Ruud Peters is a project engineer who has been with HEAVAC for 14 years. “Our salesperson sells something to the bus manufacturer, I lead a team of engineers to actually make that thing.”
If you have ever waited for a bus in the cold, you know the feeling when that bus finally turns the corner. Finally, you’ll be able to warm up in the bus. We have HEAVAC to thank for these warm busses. They make climate control systems for busses. In Nuenen the systems are designed, produced and tested.
Made to specification
When the bus manufacturer comes to Ruud, the bus is already designed. “The bus is practically complete, it just needs a climate control system. They tell us how much space is left and ask us to make something within those restraints.” At HEAVAC, everything is tailored to the client.
Since the rise of electric busses, the specifications from the manufacturers have gotten more strict. “In the age of diesel you could get away using generic systems. These days you are dealing with a battery. The bus has to get a certain mileage out of that battery. If we use too much of that energy, the bus won’t get where it needs to be.”
Winter all year long
The climate control systems are thoroughly tested. HEAVAC has a large climatic chamber where busses are tested in extreme weather conditions year round. In this testing room busses can be exposed to temperatures ranging from -25 to 35 degrees centigrade. The humidity in the chamber can also be accurately adjusted.
While HEAVAC works with climate systems, they recruited Vink for this big climatic chamber. “We build boxes for busses, this is a size up. We don’t have the required experience and we don’t have the time to do this right.”
All the features at a lower cost
The chamber itself was already built as part of a renovation. The question was: who’s going to take care of climate control? “We went searching on the internet and approached several parties. Vink was one of them.”
HEAVAC knew what they wanted, but admitted they did not know the best way to get it. “We said: “if you have ideas to make this function better or to make it cheaper, we’d love to hear that.” Our vision is not set in stone.”
Vink dove into the plans and came up with a proposal. “Vink presented a plan that saved us money while keeping all the features we were looking for. By putting themselves in our shoes and finding the best solution for our specific situation, they have won the bid.”
When the plans got approved, everything started to move fast. Vink ordered the parts and prepared them in their workshop, they created the software to drive the system and the technicians came to put everything in the right place. “A crane lifted the installation onto the roof, then Vink connected everything and started up the system.”
Vink programmed the climate control system with the operating system. It didn’t quite give the necessary level of control. “It didn’t hit the mark right away, but together with Vink we were quickly able to iron out any kinks. It’s not like they install the system and you never see them again.”
Ruud is happy about Vink’s response time in emergencies. “We did have some leakage, but it was quickly fixed. All we have to do is call, and someone will stop by to make sure everything is in order again.”