Stories

Technologies Added is changing the manufacturing industry

A glimpse into the future of the production sector. This may just be what Technologies Added in Emmen is. The startup offers sophisticated production lines on which many different products can be created, from many different companies.

It’s just as director Rob Goossens tends to say: “We make things that we haven’t conceived ourselves.” This is exactly the answer that companies, startups and scaleups are looking for. “You can see that they are focusing more and more on the development and marketing of their product, but not necessarily on building it. That’s the part we take care of here.”

Rick Scholten (l.) and Rob Goossens (r.)

The large hall, which up until a few years ago housed the Philips lighting fixtures factory, is buzzing once more. Smart street lighting is created on one line. Next to which water recycling units are being manufactured, and taking shape further along are entire folding trailers.

The World is Looking On

Technologies Added is known as a ‘shared smart factory’. A unique concept. “I don’t think this exists anywhere else yet. We can see there’s interest from around the world”, says the director. “Because we’re able to convert quickly and because of the smart technology and robots, we can do many different actions, increasing the efficiency for all parties.”

Especially entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their product development will benefit greatly from the Emmen startup. Goossens: “It’s very expensive to make a prototype of a product, let alone set up an entire production line for a trial run. Instead, an entrepreneur can simply come to us. We can then share such an investment.”

Rob Goossens spent many years in traditional industry, as the vice president of Fokker. He knows how things are and what can be done differently. When the Brabant investor Chezz came to him and with the Noordelijke Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij (NOM) also involved, he didn’t have to think long. “I know how difficult it is for companies that don’t have the capital to scale up. They often have to rely on low-wage countries with the risk of losing control of the process. Technologies Added is a great solution for them. I firmly believe in the concept and the opportunities we are taking to do it ever smarter.”
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Digital copy

And this way, you end up with the wonderful situation that representatives of manufacturing companies consult with the employees of Technologies Added in the factory hall about the best way to make products. Together, they develop the entire production line. It also happens that these representatives bump into each other and come up with new ideas, even entering into collaborations.

In order to facilitate manufacturing companies properly, the ‘open factory’ in Emmen must have as much technology in house as possible. Also, to be able to flexibly deploy the production lines. For example, Technologies Added makes a digital copy of every product that is made. Compare it to a modern car seat that recognises the driver and adjusts itself automatically. It’s the same with these lines. The software reads the copy and knows how to set up the line to recreate that specific product.

Student container

Rick Scholten is the person who thinks about such innovative applications on a daily basis. “It’s all about being as efficient and fast as possible, without any loss of quality. That’s what everything is designed for. The digital workstations, the digitally controlled logistics, the flexible robots, the 3D drawings that are shared with our customers in one digital document. It’s going further and further. It’s becoming increasingly logical to come here to make your products.”

Such an innovative environment is ideal for students of the Stenden University of Applied Sciences, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen, who are watching and thinking along. They even have their own container in the factory hall. Goossens: “The involvement of the knowledge institutions is great. It makes sense. We’re doing something new here and we learn every day.”

 

Website Technologies Added