At appealing locations, top technology companies give a peek into their organization. As a valve to the Dutch Technology Week, the High Tech Discovery Route brings you along all high tech hotspots in the region. For young and old, for professionals and lovers, this day is full of surprising discoveries for everyone! There is a lot to see, to do, to experience it’s a day where you experience, as a visitor, that you are living, working in a high-tech country where you can be proud of. In a series of articles, E52 already took a look at the DTW High Tech hotspots. Today High Tech De Peel.

Visit 50 mini hotspots at the industrial park Willige Laagt in Liessel. This year, the hosts are Pim van de Mortel, director MCM, and Hans Vervoordeldonk, director HVL. “On the 20th of May we let people experience and show them what technique is about, together with 50 companies from Helmond and De Peel,” Van de Mortel tells.

Since 2010 Van de Mortel (33) has taken over the company from his father, he is the leader of the company which supplies machine parts for machining, construction, welding and sheet metal work. With this, the family business has entered its fourth generation. On the other side of the road is HVL, where they make semi finished products and complete machines.

Actually, everything we use nowadays had to do with technology, Vervoordeldonk says. “The cookie, the sandwich, the chicken on the sandwich, the frozen pizza. Everything, even the milk from the cow. It doesn’t give milk by itself, it takes a lot of technique.”

Last year both men joined the high tech discovery route for the first time. Then AAE was the stage for the third time. Both Van de Mortel as Vervoordeldonk became infected with the enthusiasm of the “DTW-family”, as Van de Mortel calls the club of 50 companies.

At that time they were already thinking of being host. Van de Mortel: “There is so much technique, here in De Peel; wouldn’t it be nice to do this in De Peel as well sometime, we said to each other afterwards.” So when the question came who would want to be the host in 2017, they didn’t hesitate a second.

On Friday morning the 19th they lay down production in the factory halls of both companies and they make space for the “50 mini hotspots”. Vervoordeldonk: “We shift things a bit, because technology can be felt and seen.”

“Technique can be seen and felt”Hans Vervoordeldonk, Director HVL

Every company brings along something, or does something to show what technique is. Children can fold a big trailer into a real stage by themselves, they can control a crane with a remote control or put toppings on a pizza and direct it to the oven. Especially for this day MCM built a roller coaster in which children can take a ride with VR-glasses on. “And I don’t know how we are gonna do it but in the back is a large field and there will held air races with drones”, Van de Mortel says. “Oh, and defense also comes with a flight simulator that lets you make a flight in a F-16.”

It is all about interaction, doing something, experiencing something, Van de Mortel says. There won’t be any folders nor stickers nor pens. “Actually it is a technical Efteling.”

Outside there is a demonstration area where students teams as Team Fast, STORM Eindhoven, Team Rembrandts and Solar Team Eindhoven show their technological developments. For example Team Fast has found an alternative energy source in formic acid. They drive a prototype of one meter on formic acid, Van de Mortel tells.

Both men consider it important for children to come in contact with technology at a very early age. Van de Mortel go along with it at the kitchen table. And Vervoordeldonk never played with lego, he just removed an old vacuum cleaner. On his 13th birthday he got a welding machine, a grinding wheel and a drilling machine from his father. “’Use this for a start’, my father said. That is when I got infected with technique. And 40 years later I am still doing the same, or just about. But, who gives is kid a grinding wheel nowadays?”

Visit these hotspots on the 20th of May, from 11:00 till 17:00: De Ontdekfabriek and Strijp-S (Eindhoven), Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven North (Best), High Tech Helmond – De Peel (location HVL – MCM in Liessel/Deurne), High Tech Campus Eindhoven and Kempen Tech (Hapert).

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About the author

Author profile picture Corine Spaans is a writer. She is particularly interested in the stories of the people behind the innovations and has a passion for sport (innovation).