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In 1978, Blommaert Aluminium Constructions started with the design and production of aluminium hatch covers for inland shipping. More than 40 years later, the family business has become the market leader in this sector. In the future, Blommaert wants to focus more on the development of aluminium constructions for various applications in industry.

Retractable roof for sand-gravel shed

Blommaert’s strength is that the company runs each project from start to finish, from design and measurement to installation at the customer’s site. Since customer satisfaction is very important to us, we also offer a comprehensive after-sales service all the way to South America.

Exploring new markets
In the beginning, Blommaert designed and manufactured products mainly for the shipping industry such as sliding hatches, radar masts, wheelhouse ladders, etc. When the shipping sector was under pressure, Blommaert saw an opportunity to enter a new market, that of industry. The recent diversification from aluminium sliding hatches for shipping to movable roofs for industry is still generating interest all over the world. Customer’s demand for our custom-made mobile roofing systems is growing, both within and outside Europe. Recently, we have realised some impressive projects such as the coverage of 12 salt warehouses on Charles de Gaulle and of a limestone storage on a power plant in Abu Dhabi. Another upcoming project is one for the city of Basel in Switzerland, where we will provide 72 moving covers for the basins of a water treatment plant.

The mobile structures which we design and manufacture are mainly meant to cover the storage of biomass, manure, salt and hazardous materials. However, our products are recyclable and can be fully customised which gives us countless opportunities to meet the needs and wishes of various industrial clients.

Bending cell in new production hall

Going green with our sliding solar hatches
Since more people were interested in our electrically driven products such as the retractable roofs and hydraulic hatch cover cranes, we decided to explore the possibilities of green energy.

“Blommaert wants to contribute to the needs of the current and future generations,” says CEO Tom Blommaert. “Sustainability is an important theme in this matter.”

Sliding hatches with solar panels on ship Oleander

With the help of solar energy specialist Wattlab, we were able to equip our sliding hatches and retractable roofs with solar panels. These so-called solar sliding hatches and roofs provide power to the customer and can be used to open and close the hatches and roofs. In order for the telescopic hatches and roofs to slide over one another easily, we use flat, light and pliable panels.

Tom Blommaert, CEO of Blommaert Aluminium Constructions

Investing in workplace automation
The entry into a new market and the product innovations put our production capacities to the test. After all, in our manufacturing areas in Wijnegem (BE) and Werkendam (NL), the majority of production was done manually, which meant we operated less quickly and less efficiently than desired. For this reason, in 2018 we relocated production from
Werkendam to Rotterdam, where we built a new facility. One year later, in 2019, we invested in a brand new production hall with an automatic laser and bending cell.

Because of the fast and precise nature of the machines, we can deliver even better quality and offer a faster service. In the long run, we expect the production automation to provide more efficiency in our workshop and greater profitability.

Blommaert largely owes its success to its innovative character. It transformed from a small aluminium constructor for inland navigation to a diversified industrial group with a focus on aluminium constructions. The company is not afraid to take calculated risks in order to grow, always keeping its core values in mind: quality, flexibility and service.

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