RIDDERKERK, Netherlands—Trelleborg A.B.'s Engineered Products business has expanded its Ridderkerk facility significantly in order to accommodate the merger of two Netherlands plants.
It combined its factory in Ede, Netherlands, into the Ridderkerk complex, which was expanded about 16,000 square feet with the addition of two connected factories and an office building, according to a spokeswoman. The Ede factory has been closed.
All personnel and machinery at the Ede site have been moved to the Ridderkerk operation, she said, giving the site a work force of about 170.
“It was clear to us that by bringing the business under one roof, we could invest more effectively to improve and update the facility and improve our customer service,” said Marcel Theunissen, managing director for the company's engineered products operation.
A producer of tunnel seals, dredging hoses, bearings and grout seals, the original Ridderkerk plant was changed completely and upgraded to improve efficiency by putting everything in a logical flow and combining everything in the Netherlands operation onsite, the spokeswoman said.
It is now a state-of-the-art facility, she said.
It took about a year to complete the expansion project, she noted. The firm did not stop production of products at any point, “so customers did not notice the effects of the building work.”
The Ridderkerk factory has been reorganized “to guarantee optimal flow and efficiency and ensure a considerable reduction in order throughput times,” Theunissen said.
“We also restructured our teams internally; whereas we used to work as a functional organization with departments such as sales, engineering and planning working separately, now they are all grouped together into market-based teams,” he said.
Production processes will be much smoother because of the merger, he said.
Theunissen said “this streamlined approach will increase customer focus and provide them with a clear point of contact and more aligned processes.”
Trelleborg's expanded complex now includes raw materials preparation, production, assembly and testing functions onsite.
It primarily produces its products for the infrastructure market, the company said.
Both plants were acquired in the mid-1980s, but both sites are much older than that. For instance, the Ridderkerk factory—formerly Bakker Rubber—was established in 1879.
Trelleborg Engineered Products, which is part of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction business area, anticipates the combined operation will help the business achieve new growth, the firm said.
The business unit produces polymer products for the energy, infrastructure and mining industries.
Its primary products are sealing systems for tunnels, a wide range of bearings, products for floatover technology and wear-resistant goods for the mining industry.
Its offerings are used in some of the harshest environments on earth, according to the company.