2020: the year when six employees emerged as real columnists

Whether this involved the circular economy, specialist customised work or the need for testing: our six brand new columnists each in their own unique way passed on their wisdom in a column in Solids Processing. We look back proudly on these well-read columns of the past year.

Making work out of circularity
Our director, Perry Verberne, kicks off the column series by sharing a business philosophy that is close to his heart. In his column he states that as part of the industrial sector you must take responsibility by making sustainability part of the work management and production. Although this column was written before the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, his words took on even more weight when world trade came to a standstill and local self-sufficiency was more important than ever: “The call for an economy in which raw materials are recycled and residual waste is one of the most important raw materials, is getting louder and louder. Circular economy is hot!”

Does testing delay things? No, it is vital!
Michael van Mourik, senior R&D engineer, shines a light on the vital link in the purchasing process: the test phase. In his column he focusses on a different mind-set, where testing is no longer seen as a delaying factor, but as a vital part of the procurement process. Van Mourik goes on to say that testing also contributes to the development and renewal of existing products: “It is an essential part of the business process and increases the innovative capacity of the organisation.”

Optimum screw conveyance requires customised work
In an enlightening column, Peter Verhoeven, sales engineer, was able to put over the fact that the key to the success of the optimum screw conveyor is specialist customised work. He is surprised how many people misjudge the running and flowing properties of bulk goods and the sometimes volatile, naive and wasteful way in which product characteristics are investigated: “As a result not only is the wrong screw conveyor installed, but the wrong conveyance method may also cause considerable practical problems.”

Less absenteeism? Don’t be economical with ergonomic aspects!
In her column, Marleen Verschoor, mechanical engineer, zooms in on the importance of ergonomic aspects for a safe, healthy workplace and perfecting the production process. According to her, ergonomics makes the process more practical for the user, even more so if this can be done with customised work: “If at all possible, don’t be economical with ergonomic aspects. In the long term this ensures less absenteeism, lower sickness-related costs and a healthy organisation for vital employees.”

Customised work requires craftsmanship and passion
For Will Iskes, welder and metalworker, the fact that the best customised work comes from passion, is beyond doubt! In his column he states that the craftsmanship involved in customised work is underestimated by many people. According to him a screw conveyor is therefore not a standard machine that you can build from scratch. Its production is accompanied by very complex, crafting operations where customised adjustments such as size, roughness, shape and finish must be in harmony with one another. “You can only achieve a fine mechanical and optical example of customised work by carrying out every operation with passion.”

Cutting back on maintenance is expensive and dangerous
In the last column in the series, field service engineer Rob Nordmeijer stresses the importance of good regular maintenance of screw conveyors. He confirms that 60 to 70 percent of faults occur because maintenance has been carried out too late. But he does not attribute all this to negligence. Technical services are shrinking more and more or are replaced by external service and maintenance contracts, as a result of which the machines are sometimes not looked at for weeks. Also not properly following the service instructions may in his view lead to unsafe situations.: “The client is absolute king, but I would advise properly following the advice on service, maintenance and safety.”

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