An interview with Michel Kuiper from Kuiper en Zonen from Ede.
The history of the Kuiper en Zonen family business goes back a long way. In 1918 Michel Kuiper's great-great-grandfather started selling and overhauling industrial steam boiler installations. “I am now the fourth generation and proud that we are the oldest steam boiler company in the Netherlands. At the moment we have a team of 43 employees and a flexible layer”, says Michel.
Kuiper en Zonen is not only active in the Netherlands, but supplies complete installations and provides service all over the world. “We supply, rent and maintain complete industrial steam boiler installations, as well as related piping, tanks and chimneys. Michel flies all over the world with his team. “The installations that we install are often supplied in combination with an SLA (Service Level Agreement), but we also increasingly offer our service for installations that were not supplied by us. Our technicians are so experienced and specialized that they can quickly make a correct diagnosis and give good advice on how to keep the boiler in optimum condition”.
Energy-efficient steam boilers
The list of customers includes beautiful names: FrieslandCampina, Bavaria, Vopak and Heineken. “I also regularly travel to Ethiopia, Haiti or Congo. Then I go to five or six breweries, for example, to do inspections and to measure a new project. I really get energy from those big projects abroad. There are often boilers from the 60s that are at the end of their lifespan. We then build new boilers, which are much more energy-efficient, and supply all accessories.”
“Everything is engineered and tested in the Netherlands. If everything is 100% correct, everything is disassembled again and taken to the ports in containers and/or on flat racks with a special convoy, after which it is transported further by boat to the 'furthest places'. They're huge cauldrons we're talking about. The largest is more than 4 meters in diameter and 12 meters long and has a total weight of up to about 65.000 kg”.
Collaboration with Viessmann
There are many similarities with Viessmann. Viessmann is also a family business, started a year earlier and quality is of paramount importance. “We have been working with Viessmann since 2002. Viessmann supplies the steam boilers and we take care of the engineering and implementation. So we complement each other very well.” “Viessmann supplies one of the best boilers available and is a well-oiled machine. They have the production process in order," says Michel.
“I look to the future with great confidence. Because of corona you saw that it had become a little quieter with maintenance last year, but my father always said: 'you can only survive if you engage in different branches of sport'. I have always remembered this wise lesson and it has really been our raison d'être until now. Today it is very busy again. We will soon be supplying a 25 tonne Viessmann boiler with superheater for Tate & Lyle. Another beautiful project ”.