South African fabricators visit Voortman

A group of 14 South African fabricators, covering a broad range of businesses, recently visited Voortman, a leading Dutch manufacturer of machinery for the steel construction and steel processing. Dubbed the Voortman South Africa Event, local distributor First Cut organised the occasion which was held over three days.

A highlight of the visit for the South Africans was visiting the new Voortman Experience Center, a world class fully functional showroom, with every high performance CNC machine for the beam and plate industry in the brochure on display. However the tour started off at one of Voortman’s customers Van den Brink Staalbouw, a company that is fully automated with Voortman machines.

“The South African visitors found this to be very impressive as they challenged the engineers to process even the most difficult applications. One of the regular comments was that the VACAM control software is standard on all the Voortman machines. This significantly reduces the learning curve for the end user. The Multi System Integration also created a lot of interest as the visitors were able see a complete beam line, including a beam layout marking machine being operated by one person in their Staalbouw fabrication factory, where 45 people process 2000 tons per month,” said Steve Van Wyk First Cut’s Sales Director.


“Automation, production, quality and labour savings were often debated and the one machine that met these requirements was the V808 eight axes coping robot, which can do the same operation as a beam sawing machine, a beam drilling machine, a flat and angle punching and shearing machine, a plate cutting and drilling machine and a beam marking machine. It can cut and mark almost anything on all four sides provided the torch can reach the work piece. Therefore it is ideal for the oil, gas and energy sectors as well,” continued Van Wyk.

“Another highlight of the event was being able to see the new fully automatic assembling and welding machine – The Fabricator. It has three welding robots and one plate handling robot. There is no human interference from the time the beam starts the initial drilling stage to the finished product fully welded. By releasing the new Fabricator, Voortman is not only introducing a brand new system, but they are introducing an entirely new integrated solution. By connecting The Fabricator to other Voortman beam and plate processing machinery, they are able to offer a solution that has never been done before: fully automatic structural steel fabrication. Can you even imagine what this could mean for your workshop?” stated Van Wyk.

Spencer Erling from the SAISC presented an overview on “Does the South African Industry require us to change the existing South African standards to the international state of the art standards?”

Voortman, based in Rijssen, Holland has designed, developed and manufactured machinery for the steel fabrication and plate processing related industries for more than 40 years. With international subsidiaries responsible for sales and service, they are a globally recognised supplier with thousands of Voortman systems installed.

For more information contact First Cut on TEL: 011 614 1112, email: or visit the website on