By David Shaw, ERJ staff
Dutch company, Ammeraal Beltech specialises in developing and making belts of various kinds. It serves different industries, of which the food industry is the most important, but tobacco, airports and tyres also figure in the top ten list.
The company has skills in making a range of belts includes modular belts, synthetic belts, timing belts and many other different types. These are sold into the company's customers in the different business segments.
Piet Herder, tyre industry segment manager said his job is to â€œhave the right products to make the customers happy and stay in contact with the big players to convince them that we have the right products.â€ He said this is not only with words, but with demonstrations.
He said Ammeraal entered the tyre segment about five years ago, offers solutions, but often these solutions are sold to the machine builders who then sell to the tyre makers. However, because in many specialised machines, the design is worked out by the machine builder in close cooperation with the tyre maker, Ammeraal has to know and understand the tyre making process in great detail. â€œif we do not know the process of the end user, then we are lost,â€ he noted.
Once Ammeraal is on the official list of suppliers from Michelin or Pirelli, said Herder, Ammeraal can go to the machine builder and work with them to develop solutions for the tyre-making client.
â€œWe always talk to the OEMs and the end-users, so we are trained by the end-users mainly. They want us to come up with solutions which can save them money. â€œ He said that at the technical level, the tyre makers are quote open about what they need to improve the process and save money.
Herder said all tyre makers are investing in both new factories and in upgrading. He said most of Ammeraal's business is in new builds, but there are some opportunities when tyre makers upgrade an existing tyre factory.
Older factories may have had old style fabric belts, but more modern, modular systems offer easier maintenance, fewer jams and other benefits which help overall quality. He said there are opportunities to reduce contamination and to reduce maintenance costs.
Herder said there is a trend today of replacing single-use plastic foils to protect compound toward multi-use materials. These reduce costs and improve sustainability.
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