East-Flanders stakeholders impressed with 'Coolbox' Sioen

25 September 2019 - Published by Marijke Van Gysegem
On the 5th of September 2019, Voka took a delegation of companies to visit Sioen Industries. Sioen is world market leader in coated technical textiles and technical apparel. They are based in Ardooie, Belgium.

In January 2017, Veranneman Technical Textiles, one of the companies of the Sioen Industries Group, won the prestigious Factory of the Future Award. This company specialises in technical textiles: open structure fabrics with applications in roof and pool reinforcement, nonwoven filters, drywall, automotive products, stables, facade application and road construction. 

The machines at Veranneman are often fully or partially of their own engineering. Precisely because of this, they can focus on automation, work efficiency, quality, ergonomics and digitization. Jean-Luc Dejaeghere, Quality and Improvement Manager, explains: "Our production control systems and software are implemented to avoid breakdowns, defects and waste. We also focus on sustainable work for our employees."

An example is the Coolbox, a unique communications hub in the midst of hundreds of weaving looms. This tranquil area rises above the constant zooming and clicking of the machines. Because for Sioen, "clear communication in direct lines is essential".

‘Coolbox’, is the name the employees have chosen. Its goal is Communication in the Organization to improve Quality for a Lifetime. It is a meeting place for shi­ft changes. In a five minute debrief the change of shifts is supported with visuals and data: KPI’s, speed indicators and loomdata.

There is a screen dedicated to internal memos, company information and general quality guidelines. All information is 'live' available at all times.

The Flanders companies were impressed and inspired by this visit.