MFN had the pleasure to talk to Marco Wildhagen (MWI), Sales Manager at Straaltechniek International (SIN) in The Netherlands.
(?) MFN: Marco, thank you for taking the time for this interview. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and SIN?
(!) M. W. I.: SIN group is a family-owned holding, and comprises two real estate companies and eight manufacturing/ trading companies throughout Europe. These companies are located in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and The United Kingdom. We design and manufacture blasting and shot-peening solutions for the (high-end) metal processing industries and we serve the global market with standard as well as bespoke solutions.
My history at SIN started in 2011 after working for 19 years at a global company that repairs and manufactures gas turbine engine components. With mechanical engineering as background education, I have worked in commercial positions for more than two decades. I enjoy the travel and working very closely with (potential) customers. My focus is with the shot peening division and high-end blasting solutions. Also, I am an MFN Official Trainer.
(?) MFN: So your customer base is the metal processing industries; can you be more specific?
(!) M. W. I.: Sure. The variety of industries we serve is wide, from foundries to the energy sector, from automotive to the food industry, from aerospace to off-shore, oil & gas and marine. The deliveries go from a small manual-operated blasting cabinet, spares, blasting and peening media, up to 10+ axis CNC-controlled machines.
(?) MFN: What makes SIN so unique?
(!) M. W. I.: We are very flexible in the individualised, tailor-made and bespoke configuration of machines but continue to innovate and deliver our standard program; a perfect match. Standard objectives include efficiency, safety, and high ergonomic productivity.
(?) MFN: How does SIN contribute to the success of their customers?
(!) M. W. I.: Building on our proven track record for decades within the various industries, SIN teams-up with its customers. We see it as a joint effort to define the best possible technical solution. The customer’s knowledge of the components to be processed and our knowledge with machine design brings all essential elements to the table. This brings commitment from both ends.
(?) MFN: Can you elaborate on a recent delivery?
(!) M. W. I.: Earlier this year we installed a high-end robotic shot-peening machine that fulfilled all of the customer’s prerequisites and beyond (see photo). This tier 1 supplier to the OEM manufactures blisks/ IBR’s for Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine.
Equipped with a pallet system, when a blisk is being processed inside the machine, the operator can prepare the next blisk on the outside gear-table to minimise downtime. The recovery of the peening media and classification on size and shape is fully automated. Closed-loop control of both media flow and air pressure ensures high-quality and guaranteed repeatability. Besides a regular nozzle for external shot peening, the robot is also equipped with a servo-controlled rotary lance to peen (very small) holes and cavities. A special and dedicated lance is designed for these very small holes.
(?) MFN: Do you see a shift in technical specifications?
(!) M. W. I.: We do, absolutely. Automation has been key for some time now, but is more demanding than ever. We have utilised robotics and closed-loop control of key parameters already for a very long time and we are now taking process control to the next level. Our shot peening machines can be fitted with an in-process, real-time calibration unit.
The HMI panel for each new machine is custom-designed in-house by our software engineers. In addition, we do not underestimate the HS&E regulatory requirements, and these have become more demanding each year. As we are a global company, it is a continuous challenge to be aware of the different regulations.
(?) MFN: How do you see the future businesswise?
(!) M. W. I.: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as first identified in December last year, we were going strong. The good thing is that we are very diversified because of the different industries we serve. Time will tell what the overall impact will be, but we remain positive.
(?) MFN: Marco, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
(!) M. W. I.: My pleasure, and see you soon.
MFN would like to thank Marco Wildhagen for this interview!
Straaltechniek International BV
Postbus 164 - 4900 AD, Oosterhout
Tel. + 31.162.748 010