MRO Magazine

Montreal firm marks 60 years of supplying surface treatment technologies

Montreal, QC – In 2012, Walter Surface Technologies is celebrating its 60th year in business. Specializing in surface treatment technologies, the company has been providing high-productivity abrasives, power tools, tooling, chemical tools...


Montreal, QC – In 2012, Walter Surface Technologies is celebrating its 60th year in business. Specializing in surface treatment technologies, the company has been providing high-productivity abrasives, power tools, tooling, chemical tools and environmental solutions for the metalworking industry.

Founded in Montreal, in 1952, Walter Surface Technologies is now established in seven countries in North America, South America and Europe.

When Walter J. Somers and a few colleagues opened the first office in the Montreal region in 1952, they took the first steps on a new and unfamiliar path.

Somers laid the company foundation during the 1950s and ‘60s. Emphasizing “total performance”, he concentrated on bringing the best tools to Canada, the ones offering the best productivity — first by importing them from Europe, then developing and manufacturing its own brand throughout the years.

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During the 1970s and ‘80s, Walter added another dimension to its company philosophy: work safety, for both its employees and its customers. This idea provided the grounds to establish new objectives for product development: Walter must create products that would not only improve productivity, but improve health and safety in the workplace as well.

The 1990s and 2000s witnessed an ambitious international expansion program which began in 1989, when Pierre Somers succeeded his father as director of the company. The Walter Company quickly made an impact in the South American and European markets, as illustrated by notable increases in sales and profitability. The first environmentally-friendly green products (branded as Bio-Circle Environmental Solutions) were also launched at this time, long before the phrase ‘sustainable development’ found its way into popular business usage.

Increasing efficiency, accelerating cost reduction, and improving processes that favour the well-being of workers will drive all future technical innovations, according to a company spokesperson. Sustainable development is more than a priority – it clearly is an integral part of the company’s DNA – and will continue to guide research and development in the coming years. Walter’s new international headquarters and industrial centre in Pointe-Claire, QC, visually and in every sense exemplifies this.

Built according to LEED standards, the complex is the ultimate expression of Walter’s commitment to sustainable development. This centre was designed to follow the best engineering and management practices: optimized energy efficiency, ideal working conditions that favour the health and well-being of employees, along with ultra-efficient logistics and warehouse systems. The new building serves as the world centre for management and research. This is where Walter’s future will take shape – one innovation at a time.

The company maintains that innovation is at the heart of the its business — it drives the introduction of groundbreaking products and services as well as enabling swift responses to market requirements. Many Walter products are the fastest and most efficient in the market (Zipcut, Combo Zip, Coolcut XX, Enduro-Flex Turbo, Air Force, Bio-Rust, etc.) and are all designed to improve productivity and help customers work better.

For additional information www.walter.com.