From “ U.S. Business Review”, December 2006
By Hanna Aronovich
From its U.S. headquarters, Valco Cincinnati directs global facilities. It remains unified in its vision by maintaining a close corporate culture. From simple hand-operated gluers to sophisticated, high-speed, microprocessor-controlled adhesive application systems, Valco Cincinnati says it offers one of the most extensive selections of adhesive application equipment available from a single supplier. “Dispensing valves and high-speed, multi-function applicators cover every type of pattern requirement or application method,” it says.
Founded in 1952, Valco Cincinnati operates several divisions. Valco’s consumer products division markets sealants, adhesives, cleaners, waxes, and polishes for the automotive industry. Its engineered products group designs products for special applications, and specializes in the design and integration of precision metering, mixing, and dispensing systems.
The electronic products group manufactures quality-assurance products for packagers and paper converters. The company has manufacturing facilities in Cincinnati and in California , Germany , and Spain.
“Integrating these global operations is our biggest challenge. It is critical to maintain the same vision and focus throughout the organization,” explains Paul Chambers, vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re a privately held, family business, and we keep an open line of communication. Any employee can talk to anyone in the company; we don’t have a lot of bureaucracy. I regularly communicate with our CEO, CFO, and managers around the world. We all know what our corporate goal is.”
Keeping its product line competitive – technically advanced and cost-competitive – is another focus for Valco Cincinnati. Chambers says the company targets niche markets, as well as special projects with major corporations.
“Our product specialists are experts at solving manufacturing problems through innovative technology that we develop,” Chambers explains. “We have an unbelievable array of applicators. We take components and install them on existing machinery, or we can design, develop, and integrate an entire work cell.”
Valco Cincinnati has worked with many of its customers for more than 30 years. Chambers says some of its customers in the corrugated industry, for example, continue to look to Valco Cincinnati to upgrade their existing manufacturing processes with new Valco technology.
“We are arguably the second-largest adhesive systems manufacturer in the world, but we’re small enough to add a personal touch,” he notes. “That’s been a big part in cultivating long-term relationships.”
The company distributes its products through more than 50 worldwide distributors. Chambers notes that the company has introduced new hot melt and cold glue products annually.
Valco Cincinnati partnered with Shure-Glue Systems and its recent acquisition, Melton S.L., to develop its hot melt systems, components, and support equipment to grow its market share throughout the world. A wide range of hot melt units are equipped with either piston pumps or motor-driven gear pumps with several relief valve options.
Chambers says an integrated auto-feeder system reduces operator intervention, resulting in more productivity and less downtime for end-users. “In the cold glue market, we’ve introduced a product called the Flexoseal OT-12 gluing system with corrugated industry specific software,” Chambers explains. “This system employs Valco’s leading glue-dispensing technology with a nice touch-screen operator data-entry system that is very user-friendly.”
“We invest a tremendous amount of capital into R&D each year,” Chambers says. “It’s essential that we do, because there’s [such] stiff competition in an oftentimes mature market.”
In both the long and short term, Valco Cincinnati wants to maintain high levels of excellence in its products and services, Chambers says. “We want to satisfy our customers’ expectations every day and defeat all challenges,” he stresses. “We believe there are several good competitors out there, but we will earn the respect of our industry and our important customers as we continue to grow our business.”