Conveying and crane system at HVL in Liessel

  • Gantry crane in Optistore with SEW-EURODRIVE gear units

    Outstanding reduction of order lead time

    The Optistore warehouse contain 700 drawers that can house 2,000 kg steel plates each. From it the material is transported to two modern laser cutting machines.

Not only listed companies once started in a garage. For HVL Metaalbewerking too the garage was the starting point of something beautiful. Hans and Willeke Vervoordeldonk could never have imagined in 1994, when they started processing metal parts next to their home, how large their company would be after nearly 25 years. Nowadays HVL manufactures storage tanks, conveyor systems and warehouse applications tailored for customers in various industries.

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Symbol of steady growth

The plaque at the tree in front of the property phrases the steady growth of the company. The staff offered it on the occasion of the 12.5-year anniversary on 5 November 2006:

“Snel gegroeid, begin ik klein,
ooit nog als een kleine twijg.
Kreeg kleine takjes, nog wat fijn,
Ze maken dat ik gestalte krijg.”

Optistore - automated metal plates warehouse at HVL in Liessel


HVL Metaalbewerking B.V. is located in Liessel (North Brabant) and reached its current parcel size of 7,500 m2 after three expansions, spread over five halls. Plans for a next hall are ready. This expansion will again double the size. Meanwhile, the company has 75 employees.

As a matter of fact 'metal processing' no longer fully covers the operating activities. Asking what kind of activities HVL is doing, Thijs Kuijpers, project leader, replies: "Working with metal in the broadest sense of the word". To illustrate, he enumerates the orders that HVL has lately carried out: fluids tanks, frames, all kinds of machines and devices, piping and coach work."

Clients are active in the sectors of transport, food, feed, agriculture and horticulture, automotive and packaging industries.

From A to Z

HVL became big by processing metal: steel, stainless steel and aluminium. It all started on a small scale, as it is popularly called "the plate with the hole".

As the customer base was increasing, also the engineering department grew and with it the kind of orders. HVL refers to the products that do not yet exist: A customer is having a problem that he wants solved. He makes a sketch with the dimensions and the constructors at HVL go to work. Whether it's a mixing tank for liquids or a stair railing... The game is to further develop the customer’s idea and point out to him or her the opportunities to further embellish the construction.

Own metal sheets warehouse

The sheets warehouse is of an entirely different order. This application is a practical example of pure machine construction, expressing the company’s experience and determination nicely.

A few years ago HVL itself felt the need to automate the storage, transportation and processing of steel sheets and by doing so save time. Instead of outsourcing this mega job, the employees themselves set to work. The result, 'The Optistore ', is there now, in the center of the production hall.

In the sheets warehouse steel plates are modified to become semi-finished or finished products, driven by an ERP system. The Optistore (l x w x h: 48 x 6 x 8 m) has 700 drawers, each of which can accommodate 2,000 kg of steel sheets (3000 x 1500 x 25 mm). From the warehouse the material is fed to two state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutting machines, after which the products that still need to be squared, are automatically stored before being delivered to the customer. A time-saver trims the sheet metal parts and rounds them off in all directions, so that an even and smooth result is created. In total, there is space for the storage of 260,000 kg sheet material, where stainless steel is separated from steel. The Optistore reduces the lead time of orders, because the number of human actions is strongly reduced.

Contribution by SEW-EURODRIVE

SEW-Eurodrive has thought and engineered along regarding the sheets warehouse project at an early stage. Thijs: "We involved SEW, as you respond sharply, so that we can act quickly."

Therefore the portal crane of the sheets warehouse is equipped with quite some drive technology from SEW. In order to drive the loading movement, right-angle geared motors, type K37DRE80 and K67DRE90 have been mounted (for left/right latch and the in/out shifting), controlled by MOVIDRIVE® B application inverters, type MDX61B. For the main portal crane right-angle asynchronous servo gear units type KA127/TDRL160 (lifting) and KVZ87DRL90 (travelling trolley) have been applied, also driven by MOVIDRIVE® B inverters.

Logistics transport project

Thijs takes us to his customer Vendrig Transport in Someren. Vendrig is a logistics specialist in the area of tank transport, tank storage, mixing, handling and packaging of liquids for the agricultural and pharmaceutical market. Much of what we see on the company site, including giant storage and mixing tanks, come from the hands of HVL. Currently, a finishing touch is made with respect to a complete solution for the supply, filling, transport, wrapping and storage of vessels.

Also here quite some control and drive technology from SEW-Eurodrive is used. The automated filling machine is equipped with SEW servo drives. All conveyor belts are equipped with decentralized DRC geared motors of SEW.

HVL and SEW complement each other well.

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