Voortman Steel Machinery is supplying complete machinery lines increasingly often in which several types of machinery are interconnected and operate together. With today’s up-to-date and intelligent machinery however there is much more to be had from this. That is why a pilot was deployed last year at Hanse Staalbouw in Zeeland, a familiar Voortman customer.
Maarten Wieringa, the commissioning engineer for this project explains: “We are actually able to offer many more capabilities with our machinery, while coming up against new challenges at the same time.” It was above all the expectations and specific wishes of Hanse Staalbouw as a customer that were key in this pilot.
The project kicked off with Michel Meijer as Site Supervisor. In this role, Michel was responsible for the entire installation at Hanse Staalbouw. He is highly satisfied with how the project went. “This was thanks in part to the Hanse people. The partnership ran smoothly and whenever anything needed fixing, it was picked up at once.”
It was the turn of Tim Zwiers (Senior Commissioning Engineer) to get down to work next. Together with Michiel Karkdijk, he looked after the machine set-up and commissioning. “Once the machinery was positioned and installed, we laid on operator training. It was really great that the people already had a lot of knowledge. This enabled them to get down to work quite quickly.”
After the training, Tim handed the job over to Maarten. “In normal circumstances, work would complete itself after this start-up.” However, Voortman went a step further in this pilot. “Not only were the machines required to work exceptionally well, but we were also able to substantially improve output through optimal collaboration, set-up and software modifications.”
Marlinde Eichler is the Production Manager at Hanse Staalbouw. She was closely involved in the project from the start. “We were already familiar with Voortman and especially with their service. That is the main reason why we asked them to supply and install this machinery.” The system which was installed consists of a V704 which marks the material, a V630 (drilling machine) and a fully automatic VB1250 (sawing machine). “We were lucky that they wanted to test the new software and working method with us. Of course we wanted to collaborate on this! The result is that we are now able to saw much faster.”
Were there no problems at all then during this project? “Yes there were, in the end it took longer than we had expected and hoped. But I should add that any problems were resolved at once. Despite the distance, there was someone on our doorstep next morning. That is what you call service.” It is not only Hanse Staalbouw that is satisfied, the team also looks back at this pilot with satisfaction. Marlinde remembers: “Once everything was working as desired, Maarten’s face lit up with a huge smile. Partly thanks to them, we have the fastest possible saw and we are all really proud of it.”
Voortman certainly had something to prove in production at Hanse. The workshop was highly critical of the fact that manual work was being replaced by a machine. “Previously, marking had always been done by hand with a tape measure, which can be a difficult transition for some.” But fortunately Maarten can report that they are very satisfied since then. “They are starting to come round and are thus realising that the errors are much less likely with this system.”
It was scheduled for around three days; in the end it came to four weeks. Nevertheless, the entire optimisation was sorted out perfectly in that time. Aard Slagman, project lead in this pilot: “In other projects we were often required to come back after the event to deal with the last items. In this case we were able to complete the contract with a satisfied customer and a particularly good result. In this light, the extra time and investment certainly proved to be worthwhile.”