Below, you will find an interview with Arnout Breevaart, project manager of Lely. Lely offers innovative solutions for the farming industry. Interested in all the facets of our cooperation? Scroll down to read the interview!
Lely produces several products for the farming industry. One of those products is the milking robot, as the name suggests, a robot which enables automatic milking. This robot has been a part of Lely for over twenty years and has been central to Lely’s growth and where they stand as a company today. Over the years, Lely developed several complementary products to the milking robot.
Lely’s main goal is to make life for farmers easier. They create generic products because each farmer has their own needs and budget. As Arnout Breevaart says: ‘’It is like a car; there is a basis and on top of that many options and accessories are offered. Therefore, we have generic solutions which can be adapted to the farmer’s specific wishes’’.
Today, Lely is known for its robotic solutions but the founders, the brothers van der Lely, started the company with a completely different product: the finger wheel rake. Lely was founded in 1948 and their first product was a rake that was attached to a horse so that freshly mown grass could easily be spread across the land. Thereafter, they created several products related to tractors, eventually followed by the milking robot.
As briefly stated before, the following interview is with Arnout Breevaart who is a project manager at the product development department of Lely. This department is primarily responsible for the improvement and development of machines. Within the department, a distinction is made between three sub-teams: existing products, novel products, and innovation.
How did you get to know Nobleo Technology?
Personally, I was not familiar with Nobleo Technology, but a colleague of mine was. Changes within the market have a considerable impact on Lely and therefore we prefer to have flexible partners in addition to our in-house team. Logically, our own team does not possess knowledge or expertise on every subject, so we sometimes need help from companies such as Nobleo Technology.
What can you tell about the projects you did with Nobleo Technology?
The first time we reached out to was during the development of a new generation of the milking robot. We were renewing our technologies and at a certain point, we got stuck. Our in-house team and supplier were both at a loss on how to solve this problem, so we really needed an expert on this matter. That’s when we found Nobleo Technology. They had the expertise and they knew how to fix the problem. Their approach was different from ours, so we learned a lot from that. Most importantly, Nobleo Technology’s help was of great value to us, as we acquired new insights and could proceed with the development of our new milking robot.
For the second project, we were in urgent need of analytical and mechanical skills. Nobleo Technology seamlessly integrated into the team and was a very valuable addition. In short, it was a very good match.
Our latest project concerned a piece of expertise which required an architectural review. We faced a challenge with regards to a particular design. Nobleo Technology suggested a redesign and they created a new concept within a very short period of time. The improvement was immediately noticeable to our team. In general, I would say that we undoubtedly benefit from the expertise and knowledge, which helps us when we are stuck or lack the expertise ourselves.
And during the project, How does the contact with Nobleo Technology look like?
It depends on the project, but typically there are multiple contact moments during which we can indicate our level of satisfaction concerning the progress of a project. When Nobleo Technology is helping us out with a specific problem, we usually have meetings on a weekly basis.
My last question to you is: If you have to describe Nobleo Technology to a friend, what would you say?
I would definitely tell them about the expertise and domain knowledge. Moreover, I am very positive about the communication and the quality of the deliverables. I would tell them that Nobleo Technology helps us solve problems which we otherwise cannot solve ourselves, as they approach things from a different angle and see things from another perspective. This matches our vision and goal because at Lely we want to stay innovative and create value-adding solutions for the farmers. The different angle helps us achieve that.