On Friday, June 23, Benchmark celebrated the much-anticipated Grand Reopening of its engineering and manufacturing facility in Almelo, the Netherlands. While the facility was never closed during the renovations, we’re calling it a Grand Reopening due to a complete revitalization of the facility with extensive expansions and upgrades throughout.
Our Grand Reopening was a significant moment for Benchmark as we unveiled many years of hard work and investment into this facility which has grown in staff and customers in recent years. It was also incredibly special for us because we were able to share this celebration with our team members in Almelo and Brasov, with our customers, and with the local community, including Almelo Mayor Arjen Gerritsen.
Investments at this facility included new technological capabilities as well as a major expansion to the site’s production floor, adding more than 3,000 m2 (32,291 ft2) of space. The expanded production floor—and a few added updates to existing infrastructure—now facilitates total collaboration across the facility, especially between design, engineering, and manufacturing teams. The facility was also reorganized to enable a more efficient material and production flow.
These technology upgrades have been designed to extend our capabilities and better serve our customers. Upgrades included a new 3D rapid prototyping printing lab, prototyping lab enhancements, installation of a major EMC pre-compliance test lab, and improvements to the site’s ISO Class 6 and 7 cleanrooms. Along with these enhancements, we have also added a/an:
- Upgraded Calibration Lab
- Improved and Expanded Tester Build Area
- New Production Lines
- New Product Demo Space
- New Employee Training Facility
From a sustainability perspective, we have made some significant investments to reduce our carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency. This includes better insulation, triple glass windows, more efficient heating, solar cells to power the heating/cooling pump, and LED lighting throughout the facility. With these improvements, our new site is able to achieve a 30% reduction in energy consumption per square meter (10.7 ft2).
The reason we embarked upon this revitalization was simple. We had outgrown the earlier iteration of our facility as demand for our product realization solutions has significantly increased. To put this into perspective, over the last five years, we have grown our talent by 25%, expanding from 480 employees in 2018 to 650 today. With the rising demand for our services—in addition to the increasingly quick pace of technological change—we needed a facility that supported us in helping our clients stay ahead of the innovation curve. However, we also wanted to create a space that our engineers cherished. That is why we dedicated some of the new features to our people and their enjoyment of the workplace which we feel will also delight prospective Benchmark team members.
At Benchmark Almelo, we participate in several local technology community organizations. One such organization is MedTech Twente which facilitates close cooperation in research with knowledge and care institutes to enable new technology for a better tomorrow. TValley, another community organization with whom we work, enables a high-tech platform for engineers to work on robotics and mechatronics applications that fit Benchmark’s strategic applications. As a valued member of the Almelo technology ecosystem, we wanted to create something that would make our community proud and enhance the opportunities for education, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
Investing in Education
As active members of Almelo’s tech community, we have the opportunity to inspire and educate children of all ages about the exciting world of technology. We not only highlight the rewarding aspects of a career in technology but also emphasize the impact it can have on saving lives and developing green technology while protecting our respective freedoms. By promoting technology experiences in Almelo, we not only contribute to the future of Benchmark’s workforce but also equip our children with the necessary skills for a successful and fulfilling career.
At the university level, we provide advanced opportunities, sharing our knowledge and expertise in product realization solutions to help prepare students for their future careers. We actively contribute to student-organized events and programs, such as sponsoring projects like solar boats, solar cars, green teams, and robot soccer teams. Through these initiatives, we inspire and empower students to explore cutting-edge technology. It also cannot be understated that empowering the next generation of engineers through strategic support yields an invaluable return on investment. In fact, many of these students further their journey by joining Benchmark as interns or full-time team members.
Community Open House
In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Benchmark Almelo opened its doors the following day to the community for a celebratory open house. Benchmark employees brought their friends and families to view the newly revitalized facility, take part in tours, and participate in a number of fun events and activities. Some of the activities included virtual reality surfing, F1 racing, caricature drawings, crafts, and mad science experiments. The Solar Boat and Solar Electric Superbike Student Benchmark team displayed their projects and local partners even joined the festivities with stands.
Benchmark Almelo—Join the Celebration!
Our new facility enhances our community engagement and showcases the growth of our technology ecosystem here in Almelo. We are thrilled to celebrate the Grand Reopening with our teams, customers, and the surrounding community, and we look forward to demonstrating the exceptional capabilities of this new space now and well into the future.
To learn more about the new facility in Almelo, check out the Grand Reopening page.