STEENBERGEN – FoodeQ Engineering BV designs and delivers machines equipped with hygienic, efficient and intelligent processing equipment for the top segment of the food industry. One of the machines that FoodeQ started with 13 years ago is a so-called vibration conveyor, which is a very hygienic and maintenance-friendly way of transporting food. Food producers can also optimally combine these vibrating conveyors with, among other things, freezing tunnels, baking ovens and cutting machines.
Can you tell us a little more about what your company does?
“In summary, we are developing equipment for the food industry, which should primarily be thought of in the vegetable, fruit and potato sectors. We are in a niche market where there are few players. Our main focus is vibration technology, with which we move products from A to B in the most hygienic and efficient way. All possible functions can then be added along the way. Fewer and fewer people walk around the production halls of the big food companies. It runs fully automatically, and we respond to that. For example, potatoes are picked up from the ground and sold in the store as chips. We specialize in a lot of that trajectory. The potatoes then pass over a stainless steel chute and are driven by vibrations. The great thing is that you can then add steps along the way such as sorting, spreading, dewatering, degreasing, routing and dosing. ”
What is your job about?
“My position is a project engineer. Initially, our sales people sit down with the customer and the wishes are mapped. We support the process, come up with technical solutions and ensure a good result. In addition to a ‘kick off’ at the customer, we look at where the machine should be placed, we measure things up and make 3D drawings of it. Once the setup of a machine is ready, we go into detail. As a project engineer, you lead the entire project from A to Z, and you are ultimately responsible. You design, make details, order the necessary goods and products, monitor the manufacturing process, make planning and monitor the entire process. Depending on the size of the project, you can work on it full time for several months. The projects vary from a single machine to a complete factory filled with equipment. In addition to vibrating conveyors, which are our core business, I am more and more involved in the processing side of the industry, something we have added to our business. This includes projects in refrigeration, freezing and blanching, so things that are not directly related to the distribution of the product, but to the actual processing of the product. ”
How did you end up at FoodeQ?
“Founder Marinus de Bruijn started as a sole proprietorship in 2009 in Dinteloord. As an intern, I knocked on his door in 2010. On the top floor of his barn, where his business was located at the time, an extra desk was set up for me and I could start. After my study in 2012 I became the only employee on a regular basis, and there were three of us, because in the meantime Marinus had found a partner in Jaco van der Jagt. I have always been and witnessed the gigantic growth of the company first hand. We are now in third place and we have about 25 employees. ”
Can you tell us something about the work environment?
“We have a bit of a hierarchy in our department and our company. We work as one team and help each other when needed. I supervise and lead new colleagues, but I quickly give them their own responsibility. I have a lot of contact with external partners and suppliers. You need to communicate this clearly. Good communication is important and you also need to be able to joke. “
Where is the challenge for you?
“The great thing about this profession is that you and a team build beautiful things for the customers. It is satisfying not only to develop the device but to guide the whole process. A challenge is certainly to maintain our quality of work as much as possible and not to make concessions in this unstable world situation, where commodity prices are rising sharply and investments are being postponed. I have no influence on the world situation, but I have an influence on the choices I make. “
Are you still looking for new colleagues?
“We could definitely use more people! It is very difficult to find good, motivated people. Real technicians are quite steadfast, they are loyal dogs. Because the image of a technical profession could use a boost, we as a company are visible at schools and events. ”