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food industry
mechanical engineering
processing industry
mechanical engineering

VIRO helps Ottevanger with expertise and capacity

Ottevanger Milling Engineers designs and manufactures equipment and complete installations for the grain-processing and compound feed industry. From the Netherlands and Ireland to Saudi Arabia and Russia. VIRO provides support.

Eelco Lejour, Project Manager at Ottevanger, still has contact with one of the VIRO Sales Consultants based on a shared history: ‘We were looking to expand our flexible team,’ he explains. The engineers need to be able to work with Creo Elements/Direct Modelling. ‘These types of engineers are scarce.’ Once the request has been made, VIRO introduces an engineer that meets the required qualifications.

Way of working

Kilian Bijenhof, Engineering Manager at Ottevanger, tells us: ‘VIRO is a good name but the success of the cooperation always depends on the people. Our main concern continues to be the men and women who are at the controls. They also have to fit in with us.’ The newly hired engineer from VIRO is Ottevanger’s first point of contact with VIRO and vice versa. He fulfils a bridging role, also towards the future. His first action is to create a file in which to record everything that he learns about Ottevanger, including links to their documents containing information. This makes it easier for VIRO engineers to get going at Ottevanger more quickly. The next two VIRO colleagues can start on a project after only a week and a half.


Kilian Bijenhof explains: ‘This is a good approach to take. Retaining knowledge means that the know-how is also available for new people that come to Ottevanger from VIRO. Because that is often my fear. The moment it gets quieter here, that’s when the engineer leaves. And when you need someone again, you get a different engineer. You have to start up from scratch again with them.’ Eelco Lejour tells us: ‘We have noticed that VIRO is an organisation that is able to respond quickly and fill in the gaps in our schedule.’

Modular arsenal

We have a pretty full schedule. As is the case in many industries at the moment. However, it is not possible to simply take over tasks at Ottevanger. You have to start small, with detailed engineering. Eelco Lejour explains: ‘Ottevanger is a true project organisation. We have a large number of our own manufacturing machines: process machines, transport machines, and related equipment. Furthermore, each machine contains various model types. We therefore have a huge arsenal of machines to maintain in terms of engineering. You therefore need to build it up using a modular approach. We have created a sort of surplus of standards for machines and types. If you use them in your projects, you really need to reduce the surplus parts of the assembly from 150 per cent down to 100 per cent. And you still have to put the machine into use. How will it fit in the factory? Where will I put it? Suspend it? How will it be supported? How do I connect it to the next machine?’


The crux is clear. Engineers working for Ottevanger are required to build up their knowledge steadily. Step by step. One module and one machine at a time. ‘We see an increase in the difficulty of the projects,’ the VIRO engineers say. ‘The first one was relatively simple, the second involved quite a few customer-specific requirements, and the third project now takes this even further. We are given a lot of autonomy and mainly have contact with the project managers and the engineers working on the project. It feels good. It gives you confidence.’ Eelco concludes: ‘The guys at VIRO also have their own ideas on certain matters. They share them with us and this promotes interaction. We also have regular contact with VIRO at management level. Of course, they also benefit from this from a commercial point of view. But I think it’s very decent of them to do so and you can tell that they are genuinely committed. This is a fine way of working as far as we are concerned.’