexible range of welding automation solutions immediately caught on. Michel Devos, Managing Director, reflects on the progress of the French integration in response to a series of questions.

How did the transition to an own branch in France begin?

"Valk Welding started its first French projects around 1998, initially focusing on the north of France", explains Devos. "We soon received requests from different regions, which led to the establishment of Valk Welding France in 2003, where we carried out activities with just a few Belgian colleagues. In 2013, we opened the branch in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen (60, Oise) and the French team now consists of 15 colleagues, 10 of whom are of French nationality."

What are the advantages of having a French branch after 10 years of operating from Belgium?

"French customers can now attend demonstrations or receive training in their own country, and we can deliver parts to customers more quickly. It also obviously serves as the workplace for most of our French colleagues, and we can hold project meetings with customers, for example. We currently employ three French programmers, and both the entire pre-sales process and after-sales service is organised by the French team, which appeals to our customers.”

We have now delivered 270 installations in France. How did the team achieve this impressive figure?

"We didn't do much prospecting," begins Devos, "apart from advertising in a few trade magazines and, of course, participating in a few prominent exhibitions.” In a market where the emphasis was on large-scale welding automation, Valk Welding brought a refreshing approach to France: "Our robot solutions always focus on flexibility and reliability, fast changeovers and efficient programming. The expertise that Valk Welding has gained in over 45 years of robotic welding technology has been and continues to be well received in the French market." Devos also emphasises how the company provide a complete service to customers: "We really listen to our customers and continue to innovate. We also regularly undertake turn-key projects, taking care not only of the installation but also of the welding jigs and the programming."

The focus is always on flexibility and reliability, quick changeovers and efficient programming.

Michel Devos, Managing Director at Valk Welding

But that is not all that contributes to the success of the French branch: "We now have many customers with more than one installation, which demonstrates real satisfaction and leads to additional word-of-mouth advertising. Customers appreciate our expertise and technological solutions, as well as the way we handle projects. For example, we work with project engineers rather than 'salesmen'. They manage the project from the first contact, are present during acceptance tests and remain the point of contact for customers afterwards.”

As Managing Director, what are you most proud of?

"That we have built up a team of driven and committed colleagues, with whom we also carry out the company spirit and the DNA that has made Valk Welding a major player on the French market. Our strength and autonomy allow us to react quickly. This applies to all Valk Welding branches and is part of our success in Europe and beyond."



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