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Arendsen Steel chose FICEP as partner and invested in 10 different CNC lines


Mr. Arendsen explained that the main benefits he is experiencing on his FICEP lines are drilling and sawing speed, automatization, and scribing feature


He stated that the FICEP machines helped his company to grow, since enabled their production capacity to grow


These are the secrets, according to Mr. Arendsen, to have younger people to step into the steel business;

Maintaining a family business for multiple generations is a challenging task that escapes many families. The steel fabricator Arendsen Steel, located in Ulft, Netherlands, has navigated these challenges for the past 140 years. The firm has been managed for the past 20 years by Mr. Arjan Arendsen, who represents the 5th generation.

Over the years, the firm has been engaged in diverse steel fabrication projects of which 70% are located outside of the Netherlands. One of the fields they have excelled in is the automotive facilities and exhibitions stands for Porsche, BMW and Audi. Specially for Audi they have a big ongoing project for the construction of around 200 electro-hubs all over Europe for e-cars.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Arjan Arendsen. During our interview, we asked him to tell us about their cooperation with FICEP. They have an extensive investment in 10 different FICEP CNC lines:

    • VALIANT beam drilling, milling, scribing and sawing lines

    • RB shotblasting machines

    • A164 & TIPO D angles and flats processing lines

    • TIPO B plate punching and thermal cutting systems

Mr. Arendsen explained to us why they first invested in a FICEP line:

“Our cooperation with FICEP started a long time ago, I was still a child when I first visited the company in Gazzada, Italy. At the time we had machines from a different brand, but when we saw who FICEP was and the kind of machines they were offering, we chose them as partners. We share the same idea of Steel Thinking.”

Mr. Arendsen continued explaining that the best benefit they experienced with FICEP machines are for sure the speed of drilling and sawing, the automatization, and the scribing feature for plates positioning (FICEP was the first to introduce it on the beam lines).
He stated that FICEP machines helped his company to grow, since enabled their production capacity to grow. Of course this is also thanks to their workers, who are happy to work with FICEP machines.

At the start of a project Arendsen is generally assisting their clients as needed with the engineering, detailing and the design using Tekla. By using Tekla, they are able to seamlessly export all the programming information for sawing, drilling, layout and coping. After the parts manufacturing, they complete shot blasting (if the raw material is not blasted yet), painting and galvanizing, and they perform the complete erection of the buildings.

The company has recently invested in robotic welding: Mr. Arendsen explained that they started to look into this direction 5-6 years ago, and finally invested in a 35 mt long line with two robots, and a third one has been installed after a few months for beams fitting. “We understand that for the future we will need to weld and fit with the robots”, he stated.

When interviewing Mr. Arendsen about the availability of skilled workers he responded as follows:

“Also in Holland it’s difficult to find experienced younger people to work in a company involved in the steel business. We do a lot of training, we also cooperate with schools so that young boys and girls can come to our factory and see what we do, but we also have to give them something to work for if they come in a steel building: so, we try always to keep our building clean and also to invest in new machines so that it’s easier for younger people to step in to the steel business. Anyway, it’s hard to get them and also to keep them. It’s a problem all over the world I guess.”

During the interview we asked how the industry has changed and what he would expect to be different if looking in the future for the next 10-20 years. Mr. Arendsen responded:

“I can say that automatization of many steel structures companies is really changed during the years. 10 or 15 years ago there were fewer drilling lines or plate machines, but now if I look at Holland and Germany for example, there’s a lot of companies which invested in massive automized drilling and sawing lines and plate machines, and also welding is coming now. A huge step has been made in the business with people starting to look for automatization, making also handling operations easier with big cranes. I’m sure it’s a good thing if everybody is starting to look into this direction. For the future it’s hard to say but things will change. Also welding robots will make everything more precise and will make it easier to fabricate steel.”

As a wrap up question, we asked how he sees Arendsen Steel in the next 10 years:

“We are an old family business and I’m the 5th generation and see myself still in the business for a long time. For sure I expect our company to grow, we invested in a lot of machines so we will grow and achieve a leading position in the worldwide market of steel constructions.”

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