Alucol: innovative (colour) anodising since 1971
Alucol anodises and colours aluminium and the company is the market leader in the Benelux. We have two lines of process baths. One is for anodising and colouring aluminium components up to lengths of 7.5 meters, and we are the only company in the world to have a natural anodising line for lengths up to 22 meters. We use this to anodise items such as boat masts. But we can also anodise heavy aluminium constructions or parts up to a weight of 2.5 tonnes. Our unique colour options make our surface treatments increasingly popular for use in architecture, utility construction and industrial applications. Since 2019, we are the exclusive licensee for Sandalor® colours. These colours are exceptionally good for colour anodising aluminium components for outdoor applications.
Below you can read the story of our almost fifty years of experience in innovative colour anodising and the added value we provide for our clients.
Founder – Frans Wuts
Our story officially starts in 1971. As a student of Structural Engineering and later a manager within various internships and companies, Founder Frans Wuts familiarized himself with the anodising process. It fascinated him immensely and the entrepreneurial blood of his family motivated Frans to become an entrepreneur. So, in the early 1970s, he started setting an anodising company in Neer with a just a few employees. Frans believed firmly in the future of aluminium as a product and in the anodising process. It could replace traditional materials and offer new possibilities – and what a current vision that still is today!
A company name was chosen quickly – “Alu” for aluminium and “col” for colour. He already saw colour anodising as his specialization right from the start.
The small team built a factory building with an office at the company’s current address. The old line has since been modernized but some original parts are still intact. And the company maintains its high level of quality after fifty years in business.
Bronze: the first anodising colour
Shortly after establishing the company, Frans began to experiment with colour anodising. The first coloured anodised aluminium was bronze and it was used in a building in Mönchengladbach, Germany. His son Roderik (later company owner) told us that whenever the family passed that building, his father always remembered it fondly.
Frans preferred to be in the workplace, working with his team on innovation and improvement. His organization was well-organized and uncomplicated. The first manager was appointed in 1996, a chemical engineer instead of a business administrator. That was typical of his vision – knowledge of the craft was paramount.
Son – Roderik Wuts
Frans' son Roderik Wuts came to work at Alucol in 2000. He modernized the administrative processes, invested in a website and gained ISO 9001 certification. In 2002, Roderik took over Alucol from his father. After professionalizing the IT system, the company focused on offering a track & trace system for customers. Alucol was the first anodising company in the Netherlands with such a system.
But how could the company offer its clients even more value? The answer turned out to be in the area of supply chain management. Customers remain positively surprised about our Lean Manufacturing process – our goal is always to realize maximum value for our clients, and with the least possible waste!
A 22-metre anodising line
The next step to maintain the company’s uniqueness was Roderik’s development of a 22-meter line in 2005. Following his father’s example, he had the entire new line designed by an in-house team of engineers. The 2008 crisis made things a little tense but the 22-metre line was still commissioned in 2011, and it remains unique. This line became profitable within a single year.
The company’s specialization in colour anodising, its unique 22-metre line and Lean Manufacturing process did not go unnoticed. The Swiss BWB Group, a major European player in surface treatments with clients worldwide, expressed an interest in acquisition. Since the beginning of 2016, Alucol has been an independently operating company within the BWB Group. We share our expertise and knowledge and skills and continue to learn from each other – A win-win situation for both Alucol and BWB.
Director Frank Veelenturf
Frank Veelenturf has led Alucol since 2016. BWB asked his then manager Frank to take over the general management. Frank has the same passion as Frans and Roderik for the colour anodising process, as well as for working with his team on applying and responding to new developments and continuously improving products and processes. In recent years, Alucol has invested heavily in expanding capacity and modernizing all its production processes. The clients’ interest always remains paramount. Environmental matters are also playing an increasingly important role. Since the beginning of 2019, Alucol also has ISO14001 certification.
We continue working on expansion of our programme, to ensure that we stand out in the field of colour anodising.
Alucol adds more
Alucol thinks things out creatively with you, continuing development and continuously improving. And we go into it all profoundly! Naturally, we use our knowledge to provide our clients with the best quality product and at a competitive price. But we also advise on efficient logistics flows, preventing failure costs and the most sustainable possible methods of packaging. We work on development as a team. We continue to invest in technical and business knowledge, and in offering opportunities to young talent.
Letting everyone (on the labour market) participate
We believe that everyone has talents. That is why, for more that fifteen years now, we have been offering ten employees with a labour market disadvantage, a fully-fledged, protected work position within our production lines. We work in partnership with Westrom on this. And this is a valuable team within our Alucol family!
Allowing everyone to participate, is a concept that we promote locally too. We are involved with our neighbourhood, the local football club and the civil guard, and we support local events.
We believe that working safely, sustainably and healthily is very important. Naturally, we purchase sustainable equipment, materials and goods. But we are also aware of the risks of working with hazardous substances and we strive to prevent environmental incidents. Reducing our energy consumption and waste separation for reuse are continuing improvement processes. In this way we contribute to the preservation or even improvement of our local environment and nature in general.
As you can see, founder Frans Wuts vision is fully alive and thriving, even after fifty years. And that gives us confidence in the future!