With a rich history in craftsmanship and entrepreneurship, Drenth Holland has all the knowledge and experience needed for a successful future. The 90th anniversary this year was preceded by the idea of the first generation of Drenth to make sieves to produce strawboard in their own factory. Nowadays, straw board is no longer produced, but a range of woven cloths and belts for all kinds of industries all over the world are.
Solid family business
Although there is no Drenth working in the company anymore, the specialist producer is still in the hands of the family. Ben Drenth, now 86 years old, is the last generation that walked between the weaving machines. He’s happy to explain how it all started: “I was actually born next to the factory. In 1964, I joined the weaving mill as manager. It had quite a history back then. My grandfather had a straw board factory, like the ones you’d typically see here at that time. He thought it would be a good idea to produce the fabric needed to make straw board himself. During the First World War, these were in short supply because copper wire from Germany was no longer allowed to come in. They set up a machine in a hall of the machine factory of a half-brother of his and that’s how it started. My father and an uncle of mine were put in charge of the weaving mill and so, in 1931 the Metaaldoekweverij Gebroeders Drenth was registered.”
Customisation and advanced technology
When the paper industry in the region declined, Drenth Holland focused successfully on woven products for other industries. The company now supplies custom wire mesh in both metal and plastic for producing companies in over 35 countries around the world. The great variety is the reason that one of the senior weavers Geert Mook, , after 40 years, is still quite passionate: “What we do requires a lot experience and accuracy. It takes a great amount of knowledge to adjust the machines precisely. You need to work with threads of different materials and in all kinds of varieties, with the tension needed for a taut fabric and also with all kinds of weaving patterns. It’s high precision work that constantly has to be checked, because it’s all about consistently high quality. If someone orders the same a year later, they will get exactly the same quality.”
Ready for the future
For Pieter Piersma, director, Drenth Holland is a future-oriented company. Pieter: “The great thing about Drenth Holland is that it’s a tight and compact team that works internationally and that has a lot of specialist expertise of the customers’ production environments. This is something you build up if you have a team of committed specialists, because that creates long-term relationships with customers. We continue to optimise, for instance by digitalisation and automation of processes, so that we are ready for the future. It might sound like something new, but in fact we have been a learning organisation for over 90 years, delivering reliability and quality by the millimetre.”