INTERVIEW WITH KIWA. HOW PRODUCTS INCREASE PROFITABILITY FOR USERS
Kiwa provides services in the field of testing, inspection, certification, training, and consultancy. As a Partner for Progress we support our clients creating trust in their products, services, processes, (management) systems and employees. Kiwa does so in a wide variety of markets segments, ranging from construction and energy supply to drinking water, healthcare, food, feed & farming.
Interview with Jan Pieter Bijkerk, Country Manager at Kiwa Netherlands.
Easy Engineering: Which are the most innovative products/services and what special features do they have?
Jan Pieter Bijkerk: Over the last couple of years, we have developed cyber security services for our customers. Appliances and devices, domestic as well as industrial, are increasingly connected to the internet. This does make us more vulnerable to hackers and other cyber criminals. At Kiwa, we test the cyber security of industrial and consumer devices with a chain approach, assessing and certifying every aspect of the security chain. To this end we offer both TIC-services and ethical hacking services.
We are also heavily involved in the renewable energy transition. We have a unique position in the field of hydrogen, both when it comes to the application of hydrogen in the built environment and in the automotive industry. Kiwa has high-quality technological consultancy in-house to provide clients with advice on the application of hydrogen.
Recently we have been digitizing of our services. For example, we have developed an e-licensing system that replaces the current paper or plastic permits or certificates on personal competences. New technologies have also changed the way we perform inspections. For example, instead of inspecting roofs and facades by climbing a building, we now perform inspections using drones and augmented reality.
E.E: How important are these features for the users in their work?
J.P.B: Kiwa wants to help companies and organizations go forward as an independent, impartial and innovative partner. It is our mission to create trust by contributing to the transparency of the quality, safety and sustainability of products, services and organizations as well as of personal and environmental performance.
E.E: How important is innovation in your field?
J.P.B: Our markets are always in motion, due to new legislation and quality standards and the fact that we closely support our customers when they have developed new products or new features to existing products, like IoT or circular entrepreneurship. But we are also innovating the way we work ourselves, for exampling by increasingly carrying out remote inspections and audits.
E.E: How do your products/solutions impact cost effectiveness for the users?
J.P.B: Kiwa’s services support our customers in getting their products ready to market as quickly as possible, which can be crucial for success. On the other hand, Kiwa needs to safeguard its position as an independent third party. Besides certification of products, Kiwa certifies companies and their processes. A good quality assurance system, checked by Kiwa, always strengthens cost effectiveness.
E.E: What kind of work do users who use these products/services do?
J.P.B: Kiwa’s core business is safeguarding people’s health and safety by providing high quality verification services. In many cases, this role originated from a governmental mandate in sectors including gas, energy, drinking water and construction or product safety. People who directly or indirectly ‘use’ our services are active in a multitude of jobs, ranging from management and QHSE consultants to engineers and operators in heavy industries.
E.E: How do your products increase profitability for users?
J.P.B: Kiwa’s services in itself do not increase profitability. Based on knowledge and expertise we support customers in getting their products and services certified. Kiwa will always base its processes on state of the art expertise, so we can follow our customers in their innovative approach in developing new products, strengthening cost effectiveness and reaching commercial success.
E.E: How do your products/services differ from other types on the market?
J.P.B: Our expertise and know how on all kinds of specialized, complex products is well known over the world. Our experts differ, because we focus on all kinds of niche market areas.
E.E: How do your products help solve users’ problems?
J.P.B: As an expert in the application of hydrogen in the automotive industry we also support manufacturers by developing extended test programs on high pressure tanks and components for hydrogen vehicles. One of the biggest challenges facing hydrogen car manufacturers is the storage of hydrogen gas. This has to be done under high pressure to keep the size of the hydrogen tanks within limits. Those tanks and their components have to meet strict requirements and are therefore extensively tested under the most extreme conditions. For this, manufacturers can turn to Kiwa’s hydrogen lab in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, one of the few in Europe and even far beyond.
E.E: What products/solutions are you going to launch in the future?
J.P.B: We expect data analytics and data driven business models will increasingly develop the TIC market. This will change the way we cooperate and interact with customers. Kiwa will grow further and will add new market areas, due to acquisitions. With a focus on vital infrastructures in general, and sustainability, the renewable energy transition and cyber security as main business topics we will support our customers improving the world.
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