Shaping ambitions as an extension of the development department

Royal Dutch Kusters Engineering is a family-owned business founded in 1911. During its 100th anniversary year in 2011, the company received the 'Royal Dutch' distinction and won the Limburg Expo Award. Kusters Engineering is a global market leader of banknote disintegration equipment and coin crushing systems. Kusters machines can be found at central banks in 75 countries. In addition to currency disintegration, Kusters also processes the remnants into briquettes, which are used for various purposes ranging from protective layers for infills to building materials and energy generation in incinerators.

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Exploring new markets: circular and biobased recycling

The global market for banknotes is growing. Most of the banknotes currently in circulation come from growth markets in India, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Several European countries are seeing a decline in growth rates. Kusters expects a global decline in the number of banknotes over the next few decades, and thereby also a decline in the number of currency disintegrators. According to business director Martin Barthel, the company is currently exploring new markets and drawing inspiration from the past. 'The need for sound currency disintegration was triggered by the environmental problem first detected in the 1980s,' explains Barthel. 'As a family-owned business with a long-term focus, we want to contribute to a better and cleaner world. We are doing this by developing machines that can be used in the circular and biobased recycling markets. That's why we contacted PDM. The company has worked a lot with VDL in the past, and has gained considerable experience with sheet metal and heavy constructions as a result of this collaboration. At Kusters, we refer to developments in terms of metres, not micrometres.'

Martin Barthel
Business Director, Kusters Engineering

PDM plays a leading role as head structural engineer. They understand the details of a development process, from the design brief to the test phase. They are an extension of our own development department.


Developing new machines

A team of five PDM experts is currently working on developing two roto-shifters and two presses to sort and press organic waste. 'They've become part of the Kusters team and play a leading role as head contractor. A relatively small company like ours can't afford a big development department. We haven't yet reached the point where we can develop machines that can be sent directly to engineering firms. As a result, we need people who understand the development process, from the design brief to the test phase. PDM has this knowledge in-house and thereby serves as an extension of our own development department. They also work closely with our team to optimize our new CAD system.'

Transitioning from EtO to CtO

In addition to open up new markets, Kusters Engineering also wants to transition from Engineering to Order (EtO) to Configuring to Order (CtO). 'We used to produce each machine individually,' says Barthel. 'Now, we want to develop standard modules with parts that can be configured and customized to the specific order. This will allow us to process orders more quickly. Our goal is to achieve a ratio of 80% CtO to 20% EtO. This requires standardization, which is why we called on PDM to help.'

Experts en team players

Martin Barthel is extremely pleased with the PDM collaboration; not only because PDM can provide the mechanical and technical expertise that Kusters Engineering needs, but also because the PDM culture fits well with that of Kusters.

Martin Barthel
Business Director, Kusters Engineering

Kusters is not immune to the results of our greying population and PDM offers a steady supply of young talents. The PDM team members are open, enterprising, and extremely responsive to new developments. Above all, they're great team players who take full advantage of the room we give them.

Contact for more information:

# Nick Nijs
Account Manager
+31 6 51527355
# Rob van de Plas
Senior Project Manager
+31 6 15608878
# Dries Housen
Senior Expert Project Cöordinator
+31 6 15016536

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