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Strengthening ties and expanding knowledge

‘Bringing Employeneurs closer to the company and to each other - that’s the key part of my mission,’ says TMC Employeneur Sander Kemps. Besides his current role as Project Leader at ASML, Sander is Competence Coordinator for TMC New Product Introduction (NPI). ‘It’s a task I feel well-suited for: I really enjoy seeing Employeneurs exchange ideas and interests. There’s a broad range of specialists working at TMC, but there is one thing we all have in common: we are all curious people, hungry for more knowledge. It’s great I can be of help in that department - not just by taking part in the discussions, but also by organizing trips and meetings.’

Visit ZF Wind Power

One of the NPI Meetings Sander organized this year was a company visit to ZF Wind Power in Belgium. ‘Our Employeneur Jan Willem Mollema was very enthusiastic about his project there. ZF Wind Power is specialized in gearboxes for wind turbines - an interesting line of products with a highly promising future, since wind energy is growing more popular by the day. Together with Maarten Guns, Cell Director of New Product Introduction, I decided ZF Wind Power would be the perfect candidate for our next NPI meeting.’

On this trip, a group of 16 Employeneurs visited the factory in Lommel, Belgium. ‘After a short introduction, the group was split in two. Both groups received a tour by one of the company’s employees, who walked us through the entire production process. Since we’re all technicians, the tour guides offered us a lot of interesting information about the choices behind the construction of the machines - why a certain type of material was used, for instance, or the demands and advantages of a certain type of housing.’ 

The Employeneurs were particularly impressed by the great variety of the machines: ‘Some of the gear boxes weighed 15,000 kilos, others over 80,000, and the power of the machines varied from 2 to 8 MW,’ Sander explains. ‘After the tour, both groups headed back to the meeting room, where the Employeneurs had the opportunity to ask all their questions and enjoy a nice meal together.’

NPI Meetings

Afterwards, the feedback from the Employeneurs was very positive - and while the trip took place a while ago, the enthusiasm still hasn’t left Sander’s voice. ‘ZF Wind Power builds a rather specific product, one you don’t come across very often. It’s complex, it’s huge, and production is very sophis-ticated. It has to be monitored and tested extremely carefully, down to the tiniest detail.’ In short: perfect for an NPI Meeting.

To be honest, Sander didn’t have to wait for the Employeneurs’ feedback to realize the meeting had been a success: ‘From the large number of questions the Employeneurs asked, I could tell they were as fascinated and as curious as I was.’

The NPI meetings take place six or seven times a year. All NPI Employeneurs are invited. Curious Employeneurs from other cells are welcome to join too. ‘It’s an ideal, informal way to build and strengthen ties both within the company and with other companies. I’m already looking forward to our next meeting.’

Photo credit: www.zf.com


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