Sound-absorbing pictures made from recycled jeans, “Probots” in production and a subscription system for reusable materials: at the large format specialist Probo in Dokkum, the Netherlands, innovation is not just an empty word but a day-to-day reality. In the latest episode of Zipper’s Insights, Managing Director René de Heij revealed what exactly that means.
“There are so many opportunities that we are not yet taking advantage of. There is still so much to improve,” says the CEO – and yet Probo is already extremely advanced in many respects: production is highly automated, “Probots” – a made-up word from “Probo” and “Robots” – help with the flow of materials through the various processes, packaging is optimized for the product, and with its own logistics companies, the company is gradually making itself less dependent on traditional service providers. This in turn allows a new sustainability cycle, as it means that not only can packaging be taken back and reused directly – banners, PVC films and the like that have served their purpose can also be collected again in a short space of time, fed into their own recycling cycle and turned into new products.
Maintaining innovative strength
New products, by the way, is also the keyword when it comes to opening up important new customer groups at Probo. After all, the large-format specialist, which exclusively serves resellers by printing and processing around 300 different materials every day, attaches great importance to constantly developing new things – regardless of whether this involves processes or products. If you listen closely to René de Heij, the latter works best when you understand the customer – and “functionality and design go hand in hand”.
However, that’s not all, because another pillar on which Probo’s success is built is its employees. “Probo is more than just a place to work,” he ultimately sums up. “We want people to take pride in what they do at our company. And to do that, we also have to show what’s possible.”
So it’s no wonder that Probo also has acoustic pictures made from recycled jeans – or non-woven wallpaper that can compensate for unevenness in walls. CEO René de Heij revealed in an interview with Bernd Zipper which other factors play a role in enabling the Dutch company to regularly maintain its growth between 25 and 30 percent per year.
So if you want to know what the acoustic panels or the “Probots” are all about, or what exactly is hidden behind “Motiflow” and Probo’s own subscription system, you should click straight into the latest episode of Zippers Insights.