Terugblik Nederland als Partnerland in 2014. Wirtschafsreport in gesprek met Marco Siebert, directeur Internationale betrekkingen Hannover Messe.
Exclusief interview met Marc Siemering over Hannover Messe 2016.
There is no such thing as “no can do”
The secret to the success of machining specialist Helmink Hoontechniek from Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands, is that it offers a broad range of services within a very narrow niche market. “We are a contractor specialising exclusively in honing, but we offer the full range of services that that entails”, says Managing Director Michel Helmink. The portfolio covers an extremely broad range of sectors, products, materials and dimensions. The strategy has proven successful as, to date, the company has managed to fulfil all customer-specific requirements. “No” is not a word that exists in Helmink Hoontechniek’s dictionary.
Honing is a precision machining process, which is used for a very wide range of products. And the orders themselves are equally diverse, ranging from large pipes for the oil and gas industry to cylinders for shipbuilding and small hydraulic and precision-engineered systems for mechanical engineering – Helmink Hoontechniek will machine process whatever the customer supplies. “If we find that we can’t execute an order with the existing means that we have, we quickly develop a solution”, says the Managing Director. So far he has never had to turn down an order, and there are no plans for that to ever change.
The materials that are machined are just as varied as the products, ranging from hard metal and stainless steel to aluminium and cast iron. “The choice of materials is practically unlimited. Our machines can handle any surface.” They can handle almost any dimensions too. A diameter of one millimetre or 1.80 metres? A length of just a few centimetres or 25 metres? Individual items or series production? The response is always the same: no problem!
On account of this wide range of options, Helmink Hoontechniek has managed to cover all bases and make quite a name for itself in this niche market – a clear strategy that is paying off. “This enables us to relieve lots of companies of a major machining step. It is usually not worth it for them to purchase their own machines for honing.”
Honing is one of several machining steps. But what order do these steps need to be carried out in? “That’s a typical question that we get and we’re always happy to provide advice”, Helmink emphasises. Customers can put their trust in the expertise of the company’s experienced employees. “We always strive to achieve the best price-performance ratio for our customers, from the advice that we offer right through to the machining work itself”, the Managing Director adds.
In order to successfully occupy a strong position in this nice market in the long term, the company needs to ensure that it constantly develops its know-how and fleet of machines. Management therefore continually invests in the latest technology. “Our business is constantly evolving. The manufacturing of products that we machine for European producers is increasingly being moved to Asia. New European products get sent to our production hall – until they too start to be manufactured in Asia.”
Flexibility and employees’ skills are a decisive factor in dealing with this constant change. Customers often change their minds as well which means that the company has to keep coming up with new solutions. “And that’s actually what we find the most exciting part”, explains the Managing Director.
The aim is to broaden the customer base so as not to be too reliant on individual sectors which are subject to fluctuations. As such, the company wants to focus more on the German market for which Hannover Messe is the starting point. In other words, Helmink Hoontechniek wants to cover even more bases in this slender niche market…
About Helmink Hoontechniek
Helmink Hoontechniek was founded in 1979 and since then has developed into a global honing specialist. The team now consists of 15 employees and there are over 2,000 square metres of production floor space. The company is run by Michel Helmink and his sister Miranda, who are the second generation of the family to take over the reins of the business.
Contact person: Michel Helmink
3371 KA Hardinxveld-Giessendam, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 - 184616644