DISCOVER Magazine #7

Keep innovating. Bolidt, Rientz Willem Bol

Published in category: People

We can’t do it alone. Our vessels are what they are, in part, because of the suppliers we work with. Like our relationships with our customers, those with our suppliers are usually for the long-term – in some cases our connections go back to the dawn of standardised shipbuilding and beyond. In this edition of the Damen magazine we meet just a few of the suppliers that help us to deliver the high quality solutions that meet our clients’ needs.

Using synthetic materials as a tool to conserve steel and concrete constructions: this was the original concept behind the formation of Bolidt 54 years ago. The idea was a success, and the company rapidly expanded to work in a huge range of sectors. “We became involved with the shipbuilding industry and Damen shortly after the start,” says CEO Rientz Willem Bol. “With the lar ge amount of steel used, corrosion causes problems both above and below the waterline. Our ultimate aim was to give ships longer operational lifetimes.”

100% operational

A look back over the last 50 years of cooperation with Damen brings some very special projects to light. “Our decks on Damen’s tugs reduce the amount of vibration felt by the crew, thus preventing serious knee and ankle problems,” he explains. “The superyacht market, on the other hand, has totally different needs. So, for Amels, we offer robust decks with a design touch that give a lot of freedom in terms of colours and patterns.” Naval contracts also come with a demanding set of parameters.

The Royal Netherlands Navy’s Joint Support Ship, Karel Doorman, built at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, is just one example among many. “This deck can withstand the extremes of a vertical take-off and landing, with temperatures approaching 700 degrees Celsius. Here, and in fact for all maritime applications of our products, being operational at all times is paramount.”

Creating continuity

As a family-owned company, stability is a major part of Bolidt’s focus. “The world has changed a lot in a very short period of time, and therefore we have to adjust our working practices to the trends of the time,” Rientz Willem adds. “This involves intensive investment for the future; in terms of innovation of products, and also in our way of working.”

One exciting example of this investment is the Bolidt Experience & Innovation Centre, due to open in April 2019. “This will be open to all stakeholders to come and see how they can achieve their ideas with our materials. I would like to invite Damen to cooperate with us with the open source development there. Our doors are open.”

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