“We work exclusively with high-quality gases like ARCAL Prime and Speed”

Provan’s ‘Factory of the Future’ enhances quality standards for metal works
Entrepreneurs & Professionals
1 July 2019

Provan, a Belgian company active as a subcontractor for metal works, has already twice been awarded the prestigious Factory of the Future award. The company employs around 80 people, spread over two production facilities, one in Genk and one in Bilzen. The cooperation with Air Liquide has been in place ever since the company was founded in 1998.

Provan operates according to the QRM (Quick Response Manufacturing) principle. This means that efficiency within the company is highly optimised, which among other things results in shorter turnaround times, lower stocks and a faster response to market demands.

“QRM helps us respond to the current trend towards more flexible production with more tailor-made possibilities,” explains CEO Peter Tans. “Companies want to be able to make regular product improvements, and they also want to offer more product variants such as different sizes, colours, optional extras, and so on. QRM allows us to respond flexibly and quickly to these demands and also helps reduce the total cost of ownership.”

Factory of the Future

It is partly thanks to the QRM approach that Provan has already twice been voted Factory of the Future by Agoria/Sirris. And the digital factory software Provan chooses also plays an important role. This is a sophisticated digital planning tool that eliminates the need for the traditional planning department and ensures that production line operators have all the necessary information at their fingertips. And of course it also helps that Provan is ISO certified (ISO 38342 and ISO 9001-2015).

To carry out its four main activities - sheet metal processing, profile processing, welding and assembly - Provan has at its disposal a high-quality and modern fleet of machinery, including laser cutting machines, CNC-controlled edge and bending machines, a hydraulic pressing machine and machines for sawing. Provan works with customers such as Lebrun, Stûv, Graco, GymnaUniphy, MOL, Kingspan, Addax Motors and DroneMatrix.

“We actually prefer to talk about ‘partners’ rather than ‘customers’. We like long-term partnerships that are based on transparent communication and solution-oriented thinking. Our primary concern is to make our partners’ lives easier.”

From supplier to partner

“On the other hand, we also consider our main suppliers - including Air Liquide - as partners. After all, they help us achieve our objectives and make our life easier. The cooperation with Air Liquide dates back to our foundation in 1998. Back then, we bought welding equipment from a local supplier, Lascenter, who recommended Air Liquide’s gases to us.”

“Since then, we’ve had talks with various competitors, but Air Liquide has always remained our preferred supplier. This has a lot to do with our excellent and constructive cooperation and because Air Liquide has always been able to provide us with the right and most efficient solutions at every stage of our evolution.”

“Although we’re faithful to our partners, we still have a critical eye. But, thanks to our open communication, we know that Air Liquide doesn’t impose any unnecessary spending on us and, just like us, they always strive for a win-win relationship.”

ARCAL Prime and ARCAL Speed

Provan carries out MIG, MAG and TIG welding on steel, aluminium and stainless steel. For this, Air Liquide supplies ARCAL Prime and ARCAL Speed gases, as well as nitrogen and oxygen.

“ARCAL gases are supplied in cylinders and cylinder bundles, and the Air Liquide driver makes sure they are safely and correctly connected. For the nitrogen and oxygen, we have tanks. Using remote monitoring technology, Air Liquide makes sure that we always have sufficient stocks at our disposal. That too makes life easier, of course!”

“Considering that all of our welders are certified and that we have PQR (Procedure Qualification Record) welding method qualifications for each welding process, it’s only logical that we work exclusively with high-quality gases. That’s why we choose ARCAL Prime and ARCAL Speed.”

Future plans

“We are in a very competitive landscape, so we have to make great efforts to continue to grow - including in the future. In 2021 we’re going to compete for the Factory of the Future award again. It’s important to note that the requirements for the award get stricter every year. So we’ll need to demonstrate that we’re making even greater progress every time.”

More info about ARCAL? Visit myGAS or contact Georges Castin.

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