Innovation is key for Hydratec Industries to gain and maintain a leading position in the Food, Health and Mobility markets. Innovation enables us to add value to our customers’ processes and stand out from the crowd. Most of our innovations are aimed at eliminating waste in processes and products.
Our customers are our greatest source of inspiration: by understanding customer processes - sometimes better than the customer itself - we identify opportunities to improve them. We seek collaboration wherever possible, not only with our customers but also with suppliers and knowledge institutes such as universities and colleges. Together, we have more knowledge and innovative strength.
For example, product innovation within High-Tech Components takes place in projects where we work with the customer at an early stage to develop new applications. These are often projects in which valuable, natural or scarce materials such as wood, glass or metal are replaced by a constructive, preferably recyclable plastic. A lot of attention is paid to the future-proofing of plastic solutions. In the Health market in particular, we are seeing developments to support the increasing demand for intelligent sampling methods with nanoplates, which are used in diagnostic devices or point-of-care instruments
Wherever possible, we encourage the use of recyclate and employ design-for-recycling techniques. This was done in 2022 in the production of bicycle and lorry parts, among other things. In 2022, we spent more than 54,100 hours on such projects. This was comparable to 2021 (57,600 hours).
One innovation within Industrial Systems concerns the more intensive use of sensors. We use the data generated by sensors to operate equipment more efficiently and control processes more accurately. This allows us to reduce waste at our customers’ premises. Examples include sensors in the motors of drive systems that facilitate preventive maintenance of these transport systems. We increasingly use simulation, which allows us to model and analyse the effects of certain product developments and innovations in advance. This data-driven approach will accelerate product development and possibly result in new business models with not only one-off equipment sales, but also maintenance or leasing. One example is the recently developed vaccination system for hatching eggs in the poultry industry, which is offered as a lease product.