The history of Vaal can be traced all the way back to the Second World War. When the Jacobs family started the then Vaal Potteries in 1943, it was a manufacturer of small ceramic items, including cups, saucers and ash trays.
In those early days all the manufacturing equipment was hand made using motorcar parts, scrap metal and a variety of reconditioned equipment. A far cry from today’s modern technology and mass production methods. It was not until 1946 that the business started producing sanitaryware.
Although product methods wee rudimentary and coal firing was done tin brick down-draft kiln, the company was still able to compete successfully with imports from the United Kingdom. As with all successful firms, Vaal constantly invested in discovering new techniques, improving manufacturing processes, adopting new technologies, ensuring the company retain its competitive position both locally and abroad.
Today, the manufacturing process has changed considerably from those early days at the factory. Products are still being manufactured at the same premises as it was all those years ago, however a walk through the production plant is proof of how sophisticated the factory is with the latest in technology and machinery.
Two robotic glazing lines with the capacity to spray 1000 units each per day were installed in 2001, while high pressure casting equipment was commissioned in 2005. In 2009 a state-of-the-art shuttle kiln was added which increased the manufacturing capacity by 15%.
In 2014 3 new High Pressure Casting Machines were commissioned as well as a newly installed robot controlled Giotto glazing line. The factory, taking up a total of 38 000 square meters currently have the capacity to manufacture 980 000 ceramic pieces per year.
Whilst quality is at the fore, demonstrated through the comprehensively designed range of toilets, basins and bidets representative of years of research and development, all products are manufactured with comfort and aesthetics in mind.
Driven by a desire to be top of mind, Vaal Sanitaryware is focused, forward thinking and committed to keeping up with the growing popularity and demand by creating a professional network of distributors throughout Southern Africa. This network is capable of being attentive to the needs of every sector of the sanitaryware market. Vaal understands the importance of looking after the environment and being environmentally sustainable both in terms of the product manufacture and factory operations, and as a result have implemented a number of sustainable processes in their factory. Sustainable initiatives include: a water reticulation plant, the utilization of gas in an attempt to reduce electricity usage as well as a crusher which eliminates scrap dumping.
More recently Vaal Sanitaryware has partnered with German company Grohe when GROHE and LIXIL acquired 51% of shares of the new company Grohe Dawn Watertech Holdings PTY LTD. Vaal, together with Libra Bathrooms and Plexicor Baths now make up the Sanitaryware Division of the Grohe Dawn Water Technology group of Companies.