Working visit by mayor and aldermen to high-tech industry

News | September 21, 2020

Drachten is the cradle of the cooperation of the high-tech companies of Innovatiecluster Drachten. It is only logical that the mayor and aldermen of Smallingerland paid a working visit to the high-tech industry. This happened on Monday 14 September.

Visit aldermen Smallingerland
On a working visit to Whisper Power.

The new aldermen Maria le Roy (traffic and sustainability), Felix van Beek (finance and education), Robin Hartogh Heys van de Lier (economic affairs and spatial planning) and Bert Westerink (social domain) were introduced to the high-tech industry. In a compact programme, representatives of PhilipsQuadientWhisper Power and BD about the unique collaboration. Chairman Binne Visser reminded local administrators of the historical ties between Philips and the municipality and also explained the latest developments within the multinational.

Packing lines

An acquaintance includes company visits. That is why we visited Quadient, Whisper Power and BD Kiestra in special 'corona-proof' tours. At the new location of Quadient at the Omslag in Drachten, the latest high-performance packaging line for web stores was examined. For this, Purchasing Director Piet Fellinger took the aldermen through various systems. At that time, they were undergoing final tests before being shipped to America and England.

off grid

How diverse the high-tech industry is Roel ter Heide, CEO of Whisper Power and CTO Martijn Favot. This became apparent when they showed a number of 'off-grid' energy systems in their factory on Kelvinlaan in Drachten. These are specially made for luxury yachts, freight transport and in the future also homes. ,,With 40 employees, we are active in no fewer than 40 countries'', Ter Heide told the aldermen during a tour of the final assembly with various 'lean' set up assembly lines.

Saving lives

The mayor and aldermen concluded their working visit to the high-tech industry at BD. There, plant manager Peter de Haan told more about the dynamics of the cultural differences between a Dutch branch and the large American parent company. R&D manager Joost Zeilstra showed a few laboratory modules as a good example of innovation through mutual cooperation within the ICD. According to him, this saves lives, because doctors worldwide are very quickly able to recognize harmful bacteria and start the right treatment thanks to the BD laboratories.