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Facta keeps Noord-Holland rotating.

Facta keeps Noord-Holland rotating.


Keeping large factories running. Facta fixes everything that rotates. An interview with Technical Director Wil Dinnessen.

An interview with Technical Director Wil Dinnessen for Van Hollandse Bodem (regiovanhollandsebodem.nl).  

He has outgrown the bolts and nuts. Wil is strategically-minded. Less and less he is directly leading the people in the operation. We have a group of young people in the company who are better at it, he says. He is proud of that because “you are your own limitation when you keep everything to yourself”. He had noticed long before. When Wil started at Facta, he was a mechanic, just in the workplace. But he was young and wanted more. He took over the company with his partner in 2008. The former owner of Facta brought him in contact with his current partner and former bank director Jeffrey Schotvanger. The former owner felt it was important that someone with a financial background joined the company. The combination with Jeffrey is successful, the old owner had well seen that, says Wil.

Market development by ageing Meanwhile Facta is a large company with 180 employees. That they have become specialists, is a development that has lasted about thirty years. Meanwhile they are the extension of the technical services at large factories. This approach has been a deliberate choice. They have day in, day out, a fleet of around fifty vans driving around to solve emergencies, because those factories do not have the capacity to carry it out themselves. That is the consequence of, among other things, ageing of technical personnel and focus on their core business: producing. By unburdening large factories with an independent technical service and acquisition of the stock, Facta has developed a new market.

I was convinced: it had to happen Already quite soon, Wil saw that when they took over the stocks of the major factories in the field of pumps and motors, they were able to grow as a company. They made an inventory of the factory and made a plan so they had just enough stock of all pumps and motors to solve problems. “And the first factory we did of course did not cover the costs, but I was convinced”, Wil enthusiastically says, “that if we had more of them, it had to succeed.’ He started with a team of people who were flexible. Wil: “This can only become successful with the right people. These are large companies with a twenty-four hour production; they do not stop at 16:30.” The inventories are at Facta, such that when they need something in the factory, it is provided by Facta. We talk about stocks with electric motors of all types and sizes. Every company in the area previously had it itself. Facta has the knowledge and the people who can carry out the technical work. They are up-to-date and accurate, twenty-four hours a day, including Saturdays and Sundays. A large factory cannot do this itself anymore.

This goes much further The recruitment of qualified staff is a problem that seems to be only getting larger. Therefore, they also train their staff themselves at Facta. “Our former chief internal work teaches internally. He trains own personnel and guides people who are following external education”, says Wil. Therefore, they also work together with ROC Horizon College in Alkmaar. Facta had already been a training company much longer. And that sounds nice, but it goes much further, Wil assures us. Everyone is obliged to participate four times a year with a course. The topics they choose themselves, depending on the need or market development. Facta invests heavily in a training and thereby creates involvement. The technical developments are fast and it is important to keep up. This applies to all mechanics. No matter how long you have been working here.

Smart industry and Big Data is the future at Facta Wil is already looking at the future, later on he has an appointment with a software company for he is interested in Smart Industry and Big Data. He sees opportunities for Facta in that market. In Smart Industry (developed by TNO) companies make use of ICT Technology to optimize business operations. This way, they remain competitive. It is about processes in factories, in the workplace and communication to and from customers and suppliers. With internet and Big Data, processes can be connected. Smart Industry is also known as the fourth industrial revolution.

Think of something and you can measure it Every day, people from Facta do measurements at factories, Wil explains. They measure the vibrations of the plants that are everywhere. Preventive, all plants are monitored and analyzed, so that the factory does not stand still unexpectedly. This work is now carried out by people and that costs time and money. He would like to automate it. For a large share of the factories a lot of data is available. Oil temperature, engine speed, power or wind direction: think of something and you can measure it. That data is already available, but nothing is done with it yet. The data is not yet linked. Wil is working to develop an intelligent system for this. When all data are connected, can be indicated for each installation if everything is okay or that maintenance is required. This is how the future looks like for Wil and with persuasive tone, he says: “You can use it for anything.”

Uptime All those factories want to have a higher ‘up time’, Wil continues, a higher availability with fewer people. Producing their core business. Wil: “Of course it is good that we can be present at two o’clock at night, but as a factory you prefer that a notification in advance that tells you the installation needs maintenance next month. We can then plan this.” They are already working like this at Facta, but they would like to automate it.

We or the big guys I cannot stop the future anymore. At companies where we are very successful, we see our sales going down. Because we are doing well!”. Wil laughs. It is a trend. Traditional repairing companies benefit the most when as much as possible is defective. But the business model has to change, because this trend is continuing. They want to be in front with Facta and Big Data is a really nice instrument to achieve this. Wil has been walking around a long time with this idea. The big problem, he thinks, is the question whether they should be the company to develop this, or the big guys such as Siemens, SKF or ABB. He is still thinking about it. What has encouraged him, is that Facta is an independent company without the economical compulsion to sell products, which is the case at the large suppliers.

Ahead in Repair-land That he is going to enter a world that is unfamiliar, feels uncomfortable. But nothing stops him. Wil believes in the system with Big Data. He realizes that they can make him believe anything, he says openly. Therefore, they are looking for a reliable partner to develop this with together. He is in this stage of the innovation not sure about how much it is going to cost and how it is going to work. That is the challenge with such developments. The data the understands, but the real knowledge is in the box that analyzes all of the data. I do not have the knowledge, realizes Wil. You do not know either where it ends with this kind of cases, but that also is business.

They take automation and processes seriously at Facta. They are already fully engaged, with paperless office and all. It prevents inefficiency and errors. In repair-land they truly are ahead.