Wopke Hoekstra visits Quadient Technology and ICD

News | 19 Feb 2021

As part of his campaign tour, the Minister of Finance and CDA party leader visited Heerenveen, Drachten and Groningen. Heerenveen has already been extensively written about in the press. Hereby the report of his visit in Drachten.

CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra and Joost Krebbekx program manager ICD
CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra and Joost Krebbekx, program manager ICD

50% volume saving with Quadient packaging machine
Hoekstra visited one of our participating companies in Drachten, Quadient Technologies where Hoekstra was proud to witness the packaging of a CDA scarf in a customized packaging.

Purchasing director Piet Fellinger explains that every item on the conveyor belt of the machine is measured, so that the cardboard can be cut and folded exactly to size. The package is then taped shut and an address sticker is neatly placed on it.

The package is now ready for shipment. No more boxes of standard size that have to be filled with air cushions or other filling material to fill the empty space. But a saving of 30% less cardboard usage which results in a 50% volume saving compared to standard production boxes!

The machines of Quadient Technologies are delivered worldwide to online stores such as bol.com and large distribution warehouses where, for example, Hema packs its products.

How do we make the country stronger?
According to Hoekstra, the big theme after Corona is now "How do we make the country stronger?".

Hoekstra believes that innovation is important, so that in the Netherlands we will earn our own money in 10 years' time and remain prosperous. “In order to stimulate this, investments must be made in innovations such as robotics or artificial intelligence,” says the CDA party leader.

CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra at ICD and Quadient Technologies
CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra at ICD and Quadient Technologies

A unique High Tech ecosystem
Hoekstra can indulge himself during the presentation about the 23 ICD High Tech companies by the ICD program manager, Joost Krebbekx. Because working at ICD means: contributing to social and technological solutions for the future, the 'High Tech Big 5' which consists of: 3D metal printing, remote sensoring & big data, visual intelligence, robotics and renewable propulsion.

New talent is constantly needed, which is why the “fascination” of new employees starts early by encouraging students to choose the technology. ICD provides new Industry 4.0 courses for students of all levels, viz.: 4-year MBO Smart Industry (ROCFP), 2-year AD Robotics and AD Mechatronics HBO courses (NHLStenden and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen) and at WO level the Master Honors program High Tech Systems plus the Master's Tracks Mechanical Engineering (RuG).

All these students can gain work experience at our companies through research or internships, in a high-quality technical environment: the newly opened Skills lab in Drachten.

More women in technology
This year, the ICD is launching a number of campaigns so that we can draw even more attention to everything we have here in the North and that we can retain technical talent.

ICD also focuses specifically on female talent. That is why activities such as the 'Girlsday' to stimulate the new female generation to work on the future of High Tech. 

For example, Anne Koet, of the Mechanical Design Engineering department at Quadient Technologies, says: “I myself had a lot of doubts about whether or not I wanted to go into a technical direction. But I never regretted it, it was a good choice! That is why I am also motivated to enthuse “Girls” for a future in technology.” This message will be the common thread for a special campaign in 2021.