Celebrating 80 years of the AVK Group
The story of AVK begins with one man opening a small, local machine shop. He was called Aage Valdemar Kjær, whose initials, AVK, today are visible on products across the globe. Acting not only as a brand, but as a seal of quality. 13-07-2021
Aage Valdemar Kjær was born in 1904. He was the son of a small holder and clog maker in rural Denmark. He was first trained as a blacksmith, but later went on to study engineering, whereafter he worked as a marine engineer and as engineer at the Galten Power Station.
In 1941, he established the “AVK Maskinværksted” in Galten, Denmark. Besides running his machine shop and being a fine craftsman, he was a dedicated member of the community and a good athlete.
The shop quickly became part of the local community and was frequently used by both private people, businesses, dairies, brick works and many others.
During the 50’s, Kjær extended his business with design and fabrication of refrigerating systems, but plumbing work also became an increasing part of the business with the installation of central heating in private households. AVK was a successful business and with increasing work, the facilities on Søndergade in Galten were extended with a separate factory building.
In 1961, Kjær’s son, Niels Aage Kjær, joined AVK as a 16-year-old apprentice. Niels Aage later went back to school to study engineering. As fully fledged engineer, he started working at the Technological Institute in Aarhus, while becoming more and more involved in his father’s business.
In 1970, Niels Aage and his father became business partners. Sadly, a week later Aage Valdemar died at the age of 65, and Niels Aage took over the business. The same year, Niels Aage designed the first gave valve and made two samples.
From then on, AVK manufactured valves, which marked the beginning of a long expansion journey, starting with the neighbouring countries.
Up through the “amazing eighties”, AVK increased the total number of employees from 115 to 650. With full focus on quality, AVK was certified according to the ISO 9000 standard in 1990 - the second company in Denmark to achieve this certification.
AVK moving forward
Through decades of establishments, acquisitions and continuous growth, the AVK Group now counts 100+ companies across the planet as well as more than 4,400 dedicated employees covering our three business units: AVK Water, AVK Industrial and AVK Advanced Manufacturing.
Through systematic product development and penetration of new markets, AVK is today one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of valves and fittings.
Every day, our solutions help deliver clean water and sustainable energy to millions of people in households and industries all over the world. We assist in transporting, treating and reutilising wastewater, and in assuring safe, secure surroundings ready to battle unfortunate events of fire. We work towards a better, more sustainable future, where natural resources are used and managed wisely - one day, one product and one solution at a time.
It is our goal to keep develop, produce and market high quality, long lifetime products that play a vital role in a sustainable development for the benefit of both people and planet.
8 decades ago, the machine shop was founded on the values of quality, innovation, reliability, sustainability, and customer service, which still form the basis of AVK today.
"Our history is the key to our future success" – Niels Aage Kjær