Our SuperSealer for the month comes from the department working hard to bring Trelleborg’s already premium products to the next level: Research & Development. Johannes Vreeken, R&D Engineer for Trelleborg Pipe Seals, explains what his department is doing to keep ahead of the curve.
Who are you?
Johannes Vreeken, 44, R&D Engineer for Trelleborg Pipe Seals.
How long have you worked in this position and what are your key duties?
I have been working with Trelleborg in this position for eight years now. I am involved in the development of new products, technical support, handling claims, quality management, certification, materials as well as FEA (Finite Element Analysis).
What do you like about working with Trelleborg?
I like that our business is growing and evolving all the time. It means that I’ve had new tasks and new challenges every year that I’ve worked for Trelleborg.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
Having worked at Trelleborg for all these years, I am responsible now for many different tasks and projects. The challenge is to keep on juggling all these responsibilities while still thinking about further innovations and improvements.
How is your department preparing to keep ahead of future developments?
Our business is growing worldwide and our R&D department has become centralized. This means that our department structure has needed to evolve to match the changes and the growth of the company. For example, we are working on making our R&D processes even better. This year, we have created an online system to manage the different R&D-related requests, such as for new products, new articles, technical support, claims and R&D training. We are also working on a new system for handling projects. The goal is to create a more structured work environment and make it easier for R&D employees to follow-up on projects.
Tell us about something interesting from your field of work.
Well, most of our products are made of vulcanized rubber - a thermoset material which cannot be reused like thermoplastic materials. So, in cooperation with other companies and rubber compound suppliers, we are working on a very interesting project to devulcanize rubber scrap and reuse it as high-quality material!
What do you do in your free time?
I cycle to work every day but my favorite cycling activity is mountain biking. I play soccer with my team on Friday evenings and I play the piano almost every day.