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Turning A Dream Into Reality

by PSG | Nov 01, 2018

KEES IN’T VEEN’S VISION FOR HIS ITT TRANSPORT SERVICE CENTRE AT EUROPOORT ROTTERDAM IS REACHING FRUITION THANKS TO THE OPERATIONAL ADVANTAGES PROVIDED BY BLACKMER® PUMPS AND COMPRESSORS


By Frederic Lambin

Quick Facts

  • Company: ITT Transport Service Centre
  • Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Market: Truck Transport
  • Distributor: Wiegel Transport Equipment, Moerdijk, The Netherlands
  • Challenge: Find reliable pump and compressor technologies that can be used to handle anything from hydrogen peroxide to industrial gases for a growing transport-service company at Europoort Rotterdam
  • Solution: Blackmer® STX and LGL Series Sliding Vane Pumps, and HDL362C Series Reciprocating Gas Compressors
Introduction
The biggest obstacle for anyone who has the entrepreneurial vision to build a business that can truly be described as a “one-stop shop” is that the work required to achieve that ideal state never actually “stops.” Just ask Kees in’t Veen, Founder and Owner of the ITT Transport Service Centre.

“We do a lot of things and my job is to take a ‘helicopter view,’” he explained. “My job is doing the things that others cannot do, so the big problems and the big decisions are made by me. I’m a little bit of a fireman here, so where there are fires I have to be there.”

If in’t Veen were getting a “helicopter view” of Europoort Rotterdam (also known as the Port of Rotterdam) in The Netherlands in an actual helicopter, what he would see is a sprawling business empire that he has essentially built from scratch. More than 40 years ago, what is now known as the ITT Transport Service Centre (with the “ITT” standing for in’t Veen Total Maintenance Tank en Silo) was basically a two-man truck-transport operation run by him and his father out of the family home in the small Dutch town of Berkel en Rodenrijs, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Europoort Rotterdam.

The ITT Transport Service Centre opened in March of 2006 on two hectares (20,000 square meters, or 65,000 square feet) of prime Europoort Rotterdam property. Today, though, it covers 13 hectares (130,000 square meters/427,000 square feet) and is home to five companies, owned by Kees in’t Veen, that are all dedicated to meeting the delivery, storage, inspection, cleaning, purging and maintenance needs of operators in the tank-transport industry.

“It’s a one-stop shop for the tank-truck industry,” said in’t Veen. “We do everything around tank containers and tank trailers, everything you can think of. We are hands-on, that is our mission, our vision, and that is very important. Since 2006, we are only doing building, building, building. We started with two hectares and now it is 13 hectares, so we are six times bigger in 12 years time.”

In the end, this is a success story that combines in’t Veen’s ambition and dogged determination with trust and loyalty, particularly with one certain brand of pumps and compressors: Blackmer®, Grand Rapids, MI, USA, a product brand of PSG®, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA, a Dover company. Through their reliability and performance, Blackmer’s products have played a leading role in the ITT Transport Service Centre’s growing prosperity.

In The Beginning…
It’s not often that hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) is an ingredient in a successful recipe, but for in’t Veen and what would become his Kees in’t Veen Tanktransporten B.V. subsidiary – one of the five ITT Transport Service Centre businesses – it became the main element for a company that has become the largest over-the-road hydrogen peroxide shipper in Northern Europe.

The personal vision of in’t Veen began to crystallize in 1992 when his company initiated a collaboration with Kemira Peroxides Europoort, a subsidiary of Helsinki, Finland-based Kemira Oyj, one of the world’s largest producers of H2 O2 . At that time, Kemira was in the process of opening an H2 O2 - production facility at Europoort Rotterdam, while in’t Veen was still operating a two-truck transport firm, which he had taken control of in 1986 when his father passed away.

“We grew slowly, but since 1992, when we became the main hauler for Kemira, that was really the start for us and it has grown bigger and bigger,” recalled in’t Veen. “We started driving two trucks for Kemira and now we have 25 special dedicated transports for hydrogen peroxide. There’s only a few haulers in The Netherlands that are dedicated to hauling peroxide and we are one of them.”

Kees in’t Veen had been using different models of Blackmer pumps in various capacities since 1987, but handling H2 O2 required a pump technology that could meet its unique material characteristics, mainly that it is corrosive and can emit irritating – even dangerous – vapors if mishandled. The solution was found in the STX Series Sliding Vane Pump from Blackmer, specifically the 80mm models.

“We have special dedicated transports for hydrogen peroxide, and it is a very difficult product to pump, but the Blackmer STX pumps are resistant to peroxide,” said in’t Veen. “Since they were installed, we have been using the STX pumps for 10 to 15 years and we are very satisfied with them because it is a pump that we only have to do routine maintenance on two times a year.”

The STX Series pumps excel in H2 O2 applications because they have been designed with a body and internal components made of 316 stainless steel, and also feature external ballbearing construction, chemical-resistant seals, bearings and O-rings, and non-metallic vanes, which result in longer life when handling corrosive products. They have excellent self-priming and dry-run capabilities with minimal product shear or agitation. The sliding-vane design enables the pump to maintain desired flow rates, even as the vanes wear. When the vanes do wear out, they are easily replaced with no need to remove the pump from service.

Growing And Growing
While H2 O2 can be called the foundation of Kees in’t Veen’s subsequent success, it was not the sole factor. He could have made a good living as a dedicated H2 O2 hauler, but he had a grander vision – which is definitely on display as you tour the ITT Transport Service Centre at Europoort Rotterdam.

Assisting in’t Veen has been Wiegel Transport Equipment, Moerdijk, The Netherlands, which has been supplying his preferred pumps and compressors since 2011. Wiegel is a distributor of pumps and compressors that are used in the transport of dry and liquid bulk products, with additional operations in Belgium, Germany and throughout most of Central Europe.

“For heavy chemicals, the STX is the best transport-related pump on the market,” said Rutger Opschoor, Sales Engineer for Wiegel Transport Equipment. “With Blackmer, the quality is good and what they do, they do very well; that’s what I like about Blackmer pumps. Not every manufacturer can say that.”

Beginning more than 30 years ago, the capabilities and trustworthiness of the Blackmer products that in’t Veen has deployed at his businesses have created a level of loyalty to the brand that is virtually unshakeable. For example, after seeing first-hand the performance and reliability of STX in handling H2 O2 , in’t Veen had one installed on the grounds of his Tank Cleaning Europoort facility at the ITT Transport Service Centre to perform transloading applications during product-evacuation activities for transports and containers that need to be cleaned.

Kees in’t Veen Tanktransporten also has a fleet of trucks that transport refrigerant gases. Those vehicles are equipped with 50mm Blackmer LGL Series Sliding Vane Pumps. The ductile-iron LGL pumps are UL-listed and feature a cavitation suppression liner that reduces noise, vibration and wear during their operation. They also have replaceable casing liners and end discs for easy rebuilding of the pump to like-new condition.

“We have gas trailers that are dedicated for gas transport and all are outfitted with Blackmer LGL pumps,” said in’t Veen. “These trailers need to be unloaded below 100 kilograms (220 pounds) to be considered empty and the LGL pumps do a great job. That is fantastic equipment. They save our clients a lot of money and time by emptying the trailers to acceptable levels.”

Another ITT Transport Service Centre business is Container Terminal Europoort, where up to 800 laden or empty liquid and gas tank containers can be stored before moving along to their next destination in the global supply chain. Again, the gas tank containers – which have capacities ranging from 700 to 1,400 kg (1,550 to 3,100 lbs.) – must have no more than 100 kg inside of them to be considered “empty.” For this evacuation job, in’t Veen employs a Blackmer HDL362C Series Reciprocating Gas Compressor, which is capable of handling hazardous, toxic and flammable gases.

The oil-free design of the HDL362C does not add any additional contamination to the gas being handled, while its full distance piece and piston-rod seals create a compartment between the gas and the lubricated crankcase, which minimizes any leakage to the crankcase or the atmosphere. High-efficiency polyetheretherketone (PEEK) valves provide superior sealing characteristics, high efficiency and durability, and the heavy-duty, precision-ground crankshaft features roller bearings and integral counterweights to ensure smooth, quiet operation.

“He’s been using Blackmer for a long time, since the beginning of the company 30 years ago,” said Opschoor. “The Blackmer products are very reliable, that’s why he’s loyal to us and we’re very loyal to him. Blackmer is a name that sells itself and the after-sales support is just as reliable as the pump itself.”

Conclusion
It appears that there is no stopping Kees in’t Veen in his quest to build the ultimate one-stop tank-transport service organization in Europe. And there’s more to come as in’t Veen is in the process of opening a satellite service facility in nearby Moerdijk and also owns 10 more hectares (10,000 square meters/32,800 square feet) of land with railroad access at Europoort Rotterdam, which will allow him to begin servicing railcars when it is eventually built out.

So what began as a simple family-based operation created by Kees in’t Veen’s father has become a tank-transport leader that still uses family values and long-established trustworthy relationships as the basis for its success.

“In 2005, we developed the company motto of ‘Visible Quality,’ which is not only a clean truck or a nice tank, but that you have the right equipment and the right people who can help you, support you when there is a problem,” said in’t Veen. “We have a long-term relationship with Blackmer, and it’s important to have good relationships. That may be old-fashioned, but we depend on good relationships and Blackmer has been good for us, which is how we separate ourselves from the other transport companies.”

About the Author:
Frederic Lambin is an EMEA – Sales Transport Manager for Blackmer® and PSG®. He can be reached at Frederic.Lambin@psgdover.com or +33 6 81863637. For more information on Blackmer’s full line of pumps and compressors, please go to blackmer.com or call (616) 241-1611. Blackmer is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA. PSG is comprised of several of the world’s leading pump brands, including Abaque®, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray®, EnviroGear®, Griswold, Mouvex®, Neptune, Quattroflow, RedScrew and Wilden®. You can find more information about PSG at psgdover.com.

Blackmer_ITT-Transport_1
The turning point for what would become Kees in’t Veen’s ITT Transport Service Centre success story came in 1992 when Kees in’t Veen Tanktransporten B.V. became a dedicated hauler of hydrogen peroxide for Kemira, one of the largest producers of the chemical compound in Europe. Along for the ride have been Balckmer® STX Series Sliding Vane Pumps, which are designed to be compatible with hydrogen peroxide’s unique transport and handling characteristics.
Blackmer_ITT-Transport_2
A great deal of the success that Kees in’t Veen, right, founder and owner of the ITT Transport Service Centre and its Kees in’t Veen Tanktransporten B.V. subsidiary, has experienced stems from the trusting and loyal partnership he has built with Rutger Opschoor, Sales Engineer of Wiegel Transport Equipment. Wiegel supplies all of the ITT Transport Service Centre businesses with the Blackmer® STX and LGL Series pump and HDL362C Series compressor products that keep the many facets of the operation running smoothly.
Blackmer_ITT-Transport_3
Kees in’t Veen Tanktransporten operates a fleet of 25 dedicated hydrogen peroxide transports, all of which are able to meet the demands of a highly specialized application by being outfitted with Blackmer® STX Series Sliding Vane Pumps.
Blackmer_ITT-Transport_4
Blackmer® STX Series Sliding Vane Pumps feature a 316 stainless-steel body and internals with chemical-resistant seals, bearings and O-rings, all of which make it an ideal solution when transferring corrosive liquids like hydrogen peroxide.
Blackmer_ITT-Transport_5
The capability of the Blackmer® HDL362C Series Reciprocating Gas Compressor to completely empty tank containers makes it an indispensable piece of equipment at the ITT Transport Service Centre’s Tank Cleaning and Container Terminal Europoort businesses.
Blackmer_ITT-Transport_6
The ITT Transport Service Centre at Europoort Rotterdam is constantly full of activity, and pump and compressor technologies from Blackmer® play a prominent role in ensuring that all of the site’s various businesses operate smoothly, safely and reliably.