11 October 2019

Pierre Vermulst (50), father of two daughters and happily married to his wife and his Rapido Prima Power 3D fibre laser. Because this Rapido is ‘Pierre’s machine’. In fact; he boarded a plane with one of the directors of Phoenix 3D Metal to assess the machine in Italy before it was purchased. The smiley 3D laser Foreman Pierre, talking about working at Phoenix 3D Metal … and his machine.


“We are a beautiful and financially healthy company. That gives you peace of mind. Nobody is just thrown out on the street. That is a pleasant thought.”


After training at the Philips Business School, Pierre started working as a construction bench worker, then as a CNC turner, to eventually become branch manager. Before he started at Phoenix 3D Metal, he spent a blue moon at a company specialised in coating tools. The latter really wasn’t for him.


“What do I do here? You might as well ask what I don’t do (haha). I programme the machine here (3D fibre laser) and ensure optimum coordination. I also manage and endeavour to improve myself and the people I work with. They actually keep me on my toes, they keep triggering me. Perhaps that’s why it takes no effort at all to start around half past five in the morning.”


Half past five, that’s pretty early. “I’m fine with that; prepare and adjust everything and ensure that everyone can ‘move forward’. During the day I ensure that the 3D laser continues to run and at the end of the day I deal with the transfer to the evening shift. Because it’s busy here. That means production continues in the evening and at night. I still give them some advice, so I can go home confidently. When I start again the next day, every day I draw the conclusion that we have also worked successfully in the night for an advantage for our customers.”


“I am totally at home here. I’m in the right place and that feels good. Plenty of challenges and every day is different.”


“We really are the specialists when it comes to forming metal by using a rubber cushion (rubber press technology). That’s why we are the market leader. Personally, I think that is more than a nice side effect; it feels good to work for a company that produces something unique. Nobody can do what we do.”


“Yes, if I listen to myself talking, I think I’m alright. The machine I work with is super. It’s incredibly accurate and powerful. I have never been unpleasantly surprised. On the contrary; the Rapido keeps amazing me. That’s a good thing, by the way, because I am closely involved in the orientation process and the final purchase by the MT. We really invested a lot of time there, and a lot of discussion. In the end, two suppliers remained, of which Prima Power was one. We chose them in the end. We did travel to Italy first to see the machine ‘live’ at work and to assess it by testing three products. Together with Jan-Willem van Hooft (director and Co-owner Phoenix 3D Metal) we gave the ‘go ahead’. My opinion was also taken into account in the decision-making process, that is also what characterises our company.”


What is the role of the laser department within Phoenix 3D Metal? “Crucial. I dare say we play the most important role after the rubber pressing department. I don’t mean to say that the other departments are not important. Every step in the process is necessary and indispensable. We do it together.” That also means that when something isn’t right, we look at how things can be improved next time together. I then discuss with the Engineering department and people from production. We always come to a solution together or ultimately make a huge improvement. Or rather; an advantage for our customers.”


“If you think you know everything about what you are doing, it’s time to examine that specific knowledge. It can always be done better.”


Enthusiastic after reading this article? Or do you have any further questions? Feel free to contact us. Pierre or one of his colleagues will be happy to speak with you!