ERJ staff report (DS)
Drachten, Netherlands - Dunlop Conveyor Belting is to invest up to euro 6.4 million in new equipment, new products and improved service in facilities in the Netherlands and elsewhere.
Dunlop Conveyor Belting (Europe) is part of Fenner Dunlop Conveyor Belting Worldwide, the world's leading conveyor belt manufacturer.
The first phase, costing some euro 2.5 million, will see a new, 12-metre long 'double-daylight' press installed at the Drachten, The Netherlands site, adding to its existing 7 presses and 2 rotocures. The new press will produce rolls of up to 4 meters in diameter (20 tonnes) at a width of up to 1400mm.
Director of production, Michiel Eijpe, says that the press will be at least twice as efficient as current presses. â€œWe urgently need to improve our capacity, particularly our ability to make more 800 to 1400mm wide belts,â€ explains Michiel. â€œIncreasing capacity also means that we can further reduce lead times for our customers, which will give us yet another edge over our competitorsâ€.
The second part of the program is an investment of euro 3.9 million to build a new, 100-metre long production hall on the existing site. Here they plan to install a steelcord production line that will be linked to press 7, which itself was only installed in 2009. The new line is expected to be on stream from September 2012 and will see the first-ever production of steelcord belting coming out of the Drachten facility. The unit will make the belts in widths up to 1600 mm.
Historically, Fenner Dunlop has supplied EU customers with steelcord belting made in the US. The extra costs and delays introduced by this solution made the Fenner-Dunlop less competitive than EU-based suppliers, such as ContiTech and Semperit, said Sales and marketing director Andries Smilda
At the same time, Dunlop continues to expand its network of Dunlop Service centres, which provide a 24/7/365 belt fitting service. Having already successfully established centres in Holland, Spain, Poland, Morocco and two (Bergamo and Sicily) in Italy, Dunlop has recently opened another service centre in Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
Although Tenerife may sound like an unusual location for a conveyor belt business, the local market is surprisingly big. Dunlop Service Canary (through its acquisition of a long-standing vulcanising company) has instantly established itself as the major player throughout Tenerife itself, as wekk as other local islands. There is also a strong connection between the islands and countries on the west coast of Africa.
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Press release from Dunlop Conveyor Belting