He is one of the regular faces at Perron038: Wouter Pasman. From graduate to trainee, he is now a production engineer at VMI in Epe. That he started his career at this international machine builder was a conscious choice. Wouter: “I like large and robust products. For one of our machines, 4-5 sea containers are needed, so that’s definitely big!”
After graduating, Wouter started a traineeship. “With most technical traineeships, you really get to work in an R&D or production department. VMI offered me the chance to work in both production and business optimisation. In addition, I immediately started my first working day with a LEAN course, where I was in the classroom with experienced professionals from whom I could learn a lot. says Wouter. Learning how to think and work in a LEAN way right from the start has also helped him a lot.
After the traineeship, Wouter started work as a manufacturing engineer. He immerses himself in all the materials used at VMI and makes diagrams of what is needed in the factory on what day. Together with his colleagues, he makes sure that everything is ready and prepared for each customer. After a year, he made the step to his current position: production engineer. Wouter: “The biggest difference is that I do less operational work now. I work at the back end of major improvement projects and think, for example, about integrating cobots into our production process.”
Freedom to research and experiment
For this issue, Wouter spent a first project period at Perron038 in 2021. Together with students, a feasibility study was carried out. “Getting the prototype working is step one. The next, perhaps more intensive step is the implementation in our company. That goes beyond the shop floor. In addition to the engineering, the business case has to be right. And of course, convincing people of the solution and taking them along in the process. says Wouter. He sees his role within the company as a real ‘spider in the web’.
Does Wouter or one of his colleagues see a new, interesting technology? Then they get the freedom to investigate whether it is interesting. “Such research must have an overarching goal. For example, reducing the cost price or shortening the production time and/or quality. It is important to immerse yourself in the technology, but you also need to have or develop the skills to present it. To inspire people, to convince and to drive the process. That is exactly what makes my work so challenging. according to Wouter.
Trial and error
Wouter sees Perron038 as the perfect place to experiment with students in the field of technology. Together with a number of VMI colleagues, he is supervising a project with students of the Windesheim minor Factory of the Future for the third time. He continues: “What we do here is innovate quickly and get the technology ready for integration within the company. I try to take the students through a development process in which we invent, design, test, realise and then immediately evaluate and re-engineer. The learning curve and iteration speed are high here at Perron038. Trial and error. This works and I would also like to apply it more within our company. It takes time, but showing what happens here at Perron038 helps.”
Wouter: “I always want to try new things. Sometimes I hit the brakes and think: ‘take it easy’. Because I want to make steps quickly, but I can’t do it on my own. We can only bring about change and renewal together. With students, colleagues and also with other companies.
Perron038 inspires and enthuses
Working with students and other companies is what VMI does best at Perron038. After the first cobot project, a group of students recently worked on a joint assignment by VMI and AWL-Techniek. They developed a solution in which an AMR loads, moves and unloads materials from A to B in the factory. With very successful results: the students received a 10 for their results. “It is cool to see how the inspiring environment of Perron038 enthuses people and gets them moving. You are in an environment where you are stimulated to think about new things. I also hear this from other VMI colleagues who come to take a look at Perron038. During the workshops on Artificial Intelligence I am constantly being triggered to do something with it and I also hope to work with Windesheim’s lectorate on metal 3D printing.”
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Curious about the projects of VMI within the minor Factory of the Future? Then watch the video below.