Home International Renson outdoor living: unique example of the automation of custom-made products. Sustainable Renson production site ready for the future
Renson outdoor living: unique example of the automation of custom-made products. Sustainable Renson production site ready for the future

Renson outdoor living: unique example of the automation of custom-made products. Sustainable Renson production site ready for the future

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The offices and showroom are still in the last stretch towards completion. However, the production of patio covers and other garden accessories has started behind the 380 m long façade of the new Renson ‘Outdoor living’ site along the E17. At the press of a button from anywhere in the world, a patio cover configured online goes into production. This is unique for a sector in which Renson makes the difference thanks to customisation. Renson continues to manufacture sun protection and ventilation systems in Waregem. Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits dropped by to officially open the new production site, which Flanders is also investing in.

Three times the production capacity

The start-up of this new production site comes not a day too soon for Renson’s outdoor living department. The demand for patio covers has really burst at the seams over the past few years as people start investing more and more in their own gardens. “A trend that continues – even after the Covid pandemic. And so it’s a blessing that this site will eventually allow us to produce three times as much as we did in Waregem,” says Dieter Heyman (General Manager Outdoor at Renson). “We’re already able to start producing here, barely two years after ground for this new building was broken, the relocation of the machinery from Waregem and a completely new software package that controls outdoor production digitally. The entire Renson outdoor living range – from patio covers to carports, garden and façade elements to parcel post boxes – will be delivered from here to the rest of the world.”

 

Dieter Heyman: “From anywhere in the world, a personalised patio cover configured online goes into production.”

 

Standardised production of customisation? A masterful feat!

The fact that outdoor living equals customisation at Renson and is full of options and personalisation possibilities makes this production site extra special. “Especially when you know that customers from all over the world can configure any customised patio cover online,” Dieter Heyman explains. “It goes into production here at the press of a button. Each order is fully coordinated digitally: from configuration through processing and colour optimisation to delivery. Comparable to how it is done in the car industry, but then one step further with unique orders up to the mm, of which no two are the same. This was an important condition for continuing to invest in local production.” “And we welcome that,” adds Flemish Minister of Economy, Innovation and Employment Hilde Crevits. “This production site is a good practical example of how innovation goes beyond the product level, by looking for the most optimal production flow tailored to what rolls off the line. The brand-new production line, full of innovative concepts, demonstrates Renson’s dynamism as a family business from Waregem. Flanders has invested 2 million euros in the company to retrain its employees, to train new workers with the latest techniques and to organise language training.”

 

Hilde Crevits: “This production site is a good practical example of how innovation goes beyond the product level, by looking for the most optimal production flow tailored to what rolls off the line”

Frank Vanhauwaert (Renson Group Production Director): “Specifically, every patio cover that goes out of here goes through a dedicated process. From the raw profiles in the automatic high bay warehouse to the packaging per box, everything is perfectly traceable. This allows us to optimise the processing, coating, and packaging of the thousands of different customised orders as efficiently as possible. When you know that there are up to 500 different parts in a patio cover, you understand why this production has become a truly masterful feat in that respect.” “This investment is primarily one with an eye to the future,” says CEO Paul Renson. “Outdoor living will continue to grow in importance in the years to come, and as an innovative company, we want to take full advantage of this. To continue this growth, we are always looking for additional people for this branch.”

 

Frank Vanhauwaert: “When you know that there are up to 500 different parts in a patio cover, you understand why this production has become a truly masterful feat”

 

“We have jobs”…

The giant letters of this message still adorn the factory wall along the E17 side. “Because yes, even in a modern, digitally controlled production environment, you need the right people and knowledge to be able to deliver the quality customisation that Renson stands for,” Paul Renson says. “Passionate metal workers, planners, warehouse staff, installers, paint line operators, packers, technicians, as well as planners and quality controllers…; these are the profiles we are currently looking for to fill the 50 vacancies at this production site. In order to run this production at full capacity in the future, we have already recruited 50 additional people since the beginning of this year, so that 150 people are currently employed here. By the beginning of 2022, we want to have a total of 200 people working here. By the time the test and training centres, offices, and ‘NOA outdoor living’ showroom are completed in 2022, there will already be 300 employees.”

Paul Renson: “Even in a digitally controlled production environment, you need the right people to be able to deliver quality customisation”