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News - 30 October, 2019

Headaches during first Voortman Hackathon

It is Saturday, October 19. The doors of Voortman Steel Machinery open early in the morning and the first software engineers arrive. It is time for the first Hackathon organized by Voortman Steel Machinery! While enjoying a cup of coffee, the twenty participants, divided into six groups, hear what the challenge for the day is. Eyebrows raised everywhere, and this is only the beginning...

The challenge

The machinery of Voortman is known for its high degree of automation and we are always looking for ways to get even more out of it. Our machines each support a set of processes. Think of drilling, marking, milling and sawing. The machine with the largest diversity of supported processes is our V631. On the basis of a product definition, the machine determines what it can make and a list of machine instructions is drawn up, some of which are interdependent. The challenge was to find new ways to determine this list of instructions, so that our machine can perform all required operations even faster.


After twelve hours of sweating, three of the six groups had succeeded in finding a working solution. And one of the groups was even able to process all supplied test products into a valid instruction list. This group became the winner of the Voortman Hackathon 2019 and took home € 1,500. As Voortman, we look back with satisfaction and have gained new inspiration for the further improvement, automation and acceleration of our machines!

What is a Hackathon

A hackathon is an event where a group of people is given a technical challenge in the field of IT. Within a limited time, usually 24 hours, participants compete as individuals or in groups to find the first or the best solution to the presented challenge.