DISCOVER Magazine #7

Ton van Oorschot: Offshore & Transport

Published in category: People

Head Of Production, Offshore & Transport

Employed at Damen: 27 years

“No two days are the same here. My duties as a production manager are extremely varied. One minute I am in my overalls visiting a production site or visiting a subcontractor, and the next I am at the office in Gorinchem consulting the team, attending a construction meeting or welcoming clients. The nature of the Department’s duties and responsibilities also has a huge impact on the content of my work, from design to technology to planning and the financial aspects. Like I always say: project management is there to relieve our clients and sales of some of their work. We should make it clear to them that Damen understands what they want and that we’ll do precisely that, transparently and subject to close monitoring, and all in line with the agreed technical standards, quality, deadlines and budgets.

O&T used to work on special assignments, one-off vessels sold at irregular intervals. In the past few decades, however, we’ve developed into a steady-earning, stable unit within the company. We had already made our mark with our tugs and patrol boats, but now we’re moving into the Offshore Market, where there’s a lot of room for growth. The group’s typical products include Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) and Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels. There’s growth in other markets too, for example the bigger patrol ships, installation vessels and survey vessels used by oil companies to explore for oil and gas. We also take on a whole range of other projects, from dredgers to roll-on roll-off models, research vessels and large sailing ships.

O&T has proved that we can handle larger volumes while remaining vigilant. The Department has grown rapidly and I am proud that we have a good, stable, cooperative team.

Damen has become part of my life. I’ve not only watched O&T but the whole company grow – in the broadest sense of the word. Damen is a worldwide business. We are active on multiple continents and we’re gaining knowledge and experience all over the world, both as a company and as individuals. Personal input is valued and every employee who wants to can make a difference.

One of the highlights of my career? There have been several. One special one was when the new ferryboat arrived in the harbour on the island of Texel, an exciting occasion that drew a big crowd. Another was when we completed Worldwide Support Ship 8316, destined for the UK. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears – and more importantly, persuasion – to introduce construction techniques that ultimately led to a high-profile success. Many of those involved were sceptical at first, but it’s now commonly acknowledged that this is one of our crowning achievements.”

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