Text: Matrix Software, Lieke Bousema
Photos: Akker Metaal en Matrix Software

Pioneering and staying ahead with technology - that has been the passion of Akker Metaal for fifty years. 'We build everything, from specialized semi-finished products to unique steel structures. Together with the client, we always arrive at creative solutions. But also, at the very best results, based on the power of steel. Every project is custom-made. That makes this profession so special,' says director/owner Arno van den Akker. 'The combination of steel construction and sheet metal processing under one roof allows us to harness all steel's advantages and be maximally flexible. We have all services in-house, from design to production and installation. An advanced machine park, with as many processes as possible automated, ensures efficient production and fast delivery.'

Director/Owner Arno van den Akker

'We are in a competitive market where labour costs need to be kept as low as possible. Automation helps with this.'

Automation of production

'Automation is essential in our sector,' emphasizes Van den Akker. 'We operate in a competitive market where labour costs need to be kept as low as possible. Automation helps with this. That's why we have invested in a modern machine park, where, for example, the cutting and drilling of steel beams is fully automated. Additionally, what's truly remarkable is our robotic welding processing centre (BLM), where various steel assemblies are welded fully automatically.'

'Special BLM software directly translates the welding lines from the Tekla 3D model into the correct welding robot instructions,' he explains. 'This helps eliminate errors caused by communication interference and ensures a consistent high welding quality. The welded assemblies that go on site always fit perfectly.'

Control over the business operations

Where Akker Metaal uses Tekla for the engineering, the company uses Matrix Software for its business operations. 'In 2005, we compared various software packages from different suppliers,' says Van den Akker. 'Based on intuition, we chose MatrixMetaal, which could handle the complete quotation calculation, management, time tracking, material procurement, invoicing, and post-calculation. Two years ago, we transitioned to MatrixProject CRM/ERP/MRP, which offers even more possibilities.' This transition was quite exciting for Akker Metaal, he explains. 'Because how will the transition go? Will all the data that has been accumulated over the past years remain available? Fortunately, everything went very smoothly.'

Bidding more competitively

'We felt that software developments at Matrix Software had stagnated for a while. There were very few advancements,' Van den Akker explains. 'MatrixProject has positively surprised us in that regard and is continually evolving. Both in terms of functionalities and capabilities, which again provides us with a future-proof software package. MatrixProject serves as an ERP system for us, where relationship management, document management, project management, order management, and time tracking come together efficiently. We can extract a wealth of information from the software. What has been calculated at the project level regarding materials and hours? And does it match reality? Based on this, we can make even more competitive quotes.'

The robotic welding processing centre (BLM) is very special, where a wide range of steel profiles are automatically welded fully.

Work group

To keep the software up to date for the future, Akket Metaal regularly shares its experiences and wishes with Matrix Software. 'Furthermore, we will soon be participating in a work group to improve the job preparation in MatrixProject further,'says Van den Akker. 'And in other areas, we constantly seek optimizations that benefit both of us.'

About Akker Metaal

Akker Metaal was founded in 1973. Starting in an old blacksmith shop in Schaijk, the family business has significantly developed. Since 2006, it has been located in a new modern facility at Ketelmeer in Oss, which expanded considerably four years later. Thanks to a new hall of 1,500 m2, the total production space is approximately 5,000 m2. In combination with various new and innovative machines and 20 skilled employees, Akker Metaal can fulfill any customer request.

Since 2006, Akker Metaal has been located in a new and modern building at Ketelmeer in Oss.