Whether manual labor will completely disappear is hard to tell. However, in 2019, more and more companies are in search of alternatives for manual labor and eyeing towards automated processes. Exactly the focus of our engineering department! manager Projects and solutions, Arie Geluk (45) says, “The Engineering department researches the best options for any specific customer order, based on the customer's expectations we develop the technical solution.”
Mountec meets JASA
Arie is with JASA for 17 years already; previously, he held the position of project lead at JASA’s subsidiary Mountec. “Back in 2009, Mountec fully integrated with JASA, we already shared the building. Mountec was a relatively small company realizing big projects both in the domestic and foreign markets. Mountec had an extremely flat organization structure. It took some getting used to the different dynamics and JASA’s company culture and the chain of command.” Arie starts at JASA again in the position of project lead.
Restructuring of the company
In the year Mountec integrated with JASA, the company faced the crisis. “It was a cumbersome period in which we had to seriously restructure the company twice.” Causing Arie to change his role a couple of times within the company. “For example, I was asked to take on the role of purchase planner temporarily.” After these peregrinations, Arie settled in his current position: Manager Projects and Solutions.
About three years ago, when Arie took on his current role, the strategic decision was taken to split the company into two departments, necessary to enhance the growth of JASA. One department dedicated to the production of standard machines (JASA International) with the other division focusing on business projects (JASA Solutions). Both divisions demand a different business model and dynamic. “The demerger leads to a better company structure, more efficient processes, and more lucid communications.”
JASA's Engineering Team
The Engineering team is built on various masteries. “We employ two Solution Engineers who prepare the pre-calculations. It is important to know if the project stays on par with the allocated budget.” On top of that, we have a controller who monitors the company-processes, four Mechanical Engineers, two Electrical Engineers, a software specialist, and a guy in charge of hardware. Also, a production planner who is also in charge of purchasing and four project leads. Now, what does Arie do? “I maintain the helicopter view over all projects while directing the crew on the work floor.”
JASA chooses the path of continuous optimization, something that shows at Engineering too. “Together, we strive to implement improvements in both the operational processes and technical aspects. By doing so, we get a better grip on the costs, the quality, and the delivery time. We have noticed that our customers mainly focus on changeability (quick change-over times), food safety, and machine safety.” The industry professionalizes, and JASA wants to take part and even a leading role in this development. “Yes, be it with falling and getting up, haha. But we are making progress.”
Industrial automation in the Engineering department
To remain a preferred supplier within the industry, it is essential that we closely monitor the developments and changes in the industry. “Personnel in F&V divisions more and more become a choking point. Still, much manual labor is performed in the packaging industry; the demand for automation of certain actions is on the rise”. At present, you will often find a person at the end of a packing line to manually place the products into crates. The same goes for quality control at the point of entry; this often still is a manual and visual process. “There are solutions to automate these actions, and here at JASA, we are determined to develop suitable systems for that.”
“There are plenty of challenges, and just that forms the beauty and the dynamic of this company. We have serious, and in my opinion, healthy and realistic ambitions.” In line with this ambition, the project department needs to focus on progress continuously. “For the coming period, one of the priorities of the Engineering department is to introduce standardization within our projects. In the past, we maintained the attitude of ‘We can do it, so let’s do it.’ Presently, we are more inclined to make sensible choices to what we will develop in-house and which parts we can outsource to a strategic partner or even inform a customer that we will not take the project.
JASA has clearly defined goals. Arie has clear goals and priorities too: “To me the team spirit is pertinent. People need to feel that they are truly contributing to the bigger picture, while their suggestions for improvement are taken seriously, in the broadest sense. To me, as a manager, I see this as my main mission: making sure we have the right man for the job and create the circumstances for personal growth. This way, our team will achieve satisfaction while realizing the best projects for our customers.”
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