Starting as a mechanical technician building machines, Piet Mosterd, CEO of AWL-Techniek has a wealth of experience that he brings to his current position. In 1993, Aarding Weerstandslas went bankrupt and was bought out by AWL-Techniek, giving Piet an opportunity to become one of the shareholders in the organisation. Since then, he’s been instrumental in leading the company through significant challenges and changes.

Throughout his tenure with the business, Piet has seen the company and the industry change quite dramatically. “Many things have changed. First of all, before the bankruptcy we were a company focusing on resistance welding. After the restart we changed our position in the market as a company making joining equipment, and then the total package. So not only resistance and arc welding, but also laser welding and cold-forming joints. Over 20 years we’ve seen an enormous development in types of joining.

“Today we are a medium-sized company, operating with 450 employees worldwide.

“The biggest change has occurred in laser welding. In 1997, I was asked by one of my customers, ‘When are you going to start laser welding?’ Our company had just started and we had just begun the automation of arc welding, so our focus was on arc welding at that moment, and on some cold-forming joints. Volkswagen was one of the driving companies at that time and really pushing their suppliers towards the direction of laser welding, but implementation of a laser-welding process takes time.

“We started thinking about laser welding in 2002. We were ready with the marketing issues in 2003, and we started in 2004. After that, only 10 to 15 per cent of our turnover was laser-welding-related. In 2010, the breakthrough came, and since that time, we’ve been pinpointed as the company that is the laser-welding expert. When you want a laser-welding specialist, you have to be at AWL in Holland.”