VSM Abrasives Canada Inc.
With over 140 years of experience, VSM AG is a global leader in the abrasives market. Coated abrasives are the company’s core competence; VSM provides the industrial marketplace with a vast product line that extends from VSMCOMPACTGRAIN to VSMCERAMICS grain, and VSM Abrasives’ applications ranging from metal grinding to wood finishing. As a part of the global network, VSM Abrasives Canada supplies an extensive range of quality abrasives such as belts, rolls, sheets, fibre discs, paper discs and flap discs to industries that work with metal, wood, glass, rubber and stone, and the company’s facility in Oakville, Ont. can custom manufacture belts and rolls to suit any customer requirements.
VSM AG designs and engineers new innovative products in its German facility according to the global market trends and demands, and provides “conversion facilities” such as VSM Abrasives Canada Inc. These facilities adapt and manufacture the products according to customer needs and specifications. This strategy guarantees unvarying quality of the VSM products around the world.
Hanover-based parent company VSM AG and its 140 years of experience offer incredible wealth of experience in designing and creating abrasives’ solutions. Everything that’s manufactured is generally touched by sandpaper or an abrasive product at some point during the production. While the ‘Coated Abrasives products’ are generally known as ‘sandpaper’, these products are not made of natural materials, but man-made materials and grains such as zirconium, aluminum oxide, ceramic and then turned into the desired grit size (24, 36, 40, 50, 60, etc.).
“Our parent company produces all the primary components in Germany. We are a ‘converter’. Our parent company makes all the ‘Jumbo’ rolls of abrasives, be it for belts or discs. We receive the rolls here and convert them into belts and sheets and discs according to clients’ specification,” says Richard Seibel, Managing Director.
“What makes us different from many of our competitors is our commitment to the Canadian market. Having a facility in Canada ensures we offer timely high end service and manufacture directly for Canadian customers. These abilities along with the Global strength of VSM AG we offer an unrivaled package to meet today’s grinding and finishing demands.” summarized Brad Gray, Sales and Marketing Manager.
The upside of the VSM is the fact that the company controls the whole process and chooses the parts according to the needs of the market. All VSM materials are made in Germany under ISO:9001 standards ,and one won’t generally find VSM products on the DIY retail shelves, as these high end products are engineered for the industrial markets.
“VSM is one of the few companies in the world that actually have the know-how and capabilities to manufacture their own ceramic grain. We produce all parts of the puzzle so to speak and can react quickly to new market trends,” explained Seibel, elaborating on the VSM’s place in the grand scheme of the abrasive industry.
A point of pride for VSM Abrasives Canada is that they constantly work with customers to offer better service and products that exceed all expectations, providing end-users with high tech products, industry leading technical support and unsurpassed service. In Canada, the company sells its products through its distribution channels, but works with the end users to continuously improve the quality of its products, sampling and testing new products.
“Even though we sell our products through our valued distributors, there is always open communication between us and the end user, and we are constantly working to improve their processes. We are the experts on the technical side for our customers,” says Gray.
While the company offers the wealth of experience and the best technologies, the abrasives industry as a whole remains under attack from manufacturers who always seek to minimize and even eliminate the abrasive segment from their production lines, as this production step remains an expense for all manufacturers. Seibel noted the automotive industry as an example of this elimination, where car door handles, rear-view mirrors and other parts used to be made of zinc die cast, and required polishing before chrome plating. Big shift in the industry to make cars lighter and cheaper was towards plastics, eliminating coated abrasives from these product lines.
“New technologies are always trying to eliminate the coated abrasive part from the manufacturing processes, and technologies such as laser and water jet cutting reduce the abrasives’ use. Being in a growth we mostly see the growth coming at our competitors’ expense,” says George Wilson, Controller.
While manufacturers may push towards reduction of abrasives’ tooling from production, VSM Canada is on board with its customers, supporting clients’ goal to minimize the use of abrasives, and improve customers’ manufacturing processes in order to reduce cost. The sales representatives of VSM Canada carry the flag of technical improvement, understanding the manufacturers’ operations and production requirements, and providing suggestions and solutions that add to the customer’s bottom line. VSM Canada provides products that can do the job faster and last far longer than they would some 15 years ago. Today’s industries want or require faster stock removal, longer life, finer finishes and with VSM Products such as VSMCERAMICS, VSMCOMPACTGRAIN and VSM Superabrasives (Diamond & CBN) VSM is certainly among the leaders in the marketplace.
“We consider ourselves a solutions provider to our customers. If we can suggest a recommendation that will add to customer’s bottom line, we will do it even if it reduces the consumables that we are selling to them. We believe that if we can reduce their cost by improving their processes, we build a long term relationship with that customer,” says Gray.
Even though VSM Abrasives Canada will remain constantly challenged by the manufacturers who strive to reduce cost, the company remains in growth mode and continues to expand in new underserviced areas and industries, with a plan to add more Technical Sales Representatives, and further promote their High Tech products and its brand.