”Betech Mass Turning & Kohlhage Automotive: Successful Dutch – German cooperation.”
Maakindustrie.nl writes: ‘Betech Mass Turning produces large series of turned goods for Kohlhage Automotive, a German manufacturer of products for especially OEM’s in the automotive industry. The companies met each other during the Match-making programme on the ESEF exhibit in 2016.’
Author: Wouter Hoeffnagel | Source: https://maakindustrie.nl/
Betech Mass Turning
Is specialised in high volume swiss-turning and machining of complex metals goods. The company mostly focuses on technical components for the automotive industry, high-tech industry and mechanical engineering. The company produces 24/7 with the help of automated lathes which enables the operators to manage multiple lathes at the same time. ‘‘No matter where a company produces in the world, investments in CNC lathes, material and manpower have to be made. Because we combine the highly automated CNC lathes with intelligent production techniques, our labour costs per product are relatively low. For example; we can compete with production companies located in Eastern Europe and Asia, while the costs of labour are considerably lower there’’, thus Arjan Schuinder, responsible for Sales & Marketing at Betech Mass Turning.
One of Betech’s customers is Kohlhage Automotive. Stefan Valera, Product Manager at Kohlhage Automotive, explains: ‘‘We design and supply mostly assembled components to OEM’s, for example tube assemblies, welded components and valve-systems. Our focus is specialised products for the automotive industry. Most of the time these products have to be produced with the help of specific production techniques and materials. In Europe there are only a handful of companies who can meet these specific requirements. Kohlhage is one of them.’’
In 2016 Kohlhage has participated in the ESEF Matchmaking Event, which was organised by B2Fair. ‘‘We were in need of a complex product which our existing suppliers could not produce. At the ESEF I used the Match Making event to search for possible suppliers who could help us with this’’, thus Valera. ‘‘Primarily to the ESEF I selected 5 or 6 interesting companies, of which Betech Mass Turning was one. With these parties I planned several meetings at the exhibit. The result is a cooperation with Betech, which produces multiple different turned products for us.’’
Partner within driving distance
Kohlhage was looking for a partner at driving distance from their German head office in Neuenrade. ‘‘Due to the complexity of the parts our suppliers produce for us, we have to be in contact regularly. Especially in the start-up phase the contact is very frequent. Most of the times it means that I have to visit the supplier every two weeks to discuss and see the latest production status and possibly think of solutions or improvements together. This is one of the reason that I searched for a supplier within driving distance of Neuenrade.’’
Betech’s head office is located in Hoogeveen which is an appropriate location for Kohlhage. ‘‘Traveling from our head office to Betech only takes 2,5 hour. This is a lot closer then many German turning companies which are mostly located in the south of Germany. When I have to travel to the black forest, I have to drive for 6,5 hours straight. Next to that the quality of German and Dutch production companies are similar. This combination results in the fact that Dutch suppliers are interesting for us’’, thus Valera. ‘‘Sometimes we need products quickly and the short distance between both companies enables a delivery time of one day or even several hours when there is an emergency. Due to the automation, up to date machinery and intelligent production techniques Betech’s price level is comparable to companies located in Eastern Europe and Asia. The choice to start a business relation with Betech wasn’t a difficult one.
Design and production
‘‘Another important argument to work with Betech is the degree of innovative thinking in terms of design and production techniques. Betech doesn’t only think of ways to produce a certain component, they continue to come up with ways to improve serial production or think of specialised techniques to make a production more cost-efficient.’’ thus Valera. Schuinder adds: ‘‘Betech employs many specialised technical engineers who assist our customers in the production improvement of complex components. For example when it’s a challenge to realise a certain production, Betech will search, invest and test all possibilities and techniques on a very short term. The result can be a small and easy adjustment to a design, but also the purchase of new machinery to make sure the demand of the customer is met. Another example is that Betech quickly purchases similar machines to increase the capacity of existing productions to the required level.
The cooperation between Betech and Kohlhage has proven itself to be successful. ‘‘The collaboration has increased considerably. Currently we’re producing multiple large series for Kohlhage and we expect it to grow even further in the foreseeable future.’’ thus Schuinder. Valera adds: ‘‘Betech produces multiple components which are used in all sort of automotive components. Examples of these components are exhaust systems, engines and electrical vehicles. Most of the times the components Betech produces aren’t visible for the end customer.’’