Joining me are founder and MD of GCSS, Krikiov Djabourian and Darren (GCSS M+S Director) and two engineers from Abu Dhabi representing the Space Technology University faculty

It took a little longer than expected….

A few months ago, in my first blog, I explained that you could expect to hear from me with a blog every month. That was September, so it took a little longer than expected! Unexpected new developments within the Brecon Group are the cause of this. At the beginning of October, a shift took place within our shareholder structure and a change in the management composition was directly related to this.

As you may imagine, changes such as these have an impact on an organisation. The management team was faced with much extra work. Wim van Ree, our financial man, will be adding more general tasks to his employment package.

Frank Moelands, as technical manager, will ensure that all projects are running smoothly and he is, of course, quite busy with all of the works that have recently started up and those that were completed last month.

I, myself was also busy providing support to both of these colleagues and in fulfilling the entire commercial process. At this time, the new organisation is firmly positioned and we going full steam ahead!

Export activities successful in Germany and other places

In Germany, PP4C has been given the assignment to build roughly 2,500 m² of cleanroom technology. These past months, we built a smaller (temporary) cleanroom of 325 m2 and now we are about to begin the serious work in ‘die Heimat’. A challenging assignment with a tightly planned work schedule. Whether it be projects large or small, we are supremely satisfied with the international developments in general and this great project in lovely Bayern in particular. We are looking forward to this challenge!

Also active in the Middle East

In November, I also unexpectedly spent 5 days in Abu Dhabi to train the team of our local PP4C distributor GCSS and provide support at the Clean Zone conference; organised in this part of the world for the very first time. At the request of the organisation, I gave a 20-minute speech on “Controlled Environments from a global perspective”. A theme which also elicited an array of responses in Abu Dhabi during the forum discussion that I headed along with four other experts afterwards. Do we want to implement the same technology and identical materials at our international company locations or will we allow the management team to make other choices at a local level? Do we also want operational reliability and lower maintenance costs with better opportunities to exchange personnel and have similar OSPs (Operational Standard Procedures)? These topics resulted in some interesting discussions. Unfortunately, I was there a week too early; otherwise I could have witnessed the F1 race live with our hero Max Verstappen.

The next stop was in November: EHEDG Conference in London

At the end of November, I also attended the EHEDG World Conference on Hygienic Engineering & Design in London. This was a prime time event for all organisations that are involved with the Hygienic Engineering and Installation of facilities for the production and processing of safe foods and related products. As you know, we as PP4C(E) see a clear growth potential in the food industry and consider Food Safety as an important topic of discussion. That is also why we were present here as a Gold Sponsor and the international food market was able to get acquainted with our Controlled Environment concept! Happy to report that we were invited to come discuss our hygienic building concept at various company locations in a range of countries in and outside of Europe after our appearance here.

At the EHEDG World Conference in London with a colleague from STULZ

More places to visit in 2018

We have, by now, also been asked to build a cleanroom in America. Preparations have begun as have the permit procedures.  For those of you who have experience with building in America, you will know that acquiring the necessary building permits is not an easy task. (With the local fire department being the strictest!) Certainly when it comes to an area where there is a real earthquake danger, like Silicon Valley in California. I will spend a week there this month with our supervisor Boris Wessels to visit the site.

You may not realise it, but a flight to San Francisco takes about 11 hours, the same amount of time as say, a visit to China. On my return flight, I will have a stop-over in Washington to speak to the management of our PP4CE partner STULZ about this project, so my flight back to Amsterdam will be much more comfortable…..

It was an eventful year…

2018 was, in many aspects, a very eventful year. I already described all of the changes at a company level above. On a personal note, I am glad to report that the operation on my ankle has brought the desired result. Most likely, I will be operated again at the end of 2019…for those of you who have noticed that I always wear a brace and/or an orthopaedic shoe – In January of 2017, I contracted bacterial infection and I lost the cartilage in my right foot. A permanent handicap is the result! Unfortunately, I will never walk normally again. But, as you may have noticed from my travel reports, this hasn’t stopped me from working hard! My lovely wife Tineke has now been free of cancer since after a serious operation in 2013 and we are so happy she has overcome this major hurdle!! My youngest (twin) daughter Minke will deliver our ninth grandchild in February of 2019 – what a gift. All is well with our other three children and grandchildren! What more could a man hope for?

2018 was, for me, concluded in a truly satisfying fashion and in 2019, I hope to again be keeping you up-to-date on everything I come across in my journeys. I wish you all a great month of December and a wonderful new year!

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