The early years
Melis Heinen and Cees Hopman founded the family business of Heinen & Hopman Engineering in the Netherlands in 1965. In this time, a major revolution took place when the first gas fields were discovered in the Netherlands. The two entrepeneurs specialised in the installation of central heating and air conditioning systems in residentials, offices, factories and schools. An empty bedroom functioned as office and a shed was used as workshop and warehouse.
The first official office
The founders moved their business into an self-owned office space and workshop in their hometown – Spakenburg – in 1969. Having the facilities to manufacture equipment in-house, the company started producing small equipment on its own, like ductwork and piping systems.
First footsteps in the commercial shipping sector
As Heinen & Hopman gained recognition for its onshore activities, by 1972 the company was receiving enquiries from commercial shipping firms and shipyards, like Damen and Royal IHC. The company also began to approach other sectors such as offshore, yachting and the navy.
First trade fair participation
The first trade fair Melis Heinen & Cees Hopman ever visited was Europort in Amsterdam. Their promotional activities during the event? They convinced their wives to be hostesses while dressed in traditional folk costumes. At Europort, the first international contacts were established with prospects from Poland, Nigeria and China.
Entering international markets
These first contacts have led to some international projects all over the world. An oil platform in Singapore, a hopper dredger in China and Stena Line ferries in Poland, to name a few.
An irresistible proposition
Aiming to conquer the superyacht market, Heinen & Hopman started to promise yacht builders they would deliver draughtless, whispering and invisible air conditioning systems. When a Hong Kong-based yacht owner asked for a silent AC system (because his wife would sleep in hotel rooms instead of onboard) the Heinen & Hopman solution was introduced by a renowned yacht building shipyard. The owner was so satisfied with the end result that he recommended Heinen & Hopman to all his acquaintances in the superyacht industry, especially in the Far East.
The second generation
Another milestone in 1985: the second generation enters the family business.
The first subsidiary abroad
The family business expands beyond national borders with the opening of a subsidiary in Singapore in 1991.
1991 also marks the year that Heinen & Hopman obtained ISO certification for the first time. Today, we are certified for ISO 9001, ISO 14001.
Over the course of just a couple of years, the family business expanded rapidly worldwide. Subsidiaries with offices, stores, workshops and test facilities were established in India, Germany, the USA, Romania, Turkey, China and Spain.
Relocation of the Headquarters
Due to our rapid expansion, we outgrew our old headquarters. The plan for a new headquarters originated in 2006, but the new building was finished in 2009 and offered us 3000 m2 office space, a 3000 m2 warehouse and a 1500 m2 workshop.
In order to provide our clients with the best HVAC solutions and excellent service, we need true craftsmen that have HVAC and shipbuilding knowledge. That is why we started our own company school in 2012. Each year, about thirty young engineers follow our in-house training and education to prepare them for their career at Heinen & Hopman.
2012 also marks the year in which Heinen & Hopman established a dedicated Research & Development department in order to succeed in our ambition to continue to grow in the global market of maritime climate solutions in a future-proof way. Developing energy-saving solutions is on the top of our agenda.
In the past decade, the Heinen & Hopman group extended its reach with subsidiaries in Italy, Brazil, Denmark, Korea, the UAE, Poland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, France, Austria and Australia. Furthermore, the company expanded to new market segments, like international navy vessels, cruise ships and fisheries.
3800m² of office space
As our workforce keeps growing, we have started the expansion of the headquarters with another 800m² of office space.