Van Den Hout Metaal & Machinebouw: ‘being able to respond quickly is important for us and this rack enables us to do that’

Has a: Logic sheet metal storage rack (3,000 x 1,500 mm)
Since: summer 2016
Interview with: owner and director Jan van den Hout

The Logic sheet metal storage rack is where it all began for aalbers|farina. This storage system was initially developed to meet the needs of our sister company aalbers|wico and was launched onto the market as a standalone product in 2016. Van den Hout Metaal & Machinebouw (Reusel, 14 employees) was the first fellow metalwork company that decided to purchase the system.

“I saw an advertisement in MetaalNieuws and responded right away”, recalls owner and director Jan van den Hout. “Two days later we were in Renswoude to take a look at the rack.” 

compact, efficient rack

shaping its development

As an early customer Van den Hout also had the opportunity to shape the development of the sheet metal storage rack, so to speak, on the basis of its own needs. “The initial version still had a separate keyboard, whereas we wanted a touchscreen. So they went off and wrote a program for this. We also wanted a small slewing crane to take sheets from the rack one by one. They also adapted the system to take this into account.”

really efficient

The height was also customised, Van den Hout continues. Laughing: “Our hall is 6.3 metres high and the rack is just 2 centimetres lower. You can use space so efficiently. That was very important for us, as at the time space was already in short supply at our current location. In the near future we will therefore be relocating. Thanks in part to our sheet metal storage rack, we’ve been able to put off this move for five years, but now we really have no choice.”

the alternative: ten forklift operations

So it was a good investment? “Yes, for us it certainly was. Perhaps it would be different for a contract cutter that picks out a couple of packs of sheets and can then just get on with cutting them. But in our case there can easily be ten different thicknesses in a single customer order. Without the rack you would have ten forklift operations. That would take much longer and you also run the risk of damage.”

quick response

“Being able to respond quickly is extremely important for us”, Van den Hout concludes. “This rack enables us to do that. We can switch from 10 mm steel to 3 mm stainless steel within a minute and then again to 5 mm steel a few minutes later. It’s difficult to put an exact percentage on it, as we have never calculated it, but I’d go as far as to say that, on average, we get twenty per cent more out of our laser-cutting machine every day.”

“I’d go as far as to say that, on average, we get twenty per cent more out of our laser-cutting machine every day”

Jan van den Hout, owner and director Van den Hout Metaal & Machinebouw

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