Van Meer and Siemens join forces to supply industrial and maritime drive systems

Van Meer, a renowned propulsion specialist with offices in Tholen (the Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium), and Siemens Belgium are joining forces. From now on, Van Meer is an official Siemens Solution Partner. With this partnership, both technology companies want to provide support for the maritime sector throughout the entire drive life cycle (from new drives and retrofitting to maintenance and repairs) among other things. End customers will thus be able to benefit from a flexible, local service, backed by a global approach and cutting-edge product development.

The Van Meer family enterprise started in 1991 as a conventional repair company for industrial drives. Soon the company developed into the leading expert in rotating equipment, drives and the field services that go along with it. Today, a team of more than 50 employees is at your disposal on two locations: Tholen in the Netherlands and Antwerp in Belgium. “Our goal is to ‘unburden’ our customers”, explains manager Luc van Meer. “That’s why we offer customer-specific solutions from a to z: from purchase and commissioning to maintenance and repair.”

The ship as a factory

Van Meer mainly supplies customers within the industry. It soon became clear, however, that the maritime sector needed a reliable partner for the construction of new drive systems and their retrofitting, as well as for service and maintenance solutions. Luc van Meer: “A ship is actually a factory in itself, and just like in the industrial sector, the drive is the beating heart of it all. Moreover, the electronic drive systems of all ships built between 1995 and 2000 will soon need retrofitting. As a result, we can support more and more customers from within the shipbuilding industry.”

Local vs. global

Van Meer’s ability to offer tailor-made solutions in a clearly defined niche sector has caught Siemen’s attention. “We are always looking for local partners who are experts in their field and are in touch with the market”, explains Yves Vandorpe, Business Unit Manager at Siemens. “This offers end customers many advantages: they can count on a flexible, local partner with expertise on the one hand and the support of a global player in the field of drive technology on the other.

Another advantage is the worldwide Siemens network, which means there is always someone in the vicinity with knowledge of the installations and components – wherever a ship is moored. Van Meer also has a large number of standard drives in stock. “This stock allows us to intervene quickly in the event of problems,” says Luc van Meer. “We often even manage to install a 400kW drive within 24 hours.”

Knowledge building

The partnership with Siemens is also beneficial for Van Meer. Luc van Meer: “Within the world of drives everything is changing rapidly, and those who can’t keep up with the latest technologies will be eliminated. That is why we continue to invest in employee training. As a Siemens Solution Partner you have access to an impressive knowledge database of e-learning, seminars and other training courses. You will be the first to be introduced to the latest products and drives, so you’re always one step ahead of the competition.” Moreover, the partner programme is characterised by a global approach, which enables Van Meer to considerably increase its potential. The focus on maximum quality, availability and a minimum time-to-market also matches the company’s ambitions perfectly.

Six years ‘in the making’

It is no surprise that Siemens and Van Meer decided to join forces. The technology companies learned about each other six years ago when Van Meer won a contract with a major player in the chemical sector. “Over the years we were able to establish a healthy business relationship”, Luc van Meer continues. “A close partnership requires time and commitment. Everything has to be strategically defined and you have to get to know each other’s strengths. Customers today can sense that we are backed by a global company, which lowers the threshold for doing business.”

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