Biobakkerij De Trog, Ontex and Van Hoecke NV, Factories of the Future from other industries

Since 4 February Belgium has seven more factories of the future: De Trog Organic Bakery, E.D.&A., JTEKT Torsen Europe, Ontex, Punch Powertrain, TE Connectivity and Van Hoecke NV were granted this label as a show of appreciation for their efforts. These companies have invested in state-of-the-art production technology, digitalisation, social innovation and ecology which now makes them top-of-the-range companies. We will discuss these remarkable companies one by one.

No less than seven companies have reached the status of ‘Factory of the Future’ after an assessment period. The striking fact about this edition was that the winners did not come from traditional technological sectors, but from a great diversity of industries: food, wood and hygiene. The three companies we are presenting here all have the same characteristics: dynamic, innovative and with an excellent record in these economically challenging times.

Biobakkerij De Trog

Biobakkerij  De Trog from Ieper, which started out on an attic in Bruges, has seriously expanded its business over the last couple of years with an annual growth of more than 25 percent. In close cooperation with local suppliers De Trog produces fresh traditional bread of the highest quality for retail, food service and an extensive network of self-employed organic retailers. Large-scale production, product flexibility (300 product references!) and short time-to-market of new products combined.

Read more about the transformations Biobakkerij De Trog underwent on the Made Different website(Dutch text)!

Ontex

The pioneering manufacturer Ontex, from Eeklo, smoothly succeeds in responding to changing market conditions and wants to play an important role in the global production network in the future.

The company grew from a mattress cover producer to a global player in the production of nappies, sanitary towels and incontinence solutions. On 23 high technological lines millions of products are produced each year. With more than 500 employees it is one of the largest employers in the region. The strategy? An R&D aimed at a unique product mixture, supported by process and product development. In past years investments were made in advanced production technology, digitalisation, ecology and social innovation.

Read the whole story of Ontex on the Made Different website (Dutch text)!

Van Hoecke NV

Family business Van Hoecke in Sint-Niklaas grew as a distributor of furniture fittings for the local market into a manufacturer of tailor-made wooden drawers and an international player. In distribution an 80 percent market share was reached and diversification in products was required. Van Hoecke looked at their customers and the challenges they face to implement the complexity and variation in their production activities quicker and more efficiently.

Go to the Made Different website for Van Hoecke's success story!

In the context of Made Different Sirris and Agoria are currently coaching more than 200 other companies in their transformation to a Factory of the Future. One or more transformations are ongoing at these companies as we speak. These companies operate in a wide range of industries: technological industry, food, textile, paper, pharmaceuticals, transport, chemistry, leather, furniture, medical, construction... It involves SMEs (66%) and large undertakings (34%) spread over all Flemish provinces. Sirris and Agoria estimate that about 50 companies will have acquired the ‘Factory of the Future’ label by 2018. During this period about 500 companies will be addressed and coached in realising one or more transformations (while 50 Factories of the Future excel in all seven transformations).