In early 2021, we opened the doors of our engineering hub in Waregem. Right in the heart of the Flemish manufacturing industry. A strong tandem with our office and workshop in Beringen. Time for a look back and forward with Timen Floré, director of this hub.

Just to refresh our memory. Why did the hub in Waregem come about?
“In order to develop customized machines and production lines, a lot of coordination with the customer is required. It is therefore a huge advantage to be located close to our customers. Waregem is a strategic location in the heart of the Flemish manufacturing industry. From here we reach customers in West and East Flanders, but also companies across the language border and pharma players in the center of the country.”

How do you look back on the first three years?
“It’s always exciting when you start something new. But the first orders and results came faster than expected, while the growth rate remains manageable. Although the region has many high-quality machine builders, it is clear that we are filling a void with VINTIV. We are at our best in projects where there is complexity. Where custom mechanical design is required. And high demands are made on aspects such as quality, tolerances, speed… The processes that need to be automated are increasingly complex. So our expertise is much needed.”

How many are you now?
“There are four of us: a project manager, a draftsman-mechanic, a programmer and myself.”

What companies were or are you already working for?
“We still have a lot of potential to grow and increase our prominence in the region. But looking back, we can be quite proud and grateful. For example, we have projects at companies such as Barco, Beaulieu, Picanol, Bekaert, Pfizer, Etex Group,… and we have good contacts within the ecosystem of local suppliers and partners. We were even allowed to build a unique installation in the new building of Flanders Make in Kortrijk, the center for the support of the Flemish manufacturing industry.”

“More and more business cases focus on CO² reduction and energy savings.”

Director Timen Floré

What projects are still in the pipeline?
“The exciting thing about our line of business is that we are always involved in innovations within the manufacturing industry. For innovative products, there are normally no standard machines yet. So then we come into the picture to develop customized automation.”

“What strikes me is the high amount of projects that have a link to recyclability and energy. One of the projects is the handling of a new dryer for the production of fireproof panels. The business case is not based on additional production capacity, quality or FTE savings. But it is based on CO² reduction and energy savings. Other projects have to do with adapting products so that they can be better recycled. That often involves a lot of complexity in the manufacturing process.”

“As a local technology partner, it’s nice to be able to help our manufacturing industry evolve toward a new economy. An economy where energy, CO² and resource scarcity are the focus.”

Do you dare to look ahead to the next three years?
“We are moving to completely renewed offices within the Waregem business center. Extra space and visibility! I also expect a positive impact toward attracting new colleagues.”

“There will be a tipping point somewhere in our growth. Now we are still seeding a lot. I would be incredibly proud if we would have an own building within three years. Where we offer the same look and feel as our main site in Beringen. And that our team can grow to a dozen enthusiastic employees. In the meantime, if things remain as exciting as they have been for the past three years, the motivation will certainly not wane.”

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