On Tuesday 19th of March, VDL – Enabling Technologies group (ETG) was so kind to invite us over for a company visit. After being picked up in Delft by the VDL bus, it was a one and a half hour drive to be greeted by the VDL – ETG facilities in Eindhoven. 

After entering what felt like a candy shop filled to the brim with machining equipment, we were given a great presentation by Willem Hoekman and Guus Bauwens. Who told us everything about working at VDL – ETG, from the company culture to migrating from Delft to the high-tech industry focused around Eindhoven. This was followed by a detailed but confidential description of two engineering projects currently being developed by VDL – ETG. 

Next up was the tour around the company facilities, with multiple buildings to see, and with limited time it was quite the rush to visit everything. There were new facilities with the newest metal powder bed printers, two CNC machines with a bigger working volume than my room. A large clean room for the assembly of the equipment. But also older production rooms like the welding shop, and even a handful of manual operated milling machines. Which still had their use. During the whole tour the machining staff was eager to talk about their equipment and its capabilities, which really added to the friendly atmosphere, and the production capabilities of VDL – ETG.

To end off the day there was a quick case study to apply our knowledge of engineering. Where surprisingly the simplest solution came out as the most viable one, giving our over-engineered solutions a run for its money. Then it was quickly to the bus for the long ride back. All in all it was a fun and informative day at VDL – ETG.

by Pepijn Westland