“We are definitely stronger as a supplier now!” This is the conclusion drawn by the Belgian metal service provider Leo Vervisch after cutting was brought in-house. Instead of expensive and nerve-racking waiting times or time-consuming manual work, thanks to a versatile cutting system from MicroStep, it is now: full flexibility, more productivity and significantly more output. The family-owned company relies on an MG with different technologies for 2D and 3D cutting of a wide range of materials.
The Leo Vervisch Metal Service Center in West Flanders, Belgium, was founded in 1982 by the company’s namesake and his wife Mireille. Starting as a scrap dealer, both developed the company into a reliable supplier for large and small builders, for large metalworking companies but also for private individuals. The family business, now in its second generation, not only sells materials for metal construction, but also processes them entirely according to the wishes of its customers.
A lot of manual work in-house, long waiting times for suppliers
For a long time, the family business relied mainly on manual labor: “Until recently, we mainly sawed, drilled and welded,” reports Dieter Vervisch, son of the founders and one of the two managing directors.
Since spring 2022, production has been significantly more automated, simpler and more efficient. This is ensured by an investment in the cutting area – more precisely in a MicroStep MG with technologies for plasma cutting and autogenous flame cutting. The 12 m long and 2.5 m wide machine is equipped with a plasma rotator, an oxyfuel rotator and an oxyfuel torch. This was in response to the increasing demand for blanks outside the standard format with different contours and chamfers.
“Previously, we did this work manually or had to hire subcontractors. However, the increasing waiting times for quotations, production and delivery led us to the decision to do this in-house in order to further improve services for customers and our own flexibility. Finally, we can now set our own priorities instead of being dependent on third parties,” explains Dieter Vervisch.
Especially the combination of plasma and oxyfuel, of 3D and 2D, is a valuable helper for the contract service provider that pays off every day. “We often have to deal with large formats and different thicknesses of various metals. The combination of the different cutting technologies allows us to choose the best technology on a machine depending on the sheet thickness,” explains Isabelle Vervisch, daughter of the company founder and also managing director.
Whether structural steel with plasma up to 50 mm or stainless steel up to 120 m, whether even thicker plates up to 250 mm with oxyfuel, whether 2D contours or weld seam preparations, the Belgian company is equipped for its diverse tasks. Another bonus: “In addition, we can use the cutting heads in combination, for example, the plasma head for marking and the oxyfuel head for cutting. Or we can use both oxyfuel heads in parallel for maximum efficiency.”
Turnkey solution that pays for itself quickly
After intensive consultation, the decision was made in favor of MicroStep’s top product in terms of plasma and oxyfuel technology, the versatile Performer of the MG series. A concept that worked right from the start and has paid off in the long term. “Previously, our own capabilities were limited to simple cutting. Thanks to the new cutting machine, we can now offer our customers more and in a shorter time. As a result, we have been able to improve our service as intended and are now definitely stronger as a supplier,” the two managing directors emphasize.