Valeo is a truly international product, in all the right ways. Products these days, if not made in the US, are made in other countries to lower the cost of production – it’s that simple. We’re different. We knew this product had to be a cut above the rest, so when it came time to find the right partner to build Valeo, we looked to the best and most innovative company we could find. That company is Airtificial. With locations all over the world, Airtificial is known for supplying the aerospace, aviation and recently, the HyperLoop industry with the world’s best carbon fiber components.
It’s this level of expertise we wanted, but what we got, was even better.
It took the better part of a year to iron out the exact design and geometry of the case. Sometime’s it’s the simplest looking things that can be the most challenging to build. This was the case with Valeo. At first blush it might seem like a simple sheet of carbon fiber, but our edge radius, our fit and finish, weight and precision are in some instances, of higher tolerances than even aerospace parts. But before we get into that, where exactly in Spain is Valeo made? That would be, El Burgo De Osma in Castilla y Leon, which sits roughly two and a half hours north of Madrid.
Burgo De Osma is a medieval town of 3000 nestled among 200 year old vineyards. While this little Spanish town seems to be stuck in the distant past, it’s home to the newest and most sophisticated manufacturing facility within the Airtificial stable of world-class facilities. In a scene reminiscent of the film Infinity War, where Thor’s hammer was forged in the heart of a dying star, the sheer size and magnitude of the heated press used to forge each Valeo case, makes one appreciate the level of engineering that went into designing this facility.
One of the reasons you won’t find many carbon fiber cases on the market, is due to the labor involved in producing well made carbon fiber parts. It takes hours to cure parts in an autoclave (a type of controlled oven). At this facility, it takes 180 seconds to press and cure a single Valeo panel using heated molds and the pressure of their behemoth press pictured above. This is the same method and equipment used to produce parts for the aerospace industry – and we’re lucky enough to share the same factory floor.
But this is only step 4 of a 30+ painstaking process steps, used to bring to life a Valeo case. Starting in Portland, OR, half way across the world, once design is complete, the team in Burgo De Osma take over. Layers of Carbon Fiber are removed from freezers and brought to room temperature. Once warm, they are placed in the press, formed and cured. And then the hard part begins. From there, they are individually inspected, hand trimmed twice and sanded.
Once trimmed, each panel is submerged and Valeo’s Patent Pending X’s are CNC’d. From each panel is sorted and QA’d once more. Only the best make it this far, and only the best of those goes on to get painted and branded. All in all, each panel goes through over 20 individual production and QA steps from layup to press, timing, finishing and painting. Once complete, they leave Spain on their way to the US where they are paired with Poron XRD foam, fasteners and it’s very own sexy tool. Finally, they are packaged at our fulfillment center in Portland, OR and shipped to you.