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From 3D design to product: that’s how it works

From 3D design to product: that’s how it works

From 3D design to product: that’s how it works

Edwin de Graaf on Bredenoord’s relationship with SixPointTwo:
“A great, well-organised company that fits perfectly with our needs.”


Bredenoord’s energy solutions are used every day around the globe. This includes generators and battery packs for temporary and mobile power at major international events, such as festivals and sports tournaments. Bredenoord’s solutions have proved their value in construction and infrastructure projects and as emergency power supplies for firefighting organisations, hospitals and data centres. “We develop all these solutions in-house. Which is why we have an R&D department with 30 employees,” explained Edwin de Graaf, product manager Power Generation and Distribution.

Bredenoord has been around for over 85 years. The family-owned company is headquartered in Apeldoorn and has branches and depots in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Austria. It also collaborates with several international partners.

Bredenoord offers different types of generators for supplying power. Customers can rent or buy them. “Besides generators running on ordinary diesel, we also have generators running on HVO, renewable diesel that is CO2-neutral. We also have generators that run on biogas derived from sewage treatment. It’s a really clean fuel perfectly suited to engines. We also offer methanol-based and hydrogen-based solutions, among others. The most appropriate solution for any given situation depends on several factors, such as customer demand, location and applicable emission regulations.”

Smart solutions
Bredenoord is actively involved in the development of even cleaner fuels. “At the moment, it’s still very difficult to offer solutions that are 100% fossil-free ’from well to wheel’ in our market.” However, Bredenoord’s customers can count on energy solutions that offer optimum performance and minimise environmental impact. “For example, we can work with a combination of generators. When less power is needed, such as at night, it can be provided by the smaller generator. For the higher daytime power requirements, you then use the larger generator installed alongside. Another smart solution is to combine a generator with a battery pack that reduces fuel requirements.”

Rental and transport
Renting solutions for temporary and mobile power is by far the largest market for Bredenoord. Transport plays an important role in this context. “We have 40 lorries of our own and also hire trucks and aim to ensure that all our lorries are as clean as possible. We are moving towards the use of electric cranes for loading and unloading products. The battery pack for these cranes is charged on the move. At the construction site, there is then no need to run a diesel engine for this purpose.”

Protecting products on the move
Various Bredenoord products are transported to clients. Besides generators, battery packs, distribution boxes and transformers, charging masts and cables are also supplied. “All these products were designed down to the last rivet by our designers. The same applies to the rental production frames (including enclosures, canopies and containers) that protect the products.”
Production and assembly of both the products and rental production frames are outsourced in part to various partners. SixPointTwo has been one of these partners for a year and a half. “We provide the supplier with a 3D drawing so he can see how a subproduct must be made and what operations are required to do this.”

Cable reels
SixPointTwo’s first assignment was to make cable reels. “We developed a handy cable reel that customers can unwind and rewind themselves. This ensures the cable is well secured. Moreover, the reel can be secured to the lorry’s attachment system embedded in the floor of the loading area. We designed this certified, bayonet-based system ourselves.” The cable reel is pallet-sized and made of fully hot-dip galvanised steel. It’s safe to say it’s a robust utility item. “And that’s a must because cabling is an expensive and damage-prone component.”

Cabinets for charge points
SixPointTwo has also made cabinets for charge points from Bredenoord. “Electric car charge points are used at locations, such as construction sites and at events. The cabinet consists of an outer frame that is cut, edged, welded and then galvanised. It will also contain an inner plate to which a charging unit will be attached. SixPointTwo made and assembled this steel structure. It was then shipped to the Netherlands and we installed the charge points: two per cabinet.”

Added value:
The first assignment clearly confirmed the added value Edwin de Graaf expects from SixPointTwo: “We supply a drawing and a product comes back: that’s exactly what we want,” he said. Our visit to the production facility in Humpolec also filled us with confidence: “It’s a great, orderly company that is well organised. It is peaceful and quiet. Everything is ready and materials are labelled. The staff can work quickly, efficiently and ergonomically. When I see a company like that, I know it will suit us.” However, a long-term relationship requires much more. “We want to build robust relationships with our trusted partners. And you can rest assured; mistakes will be made on both sides. But what we think is important is that you investigate these together, as partners, and then figure out how to solve the problem. We can sort out how to deal with the corresponding costs afterwards. We experienced this when there was an error in one of our drawings. We now know that SixPointTwo takes this approach too.”

Making the exact same thing, but in a different way?

Making the exact same thing, but in a different way?

Challenge us!


Companies often ask SixPointTwo about whether we can make one (or more products) from their range. This often involves a successful product where the demand continues to grow, but the company cannot expand its own production capacity. And we are always interested, even if it means producing it in inches. How do we approach this? It’s a matter of careful alignment…

Let’s assume the product consists of materials that we can produce with our people and machines. And let’s also assume that you, the reader, are our potential client. We first ask you for the product specifications and drawings. Once the requested material arrives, our production engineering specialist will examine it. If he sees that you work with imperial measurements and produce in inches, we have a new situation. Because SixPointTwo normally uses the metric system. So your request becomes more specific. Can we make the product exactly to the specified dimensions in inches in our metric manufacturing environment?

First, we re-engineer…
We cannot – unfortunately – answer this more specific question with a simple yes. First, we advise that you have us re-engineer the product. You can then decide whether to engage us based on the re-engineered model and our quotation. You might ask why is re-engineering a necessary intermediate step? Isn’t it really simple to just convert from inches to centimetres? True, but conversion alone won’t get us there. In fact, companies that work with inches often use materials that are slightly different from those we are used to. An example might help. In Europe, S235 is a commonly used steel grade for general applications. However, US companies – as well as their European subsidiaries – use ASTM A572 and ASTM A36 steel grades for these applications. These steels are similar to S235 but have slightly different properties, such as deflection. And more often than not, there is another complication too. European steels are supplied in thicknesses that are slightly different from those commonly used in the United States.

Forming a comprehensive picture
Small deviations in product components can have major consequences in terms of tolerances and in other areas. For example, trailer construction has shown that adjustments in material composition can have significant consequences on the deflection limits of a trailer. If together we want to assess the implications of working with a slightly different material and/or different thicknesses, we suggest making a new model of the product at a price to be determined in advance. All components that will be made from the specific materials that SixPointTwo can use are linked together in this re-engineered model. We can then assess how the components interact with each other. The model makes it clear whether SixPointTwo can produce and fulfil your requirements. And the answer is then… yes? Then we will make further arrangements for our collaboration and we’re in business!

Making the exact same thing, but in a different way?
Want to ensure you don’t lose precious time?

Want to ensure you don’t lose precious time?

Want to ensure you don’t lose precious time?

Do the critical component check!


You want to deliver sold goods to your customers as quickly as possible. SixPointTwo can support you in this as part of your production chain. We are happy to work with you to optimise and manage the lead times of modules and products. “A complex market situation makes it difficult to make reliable forecasts. That’s why we work with you to find structural solutions that save you time and money,” said Willian van Eerd, CCO of SixPointTwo. “For instance, having critical components stocked at SixPointTwo could be an efficient solution.”

Lead times are a recurring topic of conversation, both with prospects and customers. “We always cover this topic from the start, even during the introduction phase with potential clients. To find the optimal solution, we do a ‘longest lead time’ analysis or perform value stream mapping.”

Longest lead time analysis
The longest lead time analysis provides insight into the part of the production chain in which SixPointTwo is involved. “First of all, we discuss the desired lead time of the product that SixPointTwo is making or could make for you. We then screen the item’s production process for components that slow it down, i.e. the critical components. These are often purchased parts with long lead times in complex composite products. For instance, this might include a special sensor or electric motor we have to source from China. To eliminate the delay, we draw up a proposal for stocking these bought-in parts. At SixPointTwo, they are then immediately available for processing, which reduces the lead time for your product.”

Exclude risks
The proposal SixPointTwo draws up for you, as a prospect or customer, will include multiple stocking options. “Based on that, you decide which risks you want to exclude. We then carefully adjust the quantities of stock accordingly. For example, one such risk is damage risk. You want to avoid having to postpone revisions or upgrades to your products because there is still a lot of stock. However, you also want to eliminate the availability risk. Because the critical components have to be in stock when you place an order with us.”

Once the final choice is made, SixPointTwo organises the solution and maintains the desired stock of critical components. “We keep our finger on the pulse of market conditions at all times because these are so changeable. We talk to you regularly about the current stock requirements needed to keep lead times to your customers as low as possible.”

Value stream mapping
Value stream mapping goes a step further than longest lead time analysis. “It involves regularly mapping the overall production chain. This is how we scrutinise the overall lead time of the project and the product. We go beyond just the process at SixPointTwo, we map the production chain from start to finish. This gives us insights into where value is added to the product. On this basis, we can then identify where decoupling points should be located and what is required to realise this. Particularly in complex production chains, value stream mapping is incredibly useful,” said Willian van Eerd. “It clarifies where unnecessary intermediate stocks are held. It often transpires that substantial savings in both time and costs can be realised.”


Why are we increasingly signing documents?

Why are we increasingly signing documents?

Because that’s part of the process…


A successful collaboration starts with mutual trust. When you have that sense of trust, great agreements can be made. Agreements about the role of the two partners and how they will handle confidential information. At SixPointTwo, we are open and clear about this. From the very first introductions.

SixPointTwo’s added value is that we can be a high-quality link in the production process of commercial companies. Clients who outsource part of their production process to us can count on the pre-agreed quality and cost efficiency. Ideal if the client urgently needs extra production capacity.

Our role
In effect, we are a link in our customers’ production chain: nothing more and nothing less. In this way, we are active in the AV market, the EV (electric transport) market, agriculture, mechanical engineering, intralogistics and automotive, among others. We showcase SixPointTwo’s experience in specific industries and environments in the presentation we provide to a potential client during the introduction phase. That is not to say, by the way, that we limit ourselves to these markets. On the contrary, SixPointTwo has a universal production facility. And this allows us to be a link in our customer’s production chain in other markets as well.

NDA: logical and useful
Given the role described above, we consider it quite normal when a client asks us to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before we start work. After all, the customer is letting us collaborate on a product with particular features that distinguish it from competing products. Naturally, the client wants to guard and protect these unique features. So, it is logical he draw up an NDA to protect his intellectual property, technical know-how and drawings, among other things.

Benefit from our manufacturing experience
Obviously, we abide by the NDAs we sign. This guarantee is indispensable for our customers. If other parties in the same industry want to work with us, we can also enter into an NDA with each of them. They then benefit not only from the assurance that we are a reliable partner but also from our experience. In fact, we are already familiar with the customs or codes in areas, such as production and level of finishing that every industry player knows and considers to be normal. So they can expect us to quickly play our part in their production.

It goes without saying that we want to satisfy every new customer’s need for confidentiality. Naturally, we always agree to sign a client NDA that is reasonable and appropriate for the intended collaboration. In fact, an NDA gives us the clarity we need to do our work with integrity. For the client, the NDA offers the assurance that confidential information remains confidential. That confidentiality is guaranteed at all times. If our collaboration is terminated, we return all data carriers containing sensitive information to the client. After all, honesty is the best policy…


Why are we increasingly signing documents?
More and more companies are departing China

More and more companies are departing China

More and more companies are departing China

How attractive is the factory of the world still?


For a long time, China was the ideal location for European companies to offshore all or part of their production. But the “factory of the world” has lost much of its popularity in recent years. More and more European companies are saying they are considering reshoring and nearshoring production lines. This development has been accelerated by the covid pandemic and the way China handled it. How attractive is the factory of the world really?

The main consideration for offshoring in China has always been that production is much cheaper there. Whether it is still much cheaper is now highly questionable. China was a low-wage country twenty years ago, but it hasn’t been that way for quite some time now. The advantage of cheaper raw materials has also reduced dramatically. Add to this the sharply increased transport costs, and it is clear that the calculation no longer leads to the desired outcome.

Deteriorating political climate
Financial considerations carry the heaviest weight in offshoring, but other considerations also play a role. Many entrepreneurs and expats say the political climate in China has deteriorated sharply over the years. Since Xi Jinping became president in 2013, the Communist Party of China has tightened its grip on society. And this has come with tangible consequences: more control, more oppression, increasing nationalism and an increasingly unfriendly attitude towards foreigners. A completely different factor that contributes to the quality of life is the poor air quality in Chinese industrial cities. Smog is still a familiar and annoying phenomenon.

Gamechanger: the covid pandemic
It has already been said: the discussion about offshoring and reshoring has become more urgent following the consequences of the covid pandemic. The zero-covid policy used by the Chinese government to tackle the pandemic had a profound impact on people’s lives. Entire neighbourhoods were closed off, mass testing took place, and people had to stay indoors. For example, it was impossible to buy food or water in Shanghai for the first weeks of the lockdown because the shops were closed. The pandemic also had major consequences for (production) companies. Many factories were closed during the lockdown. Other factories were running at half capacity. Travel restrictions delayed deliveries and transportation. The government’s handling of the lockdown in Shanghai seriously damaged confidence among foreign entrepreneurs.

How will China proceed after their zero-covid policy?
The Chinese government has now said goodbye to the zero-covid policy. It has done so under pressure from increasing domestic protests and declining growth in the Chinese economy. However, the concerns of foreign companies have not disappeared. For example, not all the restrictive measures have been lifted. A PCR test is still required to access schools and hospitals. Under the new guidelines, lockdowns may still be applied in regions designated as “high-risk areas”. In principle however, those lockdowns will be less drastic and not last as long. In the meantime however, the outside world has no insight into the size of the current wave of the infection. What if it turns out to be much bigger than the Chinese government expected?

Reducing risk: reshoring and nearshoring
In this situation, it is no wonder European companies with production sites in China are reconsidering their position. China was a country that offered security for a long time: the situation was stable and government policy was predictable. But that has now changed. Do you want to consider going through another strict lockdown? That’s a spectre companies do not want to even think about. So should we be completely dependent on China for production? Well, that’s a no-go as well. In Europe, we learned our lesson thanks to our dependence on Russian gas. Some companies have decided to bring all their production back to home base. Other companies want to spread their risks more evenly. They are setting up a parallel production chain in addition to a Chinese production chain. Nearshoring – production activities taking place in the vicinity of the parent company and within Europe – can be an interesting option in this case. The EU pays more attention to the economic interests of European companies and is transparent to citizens and companies in the way it votes about, for example, covid policy. In addition, economic benefits can also be achieved close to home: lower transport costs plus higher performance from excellently trained and highly motivated employees.

Reshoring, offshoring and nearshoring: what do you think?
Finding a suitable production location is not easy these days. There are numerous factors to consider. To name a few: armed conflicts, different political systems and cultures, specific national laws and regulations, the cost of labour and transport and policies regarding pandemics and other health risks. We are very curious to know which region is most attractive to you and your company right now. Therefore, we have put together a poll. Would you please express your opinion via this link. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated! No doubt you would like to know what fellow entrepreneurs think. We will return to the results of the poll in our next newsletter.


How do you increase flexibility and production capacity with outsourcing?

How do you increase flexibility and production capacity with outsourcing?

Peter Nieland, Plant Manager of SmartMetals Mounting Solutions B.V. in Culemborg:
“SixPointTwo is part of our business process.”


Schools, events and talk shows on TV: SmartMetals are always around wherever you can see AV systems. “We make suspension systems for the professional AV market to mount screens in any desired location,” says Peter Nieland. As Plant Manager, he is responsible for the complete production of SmartMetals in Culemborg. He explains what this involves and how SixPointTwo contributes.

SmartMetals makes many different types of suspension systems, all of them tailored towards specific professional applications. “We offer ceiling solutions, standing solutions, floor-to-ceiling solutions, and solutions for video walls and LED walls, and much more.” SmartMetals is part of the Vogel’s Group, which also serves the consumer market from its head office in Eindhoven.

International customers
SmartMetals supplies is products to parties in the Benelux, other European countries and the United States, both directly and via customers. The end users can be found in various sectors, such as education (including schools and museums), rental (systems for public events), companies and government institutions. “Display suppliers also purchase from us in order to offer their customers complete solutions.”

Production plant in Culemborg
The production team in Culemborg works to a build-to-order schedule. “Customer orders come to us through Sales. We ensure the requested products reach the customer. Design, work preparation, purchasing, assembly, packing and shipping: we do all of that.” Parts come from elsewhere. “We don’t make the parts in Culemborg. We only have a saw machine to cut aluminium extrusion profiles down to size. It is simply not feasible to keep all the required lengths in stock.”

We do keep a limited amount of stock. “We have separate parts in the warehouse that we use in the desired configuration, depending on the customer requirements. However, we do not have finished products in stock. We would need a gigantic warehouse for that, which would require far too much capital.”

Supplier input
SmartMetals works with a small group of manufacturing suppliers who contribute to the production process. “These suppliers make the parts we have designed. Before we start working with a supplier, we ask them to make test samples. We validate the products by carrying out our own checks. This means we can test whether the manufacturability of this supplier is good and whether they can guarantee the quality.”

From parts supplier to end product maker
SixPointTwo started out as a supplier of wheel frames and PC trays to SmartMetals. After a while, and following close consultation, a decision was taken to give SixPointTwo a different role. “Since the end of 2018, SixPointTwo has been making a trolley lift for us intended for the American market. We sell it through a customer of ours.” How does it work? “As soon as we receive an order from our customer, we transfer it to SixPointTwo. SixPointTwo produces all the custom parts for this in house. In addition, they also purchase the packaging material themselves. We supply SixPointTwo with all the off-the-shelf parts for the trolley lift, such as the wheels and electrical components.”

SixPointTwo assembles the trolley lifts and ensures they are UL-Listed and UL-Certified. The SmartMetals customer collects the trolley lifts in Humpolec. They then go to the United States in sea containers. “SixPointTwo must have the products ready on the agreed date and time to coincide with the departure time of the ship. SmartMetals provides the correct paperwork, the invoice, and the packing slip. And our customer uses these documents to arrange transport to the United States itself.”

Quality assurance: quality report
SmartMetals prepared the required working method with SixPointTwo. “We provided detailed and complete work instructions, up to and including the required method of palletising. One of our work planners and various assembly colleagues went to the Czech Republic for this – I was not working at SmartMetals at the time. This was to ensure the correct production with the necessary checks. In addition, the SixPointTwo employees received good instructions.”

Production follows a fixed procedure. ”SixPointTwo provides a quality report for the first product with every order. They check a box containing a complete trolley lift and check whether it meets all the specified specifications. The quality report is then sent to us. As soon as we have given approval, SixPointTwo can continue with production.”

Unburdening provides extra capacity
The trolley lift is a popular product on the American market. “During the time we also still made the trolley lift ourselves, at one point we delivered an order for 11,000 lifts in 50 sea containers using SixPointTwo.” SixPointTwo is the only supplier that makes a complete end product for SmartMetals. “There have been some start-up issues, but they have all been resolved. SixPointTwo is a very reliable partner: they honour their agreements and the quality delivered is very consistent. And not just in terms of quality, but also lead time, flexibility and communication – things are going very well: SixPointTwo takes care of everything. This means we can retain our capacity for smaller orders that require relatively much more control, and which we therefore prefer to keep in house.”

No more supplier hopping
Hopping from supplier to supplier: that’s not what SmartMetals is all about. “Of course we keep our suppliers sharp, and we sometimes set a benchmark as a check, also in terms of price. But we also know that we cannot do without our suppliers. They are part of our business process; we must be able to rely on each other. We therefore focus on positive co-operation in which we solve any problems we encounter together. And this works very well with all our suppliers!”

How do you increase flexibility and production capacity with outsourcing?
Packing: a routine job or a job for specialists?

Packing: a routine job or a job for specialists?

Packing: a routine job or a job for specialists?

Tomáš Benda, Assembly Manager:
“Customers are amazed at what it entails.”


It is the conclusion of every assignment SixPointTwo carries out: protecting the delivered products with safe, robust packaging before transportation. How does it all work? Assembly Manager Tomas Benda offers an explanation: “Every pallet is a puzzle.”

Loading and packing products on pallets is the responsibility of the Assembly Team. “Our team currently has 24 packaging specialists. The core is formed by 16 employees, and each one has more than 10 years of packaging experience.” The Assembly Team is familiar with all the products. They pack all the unassembled products onto pallets, such as powder coated or galvanised metal sheets and all the assembly products. In the latter case, the employee who assembles the products is also the one who packages them.”

Customer instructions for packaging and transportation
The initial starting point for the packaging work is the customer’s instructions. “The customer gives us some instructions regarding the packaging itself, the maximum weight per pallet, the labelling and the method of transport. The instructions differ per customer. We also take into account that products for Dutch customers travel about 1,000 km or more by road. This is carried out by external transportation partners.”

Custom pallets
Euro pallets (1200 x 800 x 144 mm) are often used for the products to be packed. However, other pallets are also regularly used. “For example, we make panels with a length of 3 metres and frames of 1 x 1.5 metres for one of our customers. Larger pallets with different sizes are required for this. For some other products, much smaller pallets are required. We make these customised pallets ourselves at SixPointTwo. We keep wood in stock for this.” Most of the wood we use is required to meet the IPPC standard. “The IPPC treatment helps prevent impurities and reduce material, energy and technology costs. No chemical products are used during this procedure, only thermodynamics. The IPPC treatment gets rid of pests such as bark beetles.”

The challenge
“Customers have clear requirements that we can easily meet. However, packaging is really difficult,” continues Tomás. What’s it all about then? “We make very different products: mostly single pieces or small series that are bundled into projects. This means the projects we carry out for our customers are often unique. We rarely have two projects in production that are exactly the same. This means we have to solve the packaging puzzle over and over again.” And that’s the task of the employee who loads the pallet. “But the employee can ask for advice from his team leader if necessary.”

Safety regulations
There are no specific safety regulations for loading a pallet. However, we always follow some basic rules. “The first basic rule is that the centre of gravity of the package must be exactly in the middle of the pallet. This is crucial for employee safety because it prevents pallets from falling over and causing accidents. Another basic rule is that the packaging must always be robust in order to prevent the forklift trucks from scratching the products.” SixPointTwo employees follow the general safety training and the specific safety training for forklift drivers every year. “These training courses are a legal obligation in the Czech Republic.” Also important: all the pallets are carefully rechecked at SixPointTwo before leaving Humpolec. “The truck driver then also checks whether the packaging is all right. In addition, the driver must drive safely so the load cannot fall over.”

Sustainability also plays a huge role with the packaging. “The wooden pallets are reused several times. We use straps – bands made of plastic – to securely fasten the packaging. We have tried other fasteners, but these work best. We pack the products in a protective plastic foil on the pallet. And we have considerably limited the amount of foil per palette. Working with our customers, we now use no more foil than is necessary for maximum protection.”

A new challenge every day
Tomáš loves his job. “It is never boring. I never know what’s going to happen when I get to work in the morning. And because SixPointTwo is continuing to grow, we are getting new customers, which brings even more new challenges.” Tomáš is also involved in contacts with future customers. “When they arrive in Humpolec, I show them how we pack small and large products with the different types of pallets. They are really impressed!”

Building your future: how do you do it?

Building your future: how do you do it?

Štěpán Romanovský, junior technician:
“It’s the ideal job to learn and gain experience.”


21-year-old Štěpán Romanovský has only been working at SixPointTwo for six months. In this short period he has already got to know many facets of the company. Meanwhile, his work is becoming more and more interesting and challenging. And that is exactly what he wants, because Štěpán has a clear goal in mind: “I want to set up my own company.”

Two years ago he had a part-time job at SixPointTwo during the summer holidays. He performed various activities on the laser cutting machine: cutting sheets, changing sheets and programming the machine. “When I left SixPointTwo, they said: if you want to come back to work here, there will always be a job for you.”

Back to SixPointTwo
After his summer vacation, Štěpán completed his secondary school education first. Technology was an important part of his specialisation. “I learned the basics of the machines: how they work, how to make calculations upon which you can base the programming, and how to prepare everything for production. I also learned how to make production drawings.” After graduating, he went to college. “It wasn’t really my thing. It wasn’t that the study was hard, I just found it boring. And that’s why I decided not to continue.” When SixPointTwo approached him, the choice was quickly made. “The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, I had already experienced that previously. Work colleagues are more than happy to help you if you need anything.” Another factor to consider: everyone knows everyone. “I previously worked for a company with more than 3,000 employees. I was nothing more than a number to them.”

More responsibility
Štěpán started his new job in September 2022. Initially he performed simple, practical tasks, such as dropping things off, printing drawings and carrying out preparatory work. Gradually, however, he has been assigned increasingly complex tasks says his supervisor, Quality and Technology Manager – Karel Bartasek. “We now ask him to check procedures, participate in calculations for new products, and solve technological problems in consultation with the Dutch office. And he now participates in meetings about the production of new parts.”
He can usually be found in the office but, depending on the assignments he receives, he also goes out to the production departments. How does it feel? “It feels good. I have much more responsibility now than I did when I was here part-time. Solving technical problems in production is fascinating work. I communicate about the projects with the office in the Netherlands by e-mail and phone. And I recently worked at the Dutch office for a few days.” And there is even more that pleases him. “I can use my English language skills when I am talking with my colleagues in the Netherlands; I like the English language.” The mentality at SixPointTwo also appeals to him. “The quality always comes first, small project or large project.”

From his current position, Štěpán is already looking ahead. “A job as a Production Manager appeals to me. The Production Manager supervises production for various customer projects. It is his/her your responsibility to ensure the people at the machine can perform well so we can deliver optimal quality to our customers.” But in the meantime, Štěpán is learning plenty. “I learn what is involved in the production processes at various places in the company. This means I can study SixPointTwo as a company at the same time. This is how I am trying to develop myself.” Karel Bartasek has seen Štěpán grow: “Štěpán is developing steadily and trying to get as much work done as possible. I give him advice on where to look for information. In my opinion, allowing newcomers to do the research themselves is the best way to guide them. This is how they learn the most about their work.”

Dream: owning his own company
A future after SixPointTwo: Štěpán is already thinking about it. “I want to set up my own company. A company that specialises in the production of small parts for complex projects.” Why does he want to become an entrepreneur? “I don’t want to be employed by a big company; I think it would be nice to grow with my own company. And if possible, I don’t want to work all my life. If I’m successful, I won’t have to. But the most important thing for me is the freedom you have as an entrepreneur.”
And Karel Bartasek believes this is not an unrealistic vision of the future. “This position will give him a broad perspective on industrial production, and he will gain a lot of experience. In addition, there are many machine companies in the region. If Štěpán remains as passionate about his work as he is now, he will certainly find a future here.”

Save your money first
My own company: I haven’t got that far yet. “I need start-up capital; I am saving for that. In addition, I am immersing myself in everything else required to set up a company.” His development continues at SixPointTwo. “I am learning how to communicate with other people, such as my Dutch colleagues and customers. I am also learning about how audits work; I recently contributed to a few audits by supplying data for the auditors.” And there is still plenty of challenges for me at SixPointTwo: “I could work here for years without realising it: time just flies by. I like the atmosphere; we talk and have fun. At the same time, I work hard, just like my colleagues. It’s a great place to work.” But it’s so much more than that: “This is my first real job: the beginning of everything.”


Building your future: how do you do it?
How do you find a good assembly partner?

How do you find a good assembly partner?

How do you find a good assembly partner?

Bart Smulders of B-Style on working with SixPointTwo:
“You have to understand each other, without having to explain everything”


In 1973, Ad Smulders invented the wheelchair van. That was the beginning of B-Style, the company now run by his son Bart Smulders. In the year 2022, B-Style delivered conversion kits from Oss to selected conversion companies around the world. This allows these companies to convert commercial vehicles of various brands into wheelchair vans, wheelchair buses, city buses or taxibuses. “More than 95% of our conversion kits are sent abroad, including Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe”, says Bart Smulders.

B-Style converted commercial vehicles for many years. The company sold them to customers in the Netherlands as well as other European countries. “In 2017, we decided to focus entirely on supplying conversion kits to conversion companies. This is because the market has changed a lot over the years. More and more conversion companies have joined in, while the legal requirements and certifications have become increasingly extensive and onerous.” The change is in line with the innovative nature of the company. “With a team of 20 people, we concentrate entirely on developing, supplying and servicing conversion systems and solutions for combined transport. We can now focus even more attention to product development: building and testing prototypes.”

Always a complete solution
Any conversion kit that B-Style supplies for a specific commercial vehicle application can be used anywhere in the world. “For this, we look closely at the market and at the legal requirements and certifications. For a Volkswagen taxibus, a conversion company in Finland gets the exact same conversion kit as a conversion company in the Middle East. That taxibus is then rendered suitable for driving on snowy roads and in the mountains as well as for trips in the desert. We thus increase the overall quality of the kit.”

Safety first
B-Style relieves its customers of their concerns. “We arrange all the paperwork concerning certification and legal requirements. Irrespective of whether a customer is located in Spain, India or Australia: they can be confident that our conversion kit will meet all local requirements.” B-Style also arranges all matters with the commercial vehicle manufacturers. “They issue a letter of no objection for the conversion kits we make for their commercial vehicles. Among others, we are a Premium Partner of Volkswagen and Van Partner of Mercedes. If a kit goes to Hong Kong, Volkswagen Hong Kong can immediately check whether it is conformant.”
All these precautions are necessary since we are concerned with passenger transport in this context. “The safety of people is crucial. We have to guarantee that the conversion remains in one piece even if an accident happens.”

The changeover to focusing exclusively on conversion kits has been a major operation. “For instance, we also ensure that the conversion companies we supply to are fully in control. For their part, they must be able to fully rely on the quality of our conversion kits. Each set must therefore be complete, down to the last nut.”
Many parts of the conversion kits, such as sheet metal parts, wiring harnesses and plastic parts, are made by partners. “Because assembly is a time-consuming process, we like to collaborate with partners who can not only manufacture components, but can also assemble larger components. The time we save in this manner can be invested in product development and service.”

Cooperation with SixPointTwo
After an introductory meeting with Iman Landheer in December 2021, a collaboration with SixPointTwo was launched early this year. “We were looking for a new party that can also perform assembly work. As agreed, we started small. We first requested quotations and then placed an order for making simple steel components. Step by step, we expanded that to components in larger series and to more complex components. We have now taken the next step: SixPointTwo now also assembles larger components.”

Assessing assembly partners
What is the basis on which B-Style assesses assembly partners? “The first requirement of course is that their product should meet our specifications. This requires that they interpret our drawing correctly! But we also expect them to think about smarter ways to make the product.” In addition, communication is important. “Do we get quick answers to our questions? Do they respond quickly, jointly examine solutions with us, and in case there are mistakes, do they also have the courage to reach out and follow through?”

Understanding each other is another requirement. “If, for instance, we specify that a product must not be sharp, our partner must understand why we require that and also what we mean by it. After all, everything we make passes through human hands, at SixPointTwo, at our end, in the conversion companies, and at the transporters’ end as well.” Another important aspect: you shouldn’t have to explain everything. “I once heard the story of an entrepreneur who had had components made for a consumer item from a foreign assembly partner. Those components met all the technical requirements. But they had one drawback: they stank beyond belief. That assembly partner was indignant when the entrepreneur called him out on it. Where in the specifications was it stated that this was not allowed? Well, if you have to explain that …”

The future
The phase of exploring what B-Style and SixPointTwo have to offer to each other is over. Bart Smulders is positive. “We will continue to work together. One problem is just that the market is unpredictable at the moment. The market has still not recovered from corona. Vehicles are being delivered with delays. As a result, we cannot look beyond two to three months at the moment. We discuss this with our customers and our partners. But if the market develops as we hope, then the collaboration with SixPointTwo will definitely grow!”

Are you curious about what SixPointTwo can do for your company as an assembly partner? If so, please contact Iman Landheer, tel +31 6 4224 3466, e-mail


How do manual welders and welding robots work together effectively?

How do manual welders and welding robots work together effectively?

Aleš Pokoj: “Short preparation time and fast execution make the difference”


Sheet metal processing is one of SixPointTwo’s core activities. Welding is an important part of that. SixPointTwo deploys welding robots as well as skilled workers for this purpose. The combination of humans and robots has a clear added value, according to Production Manager Aleš Pokoj: “It allows us to meet our customers’ requirements quickly.”

“For each job, we think about the best way to execute it: manually – or using a welding robot”, Aleš explains. “We use the two welding robots for large production series. Our team of manual welders mainly works on single pieces and small series.”

Own welding jigs for greater efficiency
The welding process is completely set up to ensure efficiency. All the tasks of the welding robots, for example, are programmed offline on the PC, and consequently the welding robot never has any idle time. Another time-saver: “We design and make all welding jigs, both for the welding robots and the manual welders, ourselves. This makes us very flexible when we plan and execute orders. Because we are not dependent on others, we can respond immediately to customer demand. This saves us a lot of time.” Some recent examples illustrate the short lead times: “We delivered 500 components to a new customer in intra-logistics. This included the making the welding moulds; we completed this order within two weeks. For a new customer in agribusiness, we recently made five items, in series of 250 to 500 pieces. This order took three weeks, which included three days for preparing the welding moulds.”

State-of-the-art technology
Besides efficiency, quality is obviously a priority. When designing welding jigs, SixPointTwo uses the poka-yoke principle for good reason. “Each welding jig is designed to ensure that the welder cannot position the materials incorrectly.” It also employs state-of-the-art equipment from renowned companies. For instance, the welding robots are from Panasonic. Both manual welders and operators of the welding robots use Siegmund welding tables, which guarantee short preparation times. Cloos welding machines are also used.

Methods and materials
SixPointTwo has eight welding boxes and three sanding booths. “We can guarantee consistent quality since the eight welding boxes are identical.” The modern work areas are fully equipped in conformity with the requirements for safe and healthy working. The techniques used are MIG/MAG welding, and TIG welding with and without filler rod. The materials welded are steel, stainless steel and aluminium. “For example, our manual welders have worked on the aluminium frames that form the basis for Boat Lifts.” Components for cars are also manually welded. “These components have to meet specific requirements. We conduct penetration tests according to a checklist, to verify that the components are watertight.”

Investing in people
SixPointTwo’s two welding robots are operated by well-trained operators. SixPointTwo’s manual welders are selected with great care. “They must have the right qualifications, but that is not all. We also ask applicants to perform a trial job. The leader of the manual welders’ team puts together the trial job and assesses how the candidate performs the trial. He then decides whether or not the manual welder can be hired.” If the welder is hired, he is intensively supervised and familiarised with instructions and working procedures for the first few months. “The team leader also participates in this process; in fact, he is responsible for onboarding the new employees.”

The in-house advantage
The welding department contributes to SixPointTwo’s competitive edge in sheet metal processing, Aleš concludes. “Welding is something we do totally in-house. In the same manner, laser cutting, powder coating and assembly are also done in-house at SixPointTwo. The fact that we use manual welders and welding robots and design and make the welding jigs ourselves is a major advantage in this regard. This ensures that we are fast and flexible. Moreover, we need very little preparation time. If we have a good 3D model or a clear drawing, we can get straight to work.”

Wondering what SixPointTwo can do for your company with welding? If so, please contact Iman Landheer, tel +31 6 4224 3466, e-mail

How do manual welders and welding robots work together effectively?