JOURE – There’s still a good pulse in bricks-and-mortar heroes. Take Holland Marine Metals, maker of building kits, metalwork components and marine-grade plates and profiles for yacht and shipbuilders and the offshore sector.
In only 25 years it has become a go-to company to cut and bend sheets of steel and aluminum for clients worldwide.
Brothers Ab and Jan Meutgeert founded MMH in 1995 and have turned it into a one-stop supplier of complete, prefabricated parts and construction kits for yacht and shipbuilders.
Annually, MMH processes 14,000 tons of steel plates and profiles, 400 tons of marine-grade stainless steel and 1,800 tons of aluminum for maritime projects, says MMH Commercial Director Peter Aukema.
Working in 6 industrial park buildings, MHH makes workboats, full aluminum yachts, superstructures, fast ferries, crew suppliers, doors, hatches, masts and small leisure craft.
“We have 3 plasma cutting machines, 2 for cutting steel and one for cutting aluminum into pieces of up to 3 x 3.5m,” says Aukema. Plasma cutting – going through electrically conductive materials with a hot plasma torch – is commonly used on steel, aluminum, brass, copper and other conductive metals of up to 5cm (2 inches) thick.
Over the years, the quality of plasma cutting has improved greatly. The technology limits tolerances to about 1,5 mm. MMH uses an inkjet marking tool to draw lines and ID numbers.
Plasma cutting for steel build kits is common but has its limitations for aluminum because it is so heat-sensitive.
A decade ago, MMH began laser-cutting aluminum for yacht builders. “Today, 75% of our aluminum production is laser-cut,” says Aukema. “And all text and line data are engraved on the material, on both sides if necessary. For yacht builders, we cut the thicker aluminum and stainless steel parts, up to 150mm.”
MHH ships all parts ready-for-assembly. They have been checked for burrs, for instance, so a builder can start immediately. For 3D hull bending and shaping, MMH uses 9 presses and also T-profiles.
MMH’s expertise has gradually turned it into a co-maker in yacht building projects.
“We like to be involved at an early stage in consultations with the engineer and builder,” says Aukema. “Once the design and construction plan has been made, it is up to the engineer to define the production subtleties. Our client will only benefit if the engineer knows the details of our cutting techniques and the possibilities of our sheet metal working.”
Over the past 25 years, MMH has become future-proof.
About 30% of its production ends up in the industrial market. The company exports to, among other countries, Britain, Tanzania, Egypt, Canada and Norway and annually takes orders from some 200 clients abroad. In the Netherlands, it works for many steel and aluminum yacht builders and builders of workboats.