16 november 2021
Whether you know him as Mr. RotaChock, ex-owner Machine Support, or that enthusiastic big bald guy walking around every global exhibition, Ron Arendse has been and still is a well-known face in the Gap-Filling industry for more than 35 years. But who is this guy, and where is he coming from?
Ron Arendse was born and raised in Rotterdam, the oldest son in an entrepreneurial family where he has been force-fed the concept of service since he was a little boy.
“My father was self-employed in drive train technologies and running his own company. In our family, we were taught that customer satisfaction is everything! When your customer is in crisis, you have to step up and relieve them from all their trouble.” Following in his fathers’ footsteps, Ron studied mechanical engineering & business administration. He started his early career at the drawing table of the Dutch engine manufacture Bolnes Motoren, nowadays Wärtsilä.
But, his entrepreneurship started to itch, and Ron started working as a self-employed sales engineer. “I started selling the RotaBolt. These modified bolts and studs allow a specific tension to be applied. In these early days, I noticed that bolting and mounting did not have the dedication they deserved. By then, I have already seen what happens when you mount your machinery the wrong way. After a few years, I got the chance to enter a company through a management buy-in. So, young and enthusiastic, I participated in the company Machine Support in 1988” The company focused on alignment and mounting of rotating equipment aboard ships by using epoxy resins. In the Benelux, they acquired sales rights for the famous Epocast 36®.
Time is money
“Aboard ships, we faced enormous time pressure from owners who had to get sailing again. They did not have the time for the Epocast 36® process of damming, mixing, pouring, and waiting 36 hours for the curing. Together with our team, we listened to the customer and developed the first adjustable steel chock in the market: Vibracon®. For the first time, our customers had a time-saving and adjustable solution.” Business took off from that moment, and the once small company went global with a portfolio of laser alignment and chocking combined.
Then in the late nineteens, after many successful years, SKF came into the picture. “Together with SKF, we planned to integrate our alignment competence in their portfolio and make this know-how available for the entire SKF Group. At the start, we were very successful, but after full integration, new corporate strategies did not match our service attitude to make it a lasting success. So after staying on as director for eight more years, I left in 2009.”
In the years that followed, Ron ventured into different forms of companies. “Looking back at these different types of business ventures, one of the essential business rules remained that the foundation has to be good. So, I went back to my roots and founded Chock Design and the RotaChock® product lines in 2009”. In the next years, Chock Design opened subsidiaries worldwide and expanded its global footprint. “If you look at in retrospect, we simply changed seats at the table. In my early Machine Support days, we solved the problem with the guys at the service level; now, we prevent the problem at the design desks. We can do this by sharing our knowledge regarding alignment, soft-foot, and by creating gap-filling solutions.”
“Today, I still see daily challenges and struggles in the market. In my honest opinion, our story about alignment, filling the gap, and soft-foot should no longer be necessary but should form the basis of an engineering process. But there is still work to be done, people to train and insights to give.” Ron his story forms the core value of the company today. Together with the RotaChock® network, they will continue to spread their story and be there to teach you about filling the gap the right way.