Both TV-programmers and digital specialist press approached our company for contributions to broadcasts and publications. This tells us that we can be seen as a company with a lot of knowledge of (special) materials.
“They come to me for ‘crazy materials’”, technical specialist Ricardo Craans of MCB Specials smiles when he explains why he made his TV debut on 20 April with the scientific program ‘Galileo’ (RTL 5). “The program makers wanted to create an item about memory metal. And that is ‘crazy’ metal, because you can pre-program it to a certain form. When the material cools down, it becomes shapeless. But if you heat it up again, it will jump back to the pre-programmed shape.”
“I think they found us through Google, because we can supply this material. Initially they only wanted to order one piece, programmed in the word ‘Galileo’. But then the question came whether I wanted to accompany the item on TV. A little bit scary, yes, to talk with a large camera at one meter from your face. But it was a special experience.”
Did you get a lot of responses? “Yes, a lot of likes on Linkedin, which was very nice. But also of customers. I think a TV-performance certainly contributes to the image of MCB as an expert company, in which we in Almere play the function of specialist in special materials. Our new name MCB Specials is well chosen, the differences in roles begins to work better and better. MCB Direct and MCB Netherlands also refer more and more customers to us, when there is need for special materials. The cooperation is becoming increasingly obvious.
Technical engineer Arno van Wijnen of MCB Specials believes that this is generally the fun and challenging experience of being an expert: He was interviewed by online platform maakindustrie.nl on titanium alloys. He is, literally, committed to the material in head and heart. ‘’Yes, that is true. I have quite a lot of knowledge about it. In technical customer discussions and in the lessons I give at Summa College, it is often about titanium, but certainly also about other materials.’’
With the interviewer of maakindustrie.nl, Arno discussed standards, properties and applications of titanium alloys, including in space travel.
Arno: “Publications are always good. They help people who want to know more about titanium anywhere on the world come to us. Sometimes I get questions about special materials from the strangest places. When I ask how they found us, it is very often: ‘Google’. Sharing knowledge and explaining it to you in a passionate way, that needs dedication.”
“I recently had a surgery and the surgeon used titanium wire. So now I have it in my body as well, you can call me an expert with experience. Who knows, I might be able to persuade doubtful potential customers to help them decide, haha.’’
“Materials science is actually the most beautiful profession in the world.” From that statement, you can recognize metallurgical advisor Wonnie van Beek. Just about everyone who shakes his hand feels his enthusiasm. And since 27 April, all viewers of TV program De Rekenkamer (NPO) are also aware of this. It was the first thing that the TV-presenter heard when she asked if he can tell us why there are price differences between three frying pans they brought in.
The ‘TV-question’ came through the order desk via colleague Ton Clermont. First he discussed it briefly with the marketing department. ‘Suppose we demonstrate through research that a pan only cost 1 euro in material, while a customer of ours sells it for a high price. The customer will not like that. Our Marketing colleagues however said that we’re not in the pan market, so there was no risk.” Finally at least 2.5 hours of extensive filming took place. Wonnie: ‘They made little use of this in their broadcast. I was a little disappointed about that, but later I understood from marketing colleague Edwin Vlems that public service broadcasting was not allowed to advertise explicitly. So I understood their decision.’’
In the film, we see colleague Wim Geerssen cutting the pans and examining the material under the microscope. Wim also expected a little more ‘MCB’ in the broadcast: “all together, I spent 1.5 days doing all the preparations. You have to analyse the material for those pans, embed them, sand and polish them well before you can look at it microscopically and say something about it.”
Do you think that ‘Hilversum’ has now found the national metal expert? Wonnie:’’Who knows, we have opened the door in any case. As a company, we have given a lot of cooperation and dedication towards that item. It was certainly appreciated. I also said that they can always call when there are questions. I always like to give an explanation, if people are interested in it.’’