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.
The power of cooperation
The future belongs to manufacturing companies that cooperate with partners in good faith. Emiel Harink, Business Manager at VDL Enabling Technologies Group B.V. (VDL ETG) based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is convinced of it: “The classic supply chain just doesn’t cut it anymore. When it comes to Industry 4.0 the main thing is being able to offer customers clear added value. And you can only do that by extensively integrating professional partners. That’s the next development step for industry.”
“Integrated industries” are the magic words, but what does VDL ETG understand by that expression? “Manufacturing companies need to concentrate more on their own strengths and outsource non-core business to reliable partner companies. That’s the only way to impress the market with innovative solutions and achieve growth”, says Harink. VDL ETG is a Tier One contract manufacturing partner with global operations in the fields of development, production and supply chain management. The company has seven subsidiaries and 2,000 employees. VDL ETG has extensive experience in the following sectors: semiconductor industry, thin film deposition equipment for photovoltaic solar cells, analytical instruments, medical systems, aerospace & defence and mechanisation projects.
VDL ETG has already enjoyed a string of successful collaborative projects in Germany. “German technology companies often have extensive technical expertise and wide-ranging vertical integration. When it comes to the procurement of materials and small parts, a classic supply chain is no longer sufficient for successfully serving the market”, says Harink. Innovation, transparency and as short a time to market as possible are what is required. Below are three examples that illustrate the vision of the integrated partnership perfectly.
A company from South Germany, for example, has delegated responsibility for the production of some mechatronic systems, including all servicing, to VDL ETG. As a result, the company can concentrate on its strengths, i.e. the development of new products and services. And it’s a partnership which benefits both parties: on the one hand VDL ETG, which handles the production work as the contract manufacturer, and on the other hand a renowned OEM, which can make faster progress in its market.
Clear agreements form the basis for the cooperation. “Our partner is experienced and knows what prices are in keeping with the market, and we handle a transparent business model. If we can reduce the manufacturing costs at any point, we pass that benefit on”, reports Harink. This approach creates trust. There’s a reason why VDL’s motto is “stronger together”.
Concentrating on your strengths
This power can also be seen in another example. As part of a collaborative initiative with a German manufacturing company, VDL ETG will be responsible for the design of new products in the future. The reason is that the German OEM has introduced new laser welding technology for complex frames. VDL ETG knows the appropriate process parameters thanks to years of experience. It’s a win-win partnership: VDL ETG ensures that the product design is suitable for the new technology, and the OEM can launch the new application on the market without any delays due to long test phases – and strengthen its position.
In the third example, a Germany company was looking for a manufacturing site in Asia in order to be able to supply the market there. VDL ETG had the solution ready: the Dutch company has the required site and now manufactures in Asia as the contract manufacturer for the German partner. But that’s not all. VDL ETG also handles the protection of the intellectual property. As such, the German manufacturing company can have its products manufactured in Asia without having to set up its own plant there – and all the patents are protected for it as well. “These three examples show how we see the future of the industry”, explains Harink. It also shows the power that cooperation built on trust can have…
About VDL Enabling Technologies Group
VDL Enabling Technologies Group (VDL ETG) is part of VDL Groep. It is a family-run industrial company, which focuses on the development, manufacturing and sale of semi-finished products, buses and other end products as well as the assembly of passenger vehicles. VDL manufactures the MINI and the X1 for BMW, for example.
Hall 4, Niederländische Gemeinschaftstand