International projects are filled with lessons and experiences

The Masters in Membrains report that working with international clients is different due to the differences they encounter in language and culture. Proper planning and communication are also vital in the area of logistics and engineering. So the projects in Belgium, the UK and Germany are instructive and useful experiences when we enter the international stage.

Differences in language and culture make things interesting

After Sales Manager Eric van der Wal says the cultural differences with Germans are quite limited, but it’s noteworthy that they prefer to communicate in German. “I think there’s a great atmosphere in Germany, it’s nice to work there,” he adds. Sales Engineer Marte Roorda also cites the linguistic and cultural differences: “Belgians are less direct and more polite in their communications. But that doesn’t really cause any misunderstandings.” She is enthusiastic about the international ambitions of Wafilin Systems. “I really enjoy collaborating with different cultures. You can learn so much from each other!”

Different from a Dutch project

Projects outside the Netherlands also differ in terms of logistics and planning. Manager Sales Engineering Thomas Roersma: “Brexit made it quite a challenge to transport the components to England.” This posed a real risk of delays due to certain components getting held up with English import regulations. Also, from a distance, you sometimes have less insight into the progress of processes that are critical to the delivery of our systems. For instance, the construction of the plant was not complete when he arrived, and he had to adapt to ensure successful commissioning. “It takes a certain kind of flexibility and ability to put yourself in the client’s shoes to get the project over the finish line,” explains Thomas Roersma.

SmartFlex appears to hit the mark

Due to the distance, careful consideration of the structure of the membrane filtration system was critical. Eric van der Wal explains the modular system: “Main components and supporting systems are designed to be as modular as possible – made up of blocks containing all the wiring and instrumentation. These are relatively easy to transport. All that’s needed on site is to connect them to water, electricity and air.” This approach, resulting in the SmartFlex system, has proven highly popular thanks to its speed and convenience. And that’s why it’s now the standard for our projects – both at home and abroad.

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