Driven by technology and focusing on the people that do it: that is how we work at the Voortman Steel Group. We are a people company where everyone is given the space to develop. Where we work with passion on the finest steel structures and machinery. Where we think collaboratively with the customer and produce the optimum result together. Where we feel responsibility for our work and where entrepreneurialism predominates. Where we offer youngsters the opportunities and support they need to learn the trade. At Voortman Steel Group we stand with both feet on the ground, with our sights set on the future.
Are you the entrepreneurial type? Do you like dynamism and change, but are you quite level-headed and practical as well? If so, then you may well be our new colleague. At the Voortman Steel Group you will be working with the latest technology in changing project teams on high-end steel structures and machinery. You will be doing so for customers in the manufacturing industry, as well as in non-residential building, shipbuilding and industrial sectors. From the drawing board to the end product: we do everything in house.
The Voortman Steel Group consists of two divisions, each with its own strength and specialism: the Machinery division and the Construction division, with Voortman Steel Machinery B.V. and Voortman Steel Construction B.V. as the main operating companies. Common sense combined with expertise and a passion for it predominate in our company. We can make decisions fast. Do you have a good idea and does it benefit the customer in any way? Then by all means go ahead and do it! You won’t get anywhere if you don’t try it out. Entrepreneurialism is in our blood. And it shows, you can feel it and see it wherever you are in our company.
We work together on the finest results for our customers, achieved by working collaboratively and placing trust in one another. We are mad about good ideas and rejoice in implementing them too. In some cases something doesn’t succeed, often it does. It is only by trying that you will make progress. We dare to stick our necks out and thus improve again every day and our customers notice it. They sense the commitment which results in surprisingly fine results. We draw great pleasure and satisfaction from this.
We are proud of our people, their expertise, passion, commitment and entrepreneurialism. We will also need good specialists for the future. We believe it is important therefore to expose people already at a you age to our company and technology. This starts already in primary education where we are engaged in a project to get engineering into the classroom. We are also showcasing our company at VMBO, HAVO, VWO and subsequently MBO, HBO and WO levels [various levels of Dutch further/vocational/professional and university education]. Every six months we have 15 to 20 final-year students on site. They learn from us and we learn from them. A regular outcome is that they come to work for us later on. We are working on the future by getting bright young people interested in our sector and our company.
‘We either work safely or not at all’ and ‘What we do, we do well’: these are two major slogans that recur daily in our company. We are unstinting with our people and our customers since they are of inestimable value to our company. We also show respect for our environment so generations after us are able to enjoy living and working as well. We have translated these objectives into our QHSE policy, of which Think Safe – Work Safe is a part.
Quality, safety and the environment have our constant attention. Good is not good enough – we go for better! When developing any new products and buildings, our focus is on sustainable development (energy and materials) and reducing our environmental impact (waste, CO2 and energy).
Think Safe – Work Safe
All our employees should be able to get home safe and sound after work to their evening meal. Accordingly, we intend to keep risks on the shop floor down to a minimum in terms of both safety and the environment. We therefore map out all the risks before a project starts and establish how we can control them. We repeat this anew for each project. We have developed a programme for this ourselves: Think Safe – Work Safe.
When Gerrit Voortman joined H. Voortman & Co., his brothers’ company, it developed into a mechanisation business that was soon bursting at the seams, laying the foundations for the current enterprise.
In addition to the mechanisation operations, Voortman started designing and building steel structures.
Two separate companies were established: one for machinery manufacture, namely Voortman Automatisering B.V., which is now Voortman Steel Machinery B.V., and one for steel structures under the name Voortman Staalbouw B.V., currently known as Voortman Steel Construction B.V.
As from 1995, Voortman Automatisering concentrated solely on CNC machinery for the steel construction sector. This specialisation was fruitful: the company grew steadily.
Voortman Deutschland GmbH was set up in order to be able to better serve machinery manufacturing customers in Germany.
Just after the new millennium, in the spring of 2000, Voortman Steel Machinery relocated to new industrial premises on the Plaagslagen industrial estate.
In 2001, Gerrit Voortman handed over the two operating companies to his two sons Jan and Mark, who established the Riessen Metaal B.V. holding company together. This name was changed to Voortman Steel Group B.V. in 2008.
Time has not stood still at Voortman Steel Construction either. Three years after the departure of sister company Voortman Steel Machinery, Voortman Steel Construction also decamped to new and well-equipped premises on the Plaagslagen industrial estate.
In the same year, a branch of Voortman Automatisering was opened in England, near Birmingham: Voortman UK Ltd. As from 2009, Voortman entered into a partnership with Cutmaster Machines UK Ltd. in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Furthermore, the first sawing system (VB750) was delivered to a customer in 2003.
The Voortman Steel Machinery product range was expanded with the VB1050. VACAM Software was introduced on Voortman machines in 2004 as well.
Voortman Steel Machinery opened a partner company in Chicago, USA: Voortman USA. This partner company serves customers in North, Central and South America and not without success. North America has been one of the leading sales areas for Voortman Automatisering since 2012.
In 2006, Voortman Steel Machinery developed and sold the first V630 CNC drilling machine with servo-controlled drilling heads.
Because Russia and the CIS countries are an attractive growth market for Voortman, a new subsidiary was opened in St. Petersburg: Voortman Russia.
Voortman Steel Construction started up the Design and Build department for building (turnkey) industrial premises. This department caters for the entire construction process: from applying for the environmental permit to completing turnkey industrial premises.
In 2008, Voortman Steel Machinery delivered the first V330 and V320 plasma cutting systems to customers.
Voortman Steel Machinery acquired Maschinenfabrik Bach. A completely new market was opened up with this acquisition: the plate processing industry. Maschinenfabrik Bach was fully integrated into Voortman Steel Machinery in the Netherlands.
The Voortman Steel Group launched a new house style. All companies were to use the same holding company logo and the same colours from then on in order to reinforce unity and identity.
Voortman opened the hypermodern Experience Centre, which was equipped with a machinery showroom and training facilities.
Voortman France was also set up in that same year in order thus to enable the French market to be better served.
Voortman Steel Machinery set up its new Voortman Parts Manufacturing department in 2018 to manufacture subassemblies for machinery, such as frames, roller conveyors and cross-transfer units. The major reasons for this were cost savings and cutting throughput time for machinery manufacture.
Voortman Poland Sp. Z o.o. was set up to cater for the expanding business in Poland and the surrounding countries.
Voortman Steel Construction started production with the first Voortman Fabricator, the latest development in the field of automated welding.