Machine builder TAP with world class reputation
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Machine builder TAP with world class reputation

  • 14 June 2021
  • Door: Esther van der Lelie

Tap Machinebouw has been designing, building and maintaining machines for the food industry for 55 years. With great dedication, because the machines are sold all over the world. With the move to new premises in Zoetermeer, Tap wants to continue to grow and take new steps in realising innovative and tailormade solutions. 

"We deliver standard machines but also realise turn-key complete production lines," says Dick Koster, owner of Tap Machinebouw. "We do everything in-house, from design to manufacturing to installation. We produce customised products for our customers' production processes. Think of diaphragms that form balls, hamburger forming machines, transport lines, customised de-nesters, lid closers or other applications such as filling or garnishing. And we offer solutions, also for problems that a customer had not thought of beforehand. That makes us specialists in our field. We deliver solid solutions that actually last too long," he says with a laugh. He is proud of his team that realises tailormade solutions that enable clients to automate their business.

How did Tap Machinebouw originate?

Jan Tap started in 1964 in Rijswijk with the development, construction, modification and repair of (baking) ovens and diaphragms for the bakery industry. Later, the fast food sector followed by automating the production of croquettes and takeaway machines. Employee Ruud Grimmelikhuizen took over the company in 1985 and moved to Zoetermeer. After the introduction of ICT in industrial processes, he expanded the range to incluce packaging machines, forming machines for products such as hamburgers and meatballs, and filling machines. In 2003, he handed over the reins to his employees Floris van Veen and Dick Koster. The customer base grew and exports intensified. Floris said goodbye in 2017, Dick continued: "In 2018, I entered into a partnership with one of our largest customers; Risco, which led to a growth in global exports. The move to larger premises in January 2021 was necessary." Brigitte Aartman, manager P&O, takes over. "The move means we can breathe again and there is room for our team to take on customer requests even more professionally."

Why do food manufacturers choose Tap?

"Our craftsmanship is well-known in the food industry. Clients - supermarkets, the catering industry and food production companies - come to us through word of mouth." Proudly Dick explains, "We have great ambassadors, loyal customers with whom we have been working for 50 years. Why do food manufacturers come to us? Because they have a request to (start to) automate or want to speed up their current processes because they can no longer cope with manual production. In addition, customers call on us for spare parts and for maintenance services."

What questions do you get?

"Our customers want a solid installation with as little maintenance as possible, which ensures that production is higher or consistent." Dick cites some examples: "Presenting balls of filet americain with a round shape at the top in the packaging, adding sauce in an even shape per package to spareribs, extruding cream cheese in a desired shape to then add a garnish at the top. Or the visual enhancement of a product presentation by having herbs move like a waterfall over a tray with an application that makes it possible to sprinkle garnish evenly." In addition to maintaining their own machines, Tap also provides technical advice on problems with other machines. Dick remembers an incident: "A large machine line broke down at a customer's premises. The supplier could only come five days later for repairs. Because we know how important continuity is, we looked into the problem and fortunately were able to solve it quickly." 

Where does your strength lie?

"Our core business is making machines and maintaining them," emphasises Brigitte. Our starting point is always the customer's request. Our strength lies in thinking along and coming up with solutions. Our product often takes more work out of their hands than was asked for in advance." The machines developed by Tap are in demand. For example, the hamburger forming machine is very popular worldwide. Dick enthusiastically mentions more examples: "I am proud of our supplied cheese lines in which we unstack buckets with a handle, fill them with cream cheese on the conveyor belt and put the lids on. I would also like to mention the addition of a second spring roll line at a customer, with the aim of doubling capacity."

What new steps are you taking?

"We look for innovation for every customer. We improve processes and reduce costs and energy consumption. In our larger premises, we can now also produce machines in series. We dare to take these steps because we have a good basis. A permanent team of employees who have been with us for a long time and possess knowledge and expertise. We provide our customers with a lot of added value and remain involved in the maintenance." Dick concludes with words that are important to him: "We are a reliable and customer-oriented partner."

Photo: © Fotobureau Roel Dijkstra

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2021