The sky’s no longer the limit

On Wednesday, 4th June, over 150 invited guests were treated to a spectacular new product presentation by Dutch company Timesavers International. The company is proud as punch with their latest high precision grinder, a massive piece of equipment which will be shipped to the US for use in the aerospace industry. 
By David Sear
It may have been an overcast day, but there was a really warm welcome for all invited guests at Timesaver’s factory in Goes, the Netherlands. It is here that the company makes its industrial grinders which are widely used throughout the metals industry.

In essence, these grinders rely on the same kind of sandpaper which is probably found in most garden sheds. However, the parallel stops there, because Timesavers’ sophisticated machines are capable of quickly grinding massive sheets of metal to incredibly accurate tolerances.

But back to the actual ceremony, which was hosted throughout by Gert van ‘t Hof, a well-known sports presenter on Dutch television. Following a quick word of welcome by Managing Director Paul Hartendorp, visitors were then treated to two highly entertaining speeches.

Firstly, local banker David Kemps presented a future vision of industrial developments, taking in concepts such as 3D printing, industry 4.0 and how to strike the right balance of low volume, high mix, high complexity. His words certainly struck a chord with the audience, many of whom earn their living in the manufacturing sector. Moreover, he filled his presentation with plenty of practical examples.

Next at the podium was Dutch astronaut André Kuipers. Working in the I.S.S. (International Space Station) last year, he linked the first space rocket from the US customer to the station, providing the success needed to increase volume and buy the machine with Timesavers. This “flying Dutchman” played a vital “link” between the two from that perspective.
Mr Kuipers enthralled the audience with his down to earth(!) anecdotes about living and working on board the I.S.S. In short, the views might well be spectacular, but would-be space travelers please note that the choice of food is limited and the toilets can take some getting used to! But the space age has brought real benefits for mankind, he stressed, listing features such as navigation, broadcasting, weather forecasting, air pollution control and – very apt for the Dutch audience – dyke monitoring.
When it took place, the actual product presentation was a superb piece of showmanship. A time-lapse video of the machine being made culminated in swelling music, lights, smoke… and a curtain dropping away to reveal the actual grinder itself – a massive piece of equipment capable of accurately grinding metal sheets destined for use in space rockets.

Standing proudly on top of the machine, Timesaver’s Sales & Marketing Director Piet Kooman discussed the grinder’s impressive capabilities and answered questions from the audience.

The final official part of the day was delivered by trend-watcher Adjiedj Bakas, whose humorous presentation really gave the public something to think about, revealing as it did how and why people react as they do in particular circumstances. But there was a serious undertone to his words, as he showed some of the pitfalls if designers and engineers overcomplicate their work.

The day concluded with an informal cocktail reception, which was a good opportunity to enjoy some local delicacies (oysters!) but also to view some of Timesavers’ latest machinery, such as  their RB range “Top and Bottom” grinder that can deburr and round edges on both sides of a sheet of metal at the same time.

Interested how Timesavers’ grinder will benefit the space industry? Want to know more about their RB Range? Or simply want to know the difference between sanding and grinding? Then watch out for our video interviews with Piet Kooman and Paul Hartendorp, which will be available soon.

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