Story // 24.05.2022

“Striving for the best product for our customers!“
Interview with Ruud Verheijen

SEKISUI is committed to quality. Not only for its products but throughout the whole organisation, aiming to meet the customers’ expectations and providing outstanding quality. We talked to Ruud Verheijen, Manager Technology at SEKISUI S-LEC B.V. in Geleen, who recently changed positions within the company and is focusing on the product quality every day. Learn more about his current job, what role customer needs play and why SEKISUI feels like continuous improvement to him.

Ruud, could you kindly explain what your current role is?
I am Manager Technology at SEKISUI S-LEC B.V.’s European resin plant in Geleen, the Netherlands. My department is responsible for the products’ quality, meaning that we control and schedule the incoming raw material, control all process settings and try to solve relevant production issues. And of course, we inspect the produced quality to ensure that the product is of highest standard. Our customers’ needs are key, and we strive to produce the best product for their purposes.

What exactly is the resin plant in Geleen doing and in how far is it connected to the film plant in Roermond? 
SEKISUI S-LEC in Geleen produces the resin PVB (polyvinyl butyral). By a chemical reaction, we convert PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) powder into PVB powder. This is transported to the SEKISUI S-LEC plant in Roermond where it is transferred into a flat transparent film which is then delivered to our customers. 

What are the main projects you are focusing on right now?
Two production lines are up and running in Geleen. New applications and functionalities of interlayer film boost the demand for high-quality interlayer film. Therefore, we decided to increase our production capacity in 2020 and invested in a third line. The main project at the moment is the final validation of the new production line here in Geleen, including the approval from our customers. The preparations are already running and there is enough knowledge and expertise to finish this project as scheduled in the next months.

Before you took over this position, you worked at the SEKISUI S-LEC plant in Roermond for 18 years. Was it a difficult decision to change?
I knew that I wanted the new position as soon as I heard about the vacancy. However, it still took me some sleepless night. You say goodbye to your old job and start something completely new. But I like to learn new things and team up with new people.

What is different, what is the same?
Oh, this is a difficult question. Basically, everything is different. While the scale is slightly smaller the responsibility is wider now. While I was responsible for the Technical Section (Engineering) in Roermond, I am responsible for the Technical Section, the Quality Section (Laboratory) as well as the Technical Service (Customer Support) now. But one thing is the same: The company’s positive atmosphere and the drive to achieve something together – both colleagues in Roermond and Geleen stick together as a team!

 What challenges were you facing when starting the new job?
I had to get to know the people, learn about the production process and meet the expectations as soon as possible. I want to contribute to the company’s goals which is hard with less experience. I am a quick learner though, and I am fortunate to work with a very good team. Together we achieve our goals.

Ruud with his team

What do you like about working for SEKISUI?
I have the feeling that SEKISUI looks forward and is always aiming at high quality and efficient productions. The company acts on basis of long-term plans and all our activities focus on continuous improvement of the quality of the product and working area. Customer satisfaction is our goal. I really like this attitude and enjoy working for a company that is moving forward continuously.

SEKISUI is a global company with nine subsidiaries in Europe. How do you benefit from that?
The European connections enable you to build up a network quite easily and cooperate with colleagues from other companies. This is great. On top, many projects are organized from a European perspective, such as trainings, several technical projects, personnel exchanges, combined company activities and KAIZEN projects.
As global company, SEKISUI combines many different cultures that can learn from each other to achieve common goals. There is a lot of knowledge and experience within the SEKISUI family!

How is the new SEKISUI 2030 vision related to your work? Where do you see your contribution to the vision?
The focus of the new vision is achieving a sustainable contribution to our planet, by sustainable products and sustainable services. This is part of my everyday job and a goal we are all working on. We focus, for example, on energy reduction and waste reduction continuously. And we are always looking for improvement in the production process, calculating and considering the carbon footprint.

What do you do in your free time?
When thinking about work life balance, my family is most important to me. I love to spend time with my kids and see them growing up. On top, I love doing sports: I enjoy running and boxing. In the evenings or weekends, I also like to meet friends and relax in the garden.

If you did not have to work, what would you like to do instead?
I think I would be doing some volunteer job in countries that need help, manly focusing on helping children, Children are our future but sometimes victims of the environment they grow up in. I would like to contribute to a better childhood for those kids.

Would you like to learn more about SEKISUI S-LEC or the other European companies? Have a look here