Machines of the future.
Good ideas must be able to evolve into beautiful innovations and developments. In January 2017 Tanno Zuidema was on stage at the Rode Loper to tell his story as a successful entrepreneur in Twente. As a child, he was always playing with LEGO and Meccano. Tanno Zuidema studied Mechanical Engineering and founded his company Z-Tech in Oldenzaal in 1993, now one of the most important machine manufacturers in the field of robotics in the Netherlands.
“In the beginning, we were mostly working on the design of special machines in the field of assemblage. We were responsible for work supervision and another party made the machines. Eventually, we grew, we expanded our disciplines and at the moment we can execute the whole trajectory, from the idea up to the delivery, independently. Historically, our customers are mainly large companies that assemble products in large numbers and/or where quality demands are high. That’s why we predominantly work for the automotive, pharmaceutical and medical industries.”
Automation, flexibility in production and producing smaller series are important for the industry to maintain competitiveness. For suppliers of production, this means realizing improvements and innovations continuously. “This requires close cooperation between companies, innovation platforms and educational institutes. This can be found in Twente. There are many machinery factories here that assemble components for our machines. We use the network from Novel-T and Oost NL to find a connection with innovation platforms. We are also members of regional business clubs like TKT (Technology Circle Twente), WTC, KKT (Quality Circle Twente) and Twente Branding. We like to make use of the regional research institutions. We have a lot of graduates and interns from Saxion. Together with the University of Twente, we have students do early stage research on the possibilities of specific robotics.” Z-Tech makes full use of the regional ecosystem and therefore it is successful in high tech innovation. “Twente is known as a technological region, but I also notice people like to do business with people from Twente because of our mentality. We do what we say we do!”