Interview 15 February 2019

Unique challenges demand unique solutions

Listening to the needs and wishes of the customer; that’s what our work is about in Altrex. The wishes that engineer Ard Kamphuis receives are specific and special; that is why he is a Customer Solutions engineer. That means customised work or thinking beyond the standard.

“As a Customer Solutions engineer, I devise special solutions for customers with specific requests,” according to Ard. “That might be a variation on an existing product or real big challenges, such as solutions for accessing silos and electricity pylons or safe inspections of tankers. In such cases, everything could be different and new, up to the smallest details.”

Viewing and thinking out of the box

Specific situations demand a different way of looking and thinking out of the box. For example, Ard received a request to devise a safe and flexible access to the top side of tankers. The customer wanted to find a way to fill the tankers, to carry out measurements and to lock and seal the lids on top.

“There was little room for manoeuvring our access equipment on the customer’s terrain. Moreover, the solution had to be fast, ergonomic and economical,” Ard tells us. “A standard ladder was not a solution. That is why I developed a tanker ladder with a rotatable and height-adjustable cage. One of the advantages is that the cage could swivel 180° while the ladder stayed put. A smart construction that saves the customer time and space and above all, complies with high ergonomic and safety standards.”

“I am pleased with a satisfied customer, if we can give him what he is looking for”
Ard Kamphuis
Customer Solutions engineer

Safe at any height

Safety plays a role in all situations where work is carried out at heights. That also applies to shipping. A request that Ard received from a customer in this sector had everything to do with differences of heights: “A loaded ship lies lower than an empty ship and therefore there are always height differences between the ship and the quay. Consequently, a standard gangway is not always sufficient and safe. Our solution was a quay stepladder. A mobile stepladder with several exit platforms at the side that allows you to safely step off at nearly any height.”

Unique challenges therefore demand unique solutions. That makes Ard’s work as an engineer very diversified. “I arrive at special spots in extraordinary companies and I’m confronted with requests that always surprise me. In turn, I always surprise our customers – together with my colleagues – with equally unique answers: special and safe access solutions.”