News

Standardized customization: contradiction or holy grail?

For many customers, our company name is synonymous with tailor-made solutions. And rightly so, because for decades we have done nothing else. With great success and pleasure, by the way. And even though we continue to do so, we have been increasingly modular in our approach in recent years. This has only advantages for us as well as for (new) customers.

Too many invented wheels

Whether it was in the Middle East, in North Africa or in the Dutch province of Drenthe: whoever invented the wheel around 3,500 years before Christ did mankind an enormous favor. The number of variations and applications has been endless ever since. For obvious reasons no one feels the need to reinvent that wheel and we are no exception. Yet, figuratively speaking, we have done so for years, namely in the form of often large, usually technically complex and always tailor-made solutions. Customers were, and still are, generally ahead of the competition owing to their innovative approach. As nice as that is, we have actually sold ourselves short in that way for years.

Configurable building blocks

As we were so preoccupied by the very specific and changing wishes of customers, we lost sight of our own innovation. This is why, about five years ago, we decided to focus more on optimizing the standard rather than purely delivering customized solutions in a niche market. With the help of our multidisciplinary mechatronics team and building on existing mechatronic products, we cleverly bundled all existing and previously applied techniques and knowledge and translated them into configurable building blocks. At the same time, we put a lot of effort into adjusting the associated internal project organization to enable structural innovation.

Engineered for a range

By going from tailor-made to ‘engineered-for-a-range blocks’, supplemented by limited customization, we have become much more proactive instead of reactive. Customer benefits include improved reliability since the building blocks have already proven themselves before. Moreover, solutions have a shorter time-to-market as the building blocks need only minor modification which allows us more time for specific requirements and innovation. This is also cheaper in many cases while limiting the chance of errors at the same time.

Finally, thanks to a modular approach, customers are generally provided with more and broader application possibilities. In turn, we ourselves can free up more resources for our own innovation. We will certainly keep you posted on the yields of our increased innovation efforts in due time.

Back