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It is a HG clean deal!
Don't scrap, clean up! Foeth teamed up with cleaning specialist HG.
Why throw away what’s still good to use when it only needs a firm cleaning job? That’s what Dutch cleaning and hygiene specialist HG believes. And that’s a sustainable thought that fits in perfectly with Foeth’s green mission, so we jumped at the chance to help them dismantle their production site, clearing 600 machines and providing a second live to 120 machines via Foeth Stock.
Avoided CO2 : 690 tonnes
When a customer buys a machine with Foeth, 4.43 tonnes of CO2 emissions are avoided (per 1,000kg stainless steel. Just imagine how many CO2 emissions were avoided with this Foeth-HC partnership: a clean deal indeed!
Client: HG, Almere (NL).
Project: Foeth handled complete project management (inspection, appraisal, listing, removal, transport, storage, auction, paperwork) of the HG machines involved.
Sort of machines: blow mould department, complete filling lines, and powder filling lines (approximately 320 machines, and thus hundreds of tonnes of weight).
Removing fungus from bathroom walls, decalcifying coffee machines, chasing away mice or insects, wiping out ink stains from your clothes, making your car seats smell fresh (instead of dog) again… Look in the average Dutch bathroom or kitchen, and you’ll probably stumble upon a HG product. “The strength of HG is that we have managed to create our own brand block in DIY stores but also supermarkets: all our products together in one display, easy to find for our customers”, Bas Janse, CEO of HG, explains.
HG makes sure you don’t have to throw away the old to replace it for something expensive and new. The Dutch company gives all sorts of products new lives, just like Foeth makes sure that pre-used process machines are not taken to the scrapyard but get a second chance. Janse: “We certainly endorse Foeth’s green mission. Sustainability is something that we are even more focusing on nowadays. For instance, by introducing more refill bottles, using ingredients that are less harmful for nature, keeping our supply chains short and by monitoring our carbon footprint.” The match in sustainable mindset made the project a joy to work on. Andrej Pieterson, Director Foeth Program: “Both companies are very much aware of the impact that industries have on our environment. We both refuse to let valuable and useful materials go to waste. A shared vision guarantees a smooth cooperation.”
And a ‘smooth cooperation’ was indeed the case, in the first half of 2023, when HG and Foeth joined up to clear HG’s production site in Almere, the Netherlands. The equipment in this factory was used to mix detergents and blow, fill, cap, label, and package bottles. In short: the entire production line from A to Z was present in the factory. Some of these machines are as young as 2020, so it's important that they were dismantled properly, ready to be deployed somewhere else.
“For 25 years, we’ve had everything in one position: the lab, production, marketing. That is, of course, perfect. But we’ve have grown a lot over the past couple of years and needed more space to increase our production”, Bas Janse, HG’s CEO, says. “On top of that, we’ve been confronted with changing and more intricate EU legislation regarding the storage of chemical substances. And we find it increasingly difficult to find qualified technical personnel.” Also, HG has been confronted with some major global changes. Janse: “Over the past five years, supply chains have become more tense because of the energy crisis and COVID.” HG therefore decided that production would be outsourced with partners who know their way around quickly changing global legislation and can manage to keep supply chains short and sustainable.” HG’s head office, including Research & Development and marketing, will stay behind in Almere. A major decision, involving lots of logistic, legal, safety, and communication issues. It was vital to already start preparations for the clearance and sale of the production machinery as soon as possible. Because the deadline was strict and, above all, very short: between January and June 2023, the production site would have to be cleared. HG was clearly in need of a partner to take the complete clearance process (logistics, legal issues, equipment auction, et cetera) out of their hands. Janse: “Our maintenance manager had already worked with Foeth before and was very enthusiastic about them. We chose Foeth because they could realy unburden us in the entire process. And they managed to make us a very favourable budgetary offer.”
Foeth became responsible for the entire project management: logistics, legal issues, storage, the listing and auction of the machines, et cetera. Pieterson and his colleague Frank Beniers (Senior International Project Manager) were at the HG premises almost on a daily basis. The project took off in January 2023, but production at the site continued until March 2023. While the machines were still running, Pieterson and Beniers got to work. “Time is always a key factor in the machine business. We had six months from start to finish, which is relatively short to sell machines at a good price. So, the earlier we could start, the better, for us and HG”, Pieterson says.
They started to inspect, appraise and list the machines involved, and gave them labels with a unique tag. Then, they got the word out in Foeth’s pharmaceutical and specialty chemical network that the machines would be up for auction quite soon. And of course, they already began to make arrangements for transport and storage, adhering to the strictest safety rules. Pieterson: “The challenge was in the short deadline and the safe removal of the equipment. It’s a chemical company so we didn’t want to cause contamination.”
How does Janse look back on partnering up with Foeth?: “What was really satisfying about our cooperation were the short lines of communication. Andrej and Frank were here almost every day, acting and switching quickly, and preparing everything in detail. Time-wise, everything also went very smoothly; we did not have to worry about whether deadlines would be met.”
We are curious where HG’s machines will travel to next, off to their second-life adventure. We keep you posted. Interested to know if any HG machines are still available? Look here.