A special start

Imagine you have just started your new job and the Corona virus strikes big time. You were assigned to travel, to discover other markets and, above all, meet a lot of new people. But you are forced to stay at home for two months. It happened to Michel Veltman, Sales Manager at Waterman Onions since January 1st 2020.

“Initially it is, of course, very disappointing that you have to work at home just when you start a new position. But it offers opportunities. I was forced to do more myself and look at things a little bit differently. This actually created very nice new challenges and surprising new perspectives.”

A blessing in disguise for Michel was that he already knew the company very well. “As a sixteen-year-old student I had the best part-time job of all. I was a forklift driver at Waterman Onions. As a little boy I was often be found at my grandfather’s farm. There, as the oldest grandson, I drove the tractor at a young age. Working on the forklift truck at Waterman therefore, was a small step.”

Higher Agricultural School
After high school I started, in line with all expectations, with a study at the University of Agricultural. The opportunity to become a farmer and take over the family business was missing. Fortunately, I saw that there was so much more than being a farmer. The trade and sales attracted me and after my studies I first entered the world of seed potatoes. An interesting world in which I’ve enjoyed working in. But it was time to take a next step. In this world of onions, I see a lot of opportunities and possibilities. I can’t wait to go and get them.”

The Corona virus did not only leave a big mark on the daily work of the 27-year-old sales manager who is born and raised in Emmeloord. “My girlfriend and I were supposed to get married this spring and unfortunately we had to cancel that. But, it is a delay and certainly not a cancellation. Because that party is sure to come!”

Would you like to meet Michel? michel@waterman-onions.nl!

Much safer. More efficient.

“A logical flow in our process,” that is, according to Waterman Onions production manager Arjan Dunnewind, the result of the installation of the new machine in Hall #3. “The new big bag receiving machine not only makes the unloading process safer, but also a lot more efficient. In addition, the machine ensures cleanliness in the factory and a lot less headaches.”

“Previously it took both an enormous amount of work and space to first store the arriving big bags filled with onions, then pick them up again to place them on the conveyor belt that made sure that the onions were put in storage boxes. Now the big bag is placed directly from the sea container on a chain conveyor, after which the big bag unloader takes over.

One of the positive results is less forklift traffic and less lifting movements. The empty boxes are now supplied from a special storage. This storage is, on its turn, filled from the machine which semi-automatically loads the trucks in bulk. This way our smart logistics planning ensures that we minimize unnecessary driving around with empty boxes.”

Smart solution
The idea for this machine with conveyor belts and fully automatic control, came several years ago when the factory was expanded with a third hall. “Because of the extra space that our Hall #3 provides, we started thinking about smarter solutions for this process. We started calculating, together with VHM-Machinery and Tolsma-Grisnich, and came up with this complete and custom made solution.”

Safe and efficient
“It’s a great example of cooperation, if I say so myself. But above all, it’s another step towards an even safer and more efficient process. A process that we are continuously optimizing. We are incredibly satisfied and are looking forward to the next step!”