Innovative in piston rings and seals
“Innovation is one of our mainstays”, says Jacco Bezema, as he explains what innovation means for his company. Euroring develops, tests and produces piston rings for combustion engines and compressors, among other applications. “We are active in what is absolutely a niche sector. We do not have a brochure, and only manufacture custom products made of bronze, steel, or cast iron, with various coatings and finishes. The possibilities are endless.”
Maintaining our position
“We cannot compete with the sheer volume produced in China, America and India. We need to rely on our expertise and inventiveness when it comes to materials, applications or finishing options. That is why we stay on top of developments and invest in knowledge and research.” In order to realize fitting and highly-functional products, Euroring works closely with its clients when it comes to the development and innovation process. They do so with a team of seven people from Hengelo, for clients all over the world.
Jacco knows the value of a good network. “We gather the right people around us. That is how we found Novel-T when we were looking for a laboratory with specialized machines to test new ideas. Relationship Manager Bert Otter was able to get things moving quickly, and two weeks later, we were planning things out at the Saxion materials lab. Euroring started with one test, but this number had grown to three in a matter of weeks. Jacco: “One idea leads to another. Innovation is all about combining and making choices. Discovery, trial and error.”
Cooperating in the value chain
By now, Jacco is taking full advantage of the Novel-T network. “It’s always pleasant when others can keep up with you. It’s all or nothing in our business, and Novel-T understands that. When we had a question about export funding, they immediately redirected us to the World Trade Center Twente. This went really fast, too. We first contacted them on Monday, and on Wednesday, we were already talking to the right person in America.”
Are your innovations safe?
Jacco was also made aware of the cyber security scan. “I was aware of the dangers of hackers, trolls and espionage. If we are struck by a virus, the entire company grinds to a halt. But we never actually took action against this, and I do not have the knowledge to do so myself”, Jacco explains. “The cyber security scan was an accessible way to have the safety of our system assessed by an independent expert. First, the cyber security expert checked how easy it was to hack into our website and the email environment. After that, he dropped by the office for a half day to check the system.”
Roadmap for cyber security
A week later, Jacco received the scan report. “It contained a number of eye-openers”, Jacco says. “The printer in the Wi-Fi network turned out to be an easy route into our network, for example.” Jacco immediately implemented a number of improvements. Open gates were closed. The printer got a stronger password. And they drafted a roadmap with Thijsoft, their ICT partner, to structurally tackle cyber security. The new server, which was already on the agenda, will be purchased even sooner, for example. Jacco is still careful, and won’t just open random attachments to a quote request from Pakistan. “Just like innovation, cyber security should become a part of your company. Regular scans keep you on your toes. Good cyber security is really essential to innovation.”
Bert Otter, relationship manager: “As relationship managers, we lend our thoughts to help entrepreneurs reinforce their proposition and market position, for example, or to fund new innovations. Jacco Bezema came to us with a rather specific request. He was looking for an institute or laboratory to help him perform independent, specialist tests on their product. Once we receive a request like that, we immediately dive into our network. Whom do we know? Who can help us? In the end, we found the right lab via our Saxion contacts.” Bert knows that is difficult for entrepreneurs to gain access to the resources of a university or university of applied sciences. “They don’t have a single contact for all your questions. That is why we recommend you use our network. Challenge us. Even if you have other requests. We are happy to help you make your company flexible and future proof.”
Do you have a question for Bert or one of our innovation experts? Contact us.
Do you, like Jacco, want to know about the state of the cyber security of your company? Perform the cyber security scan.