“The design and development of something that does not exist (yet) is something I find challenging. Back then and now. They often call me a Gyro Gearloose!”
In his office you see a large, about twenty years old, photo where a young Jos Pasmans is working together with a colleague. ‘The search for technical solutions does not stop at five o’clock, it can also keep me busy at home and is almost a hobby.
More than thirty years ago we came up with solutions from a technological point of view with materials and tools that were available back then. In the year 2018 our tasks are just as complex, but we work with advanced resources now.’
From 2D to 3D
‘Designing happened at the drawing table with a pencil or ink pen on special drawing paper, 2D. Even then, we already made complex and high-quality machines. Only, it took much more time. The last 15 years the drawing pens have been replaced by computers. The making of technical drawings has thus become more efficient. You can now completely draw up the machine via a 3D model and check much more in advance.’
Prototype versus standard
‘Thirty years ago, you could get hold of much less standard. So we made a lot of prototypes. Time consuming and costly. Only much later, parts or machines were taken into production and are available as a standard.
Back then, the technique was mostly based on mechanics. We always searched for extra tools to make everything nevertheless possible. You have to be creative in this field.
The purchase of a so-called frequency controller was effective but very expensive.
Nowadays, with affordable servo motors you can slow down or accelerate movements within a gigantic range and also stop with an accuracy of tens of millimeters. Powerful to see.’
When asked about a special project in his career Jos immediately answers the first Gasshaker! ‘We have built this huge, complex machine of approximately € 800.000 within 1 year. After the first Gasshaker great orders from all over Europe followed. In the meantime customers can test their product at their own location, using our laboratory unit, before they decide to buy our machine.’
Of course not every project runs flawlessly. Jos reminisces about a project that took a lot of headaches. ‘We were asked to develop a machine that could pack 333 (he still knows this exactly) frozen potatoes per minute. These gratins of -15 °C (!) were still packed manually by the ladies of the factory in a room with a temperature around freezing point.
We accepted the challenge and that we have known. The conditions were much more complex than anticipated. Eventually we realized a perfectly working machine. A costly but instructive project, Jos concludes. More details about production automation and this project can be found here.
Requested; mechanical- or electrical engineers
‘Together with my colleagues from mechanical-, electrical- and software engineering we provide automated production lines from design till site acceptance. Each question or a problem in the field of technique we see as a challenge and there we sink our teeth into.
During my youth you could choose for a HTS education focused on mechanical-, civil- or electrical engineering. Since my childhood I have always been technically creative. I wanted to know how things worked. My heart lies with the mechanical engineering and I have therefore deliberately chosen for an education in mechanical engineering.’
General education ‘Engineering’
‘Currently the HBO-education in Heerlen is a more general education ‘Engineering’.
Unfortunately we see that students nowadays miss a solid technical basic education. They lack knowledge in practice. The business world is screaming for technical specialists. We must solve this gap between education and the business world. But how?’
Yet Jos Pasmans stays optimistic. ‘Occasionally we have trainee(s) with a heart for technical technology, such as Koen van Dinther and Brian Janssen who we offered a job during their internship. We are happy with those youngsters!’
A nice job
‘Despite the fact that the work pressure is much higher nowadays, it remains a wonderful job. I mean it, working with pleasure is really important.’
“The design and development of something that does not exist (yet) is something I find challenging.”