Valiant TMS is a global company based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada that provides optimal automation and tooling solutions, primarily for the automotive, aerospace, and heavy equipment industries.
In 1959, Michael G. Solcz founded Avco Tool & Die in a small, 600 square foot factory located in the Walkerville area of Windsor, Ontario. The company was renamed to Valiant Machine & Tool Inc. in 1963. After a number of years, the company became a trusted supplier to Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrysler Corporation, among other customers. This led to several expansions and the business grew by specializing in factory automation solutions for automotive body-in-white and powertrain production. In 1972, the company established Valiant Tool & Mold Inc. to serve the plastic injection tooling market. Valiant International Inc., the company’s first operation outside of Canada, opened in 1987 in Troy, Michigan to expand the company’s engineering capabilities. Industry trends in the 1990’s presented an opportunity for the company to grow globally in order to support its customers in the regions where they were expanding. It was around this time that Valiant became vertically integrated by offering a full-service portfolio; everything from mechanical and controls design, to simulation, integration, documentation, training, service and production support. The company also made key acquisitions to add technological expertise, namely E.R. St. Denis Inc. in 1998, a highly reputable hemming equipment supplier that would complement the body-in-white business. In 2006, Valiant Machine & Tool Inc. acquired 100% of TMS in Europe. TMS was a well-established, leading supplier of body-in-white production systems, final assembly systems and conveyors and instantly gave the company a significant presence in Europe. Today, the amalgamated firm, known as Valiant TMS, has 28 facilities in 15 countries.
In 2017, Valiant TMS was acquired by Shanghai-based HCD Group, a move that provides many opportunities to expand current operations by rapidly entering the growing Chinese automotive and aerospace markets.
Valiant TMS employs more than 1,800 people, with over 700 in Ontario alone. Company leadership credits the success it has experienced over the years to its team members. Many current team members have been with Valiant TMS for more than 20 years, with awards commonly being presented for over 40 years of service at annual holiday events. To emphasize the company vision statement, team members carry a card that displays: “Valiant TMS is a global company powered by people working together to be the most trusted partner in delivering optimal automation solutions for companies that mobilize the world.” This card is a reminder of the importance of cooperation in providing customers with efficient and effective products and solutions.
Customers continue to recognize and value the company’s reputation for reliability and commitment to solve manufacturing challenges. This is confirmed by awards Valiant TMS has received from multiple customers for its outstanding performance, such as the 2015 Boeing Performance Excellence Award, the 2015 Ford World Excellence Award, the 2015 GM Supplier of the Year Award and the 2014 Volkswagen Group Award. In 2007, Valiant TMS was the first Canadian company to receive the Boeing Supplier of the Year Award.
With a heightened focus on innovation and system integration, Valiant TMS has the ability to develop new technology in-house because it employs engineers who develop the architecture behind the products and systems. Further, the firm has been highly effective in utilizing government funding to invest in research and development (R&D), and will continue this trend moving forward.
One example of the company’s commitment to innovation is changing the way aircraft are assembled. The company created a joystick-controlled mobile work platform for customers in the aerospace industry to more efficiently control the movement of parts during assembly. This multi-purpose tool can be used to transport products within the factory, position the product in an ergonomically friendly manner when additional work must be performed, and efficiently position parts for final assembly on the aircraft. The mobile work platform eliminates the need for cranes or stationary work benches, which prevents bottlenecks from occurring in the production process.
Valiant TMS is committed to investing in local communities in which it operates. The company believes in attracting youth into engineering and skilled trades and continues to be involved with the FIRST Robotics, an international high school robotics competition. In 2013, Valiant TMS committed to a three-year platinum sponsorship of the regional competition in Windsor. In 2017, they sponsored three teams, providing both financial support and mentorship from its team members. Many of the team members that offer their time to FIRST Robotics are repeat volunteers.
Valiant TMS commonly uses the slogan “powered by people” and believes that people are its greatest asset. The 2007-08 recession presented a significant challenge for the company. Rather than drastically downsize, the company overcame the challenge by rewarding the value and dedication demonstrated by its team members, thus retaining the majority of their workers; this allowed Valiant TMS to be well-prepared for a rapid increase in production after the recession. As a result, the company became a major supplier in the aerospace market, despite entering the industry later than most of its competitors.
Another major challenge that Valiant TMS faced was a shortage in available skilled tradespeople. To address this, the company created a 46-week training program that prepared youth for apprenticeships at the company. The innovative program, called “Earn While You Learn,” paid students an hourly wage so they could dedicate themselves to learning a trade. Approximately 95% of students who completed the training program chose to start an apprenticeship. The program was so successful that it was taken over by St. Clair College, where it is now used to prepare students for apprenticeships at other Ontario firms.
Technology is dramatically changing the manufacturing industry. Industry 4.0 has been embraced by Valiant TMS because it’s a natural evolution for the company. Valiant TMS has taken a proactive role to educate its customers on technological advances and showcase the value it brings for operational excellence and productivity enhancements. The company is optimistic about the future and continues to focus on being a trusted partner to its customers.
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Valiant TMS is a global company powered by people working together to be the most trusted partner in delivering optimal automation solutions for companies that mobilize the world.
Corporate Headquarters: 6555 Hawthorne Drive, Windsor, Ontario, N8T 3G6
Facilities: Canada, United States, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Germany, India, China, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Brazil, South Africa
Year Established: 1959
Number of Employees: 1,800+
Line of Business
333992 - Welding and Soldering Equipment
326199 - All Other Plastics Products
333512 - Machine Tools (Metal Cutting Types)
423820 - Wholesale of Machinery
Welding and Joining Systems
Assembly and Test Systems
Material Handling Automation
Parts Washers and Deburring Systems
Molds and Composites
Fixtures, Tools, and Gauges
Fabrication and Heavy Machining
Heavy Equipment Industry
Alternative Energy and Materials Industry
Consumer Products Industry
North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa
R&D, Skills, and Educational Needs
R&D: Experienced engineers at Valiant TMS harness the power of the latest advancements in simulation software to validate ideas in the virtual space. The company evaluates and develops new technology for a multitude of applications, from industrial cleaning systems to flexible welding applications and aerospace tooling.
Skills: Advanced process engineers, mechanical engineers, controls engineers, PLC programmers, robot simulation specialists, procurement specialists, quality control engineers, safety engineers, machine tool builders, general machinists
Education: University of Windsor, St. Clair College, other universities and colleges around the world.
Michael G. Solcz founded the company in a small factory located in the Walkerville area of Windsor, Ontario in 1959. After becoming a trusted supplier to Ford GM and Chrysler, the company expanded in the areas of automotive body-in-white, powertrain and aerospace sectors. Over the years, Valiant expanded locally by becoming vertically integrated, and continued to grow globally by supporting its customers in regions where they were expanding. Valiant acquired TMS in 2006, forming Valiant TMS. In 2017, Valiant TMS was acquired by Shanghai-based HCD Group. Today, Valiant TMS has 28 facilities in 15 different countries around the world.
Multi-national companies in the industrial automation industry
Utilization of R&D funding to develop new and innovative products. All projects sponsored by government investment for R&D have been successful.
Engineers and skilled tradespeople that develop new and innovative products for customers, as well as methods to increase productivity at Valiant TMS.
Vertical integration means the company has a lot of expertise in-house; work that is outsourced is managed very effectively.
Capable of integrating production systems of any size, anywhere in the world.
Challenging to find students who possess the right skills to begin working with the technology at Valiant TMS.
Acquisition of the company by a Chinese consortium provides Valiant TMS with access to the Chinese market and the resources to grow.
New technology is changing the manufacturing industry. Valiant TMS must remain at the forefront in order to continue to be successful.
Highly skilled team members reaching retirement age means Valiant TMS must continue to recruit top talent to keep the team strong.
The Boeing Company
2015 Boeing Performance Excellence Award
2012 Boeing Performance Excellence Award
2009 Boeing Performance Excellence Award
2008 Boeing Performance Excellence Award
2007 Boeing Performance Excellence Award
2007 Boeing Supplier of the Year
2007 Boeing Performance Excellence Award
Caterpillar 7 Steps to Welding Excellence 2008
Chrysler Gold Award Recipient
Quality Excellence Award
Part of the Chrysler Extended Enterprise
TESQA Self-Assessment Status since 1994
2015 Ford World Excellence Award
2004 Ford World Excellence Award
Ford Q1 Award
2015 GM Supplier of the Year
2014 GM Supplier of the Year
2013 GM Supplier of the Year
2009 GM Supplier of the Year
Approved Full-Service Supplier
John Deere Partner Supplier 2009
John Deere Partner Supplier 2007
Volkswagen Group Award 2014
Long-Term Preferred Tooling Supplier
Canadian Manufacturing Hall of Fame
2009 Essence of Philanthropy Award from the Canadian Manufacturing Hall of Fame
Yves Landry Foundation
Yves Landry Foundation 2005 Company of the Year