Taking an Ampelmann system from a drawing to a full-fledged piece of technology

October 20, 2020

As Assembly Supervisor, Jeffrey van Woerkom makes sure that all production jobs are planned, and everybody is up to speed on what needs to be done.

Over the years, Ampelmann has brought plenty of innovations to the offshore market and the Innovations team is always looking for ways to implement the latest technology to make work on the open sea safer and more efficient.

Before innovations can hit the market, though, they have to be designed and built, and this can often be a complex task. Up for the challenge are the Ampelmann engineers at the production hall in Rotterdam, under the supervision of Jeffrey van Woerkom. As Assembly Supervisor, Jeffrey makes sure that all production jobs are planned, and everybody is up to speed on what needs to be done.

A day at work

Perhaps needless to say, work starts early in the production hall. By 6:45am, Jeffrey has already arrived and 15 minutes later, the first cup of freshly brewed coffee is in his system. He is ready for work.

In essence, Jeffrey is the person who makes sure that all Ampelmann products are delivered on time and that the work environment and processes are up to the highest safety standards. His day starts with discussing the jobs that are currently ongoing in the workshop and planning the day accordingly.

“Every project requires resources and it is my job to plan them, create a floorplan and arrange everything around the project.” Of course, sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as anticipated and the team runs into unexpected difficulties, but even then, “with the people we have onboard, we can solve almost anything”, Jeffrey says.

He praises his team and points out the importance of hard-working and knowledgeable colleagues for delivering projects on time and in a safe manner.

Working together: Many departments, one team

Making innovations a success is based on collaboration. It takes the joint effort of people from across departments, and the team at the production hall is just as much a part of it.

With their expertise, the technicians do not only build the prototypes and end products, but also provide valuable input to improve those products and innovations. This is an aspect of the job that Jeffrey really enjoys. “I like working together with colleagues from different departments and making things work as one team. I find it very rewarding when I can help them out with technical difficulties in their projects.”

Being in touch with many different colleagues is what makes Jeffrey’s job that much more dynamic. Today, too, in the times of COVID-19, he still needs to manage this collaborative work environment, while adjusting to the new ways of working.

Learning to work at a distance

The current COVID-19 situation has certainly changed the way work is done around Ampelmann’s production hall. “It takes an effort to work together in the workshop and comply with the COVID-19 regulations, but it is all a matter of getting used to,” Jeffrey says.

As a result, he is often in video calls because, even though he works in the production hall, he is also in close touch with the innovations team at the office. While video calls are an efficient tool in their own way, Jeffrey misses the face-to-face contact with his team. “In some cases, it is easier to explain a technical problem when you’re physically at the machine,” he says. At times during production, the team may come across a situation that complicates the assembly process, but the technicians at the OZB can always find the right solution.  

In other words, Jeffrey has a lot to do with how well and quickly an innovation makes it from being a drawing on paper to a fully operational piece of technology. That is no small job to have, yet Jeffrey is 100% up to it.