Lieven Depraetere:

“Respect deadlines, because vegetables will continue to grow”

Processing companies are increasingly looking for partners who can supply an overall concept. Lieven Depraetere of Spiessens Machinebouw has also clearly seen this trend on the market. The machinery builder responds to this by offering other components of machinery lines in addition to their own machines, so that a complete line can be supplied.

“We offer overall concepts around the unique machines of Spiessens,” Lieven says. A complete production line is built around these machines. The machinery company focuses on cleaning, peeling and blanching machines for potatoes, fruit and vegetables. “In all shapes and packaging,” he clarifies. “From the fresh market to tinned and frozen.” The other components in a line, such as optical sorters, packing machines, tunnel freezers or ovens, are bought and integrated in the line.

Turnkey deliveries
“We take complete responsibility. That’s asked for more often now as well,” he continues. “We draw up the concept in cooperation with the customer and then we deliver it turnkey.” In Belgium, the company’s home market, just over 100 employees are ready to install a machine line. “Customers want flexibility, so we do what customers ask for,” Lieven says. The machine line is assembled in large blocks, after which these are transported to the customer. “We often use exceptional transport for this. Because of our large assembly team, we can quickly install a line, so that deadlines can be respected.” This is an important aspect for processing companies. “Vegetables continue to grow and won’t wait if technical difficulties arise,” Lieven explains.

Large interest investments
“We supply anything from a modest line with a capacity of 2,000 kilograms per hour to large lines with a capacity of 50 tonnes per hour.” Both large and small companies want to pass over responsibilities with similar projects. “The large companies want to get rid of that responsibility, but smaller companies are also happy to make use of our knowledge. We have become, as it were, an integrator of our own machines,” he says.

The machine lines are also supplied outside of Belgium. Direct neighbouring countries the Netherlands and Luxembourg are the most important sales areas with Belgium. Further away, customers can be found “from Russia to Canada,” Lieven describes. “Generally speaking, there’s much interest to invest in new machine lines. Fruit and vegetables have fair weather in this, and we’ve also seen production of, for instance, rice and quinoa as an ingredient for ready-meals, still increasing. Russia, for example, is still going quite poorly due to economic circumstances, but there is interest.” Large investments in particular are difficult to realise in Russia.

Flaminex functions as an agency for the machines built by Spiessens. “Flaminex sells complete machine lines for the food industry, which are built and assembled by Spiessens,” Lieven explains the relationship between the two companies.

More information:
Lieven Depreatere

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