From nuts to climate control systems

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From nuts to climate control systems
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Professionalism | From nuts to climate control systems

Services for international shipping

– by Hille de Graaf, May 30

Heinen & Hopman is a supplier of climate control systems and materials to shipyards around the world. One of these yards is Damen, an international shipbuilder headquartered in the Netherlands. Damen designs and builds innovative top-quality vessels and also provides maintenance and repair services. With a global personnel database of over 8.000 Damen builds a wide range of standard hulls.

I’ve been working for Heinen & Hopman for 26 years and would like to discuss in this blog the fascinating activities we perform for Damen shipyard and my work within Heinen & Hopman itself.

From nuts to climate control systems

The HVAC systems for vessels built in shipyards first have to be fully calculated: what exactly is needed with regard to cooling, heating, ventilation and air conditioning to ensure that the desired climate can be achieved on board? In short, you could summarise my activities as composing these complex ‘building kits’ to ensure they contain everything necessary to attain the required temperature: from the smallest nuts to large climate control systems, including installation instructions. These kits are compiled in our warehouse in Spakenburg, the Netherlands, for sending to the yard, where the packing list is carefully checked before being installed by the yard. One of our engineers then checks whether everything is functioning properly.

From chief mechanic to senior project engineer

As Damen has shipyards around the world, our building kits for HVAC systems are often sent abroad. Because every country has its own demands related to climate control, it is a genuine challenge to compose the right HVAC system for each vessel and every global location. I am fortunate therefore to be able to leverage on a wealth of experience and professional knowledge, including from the years before I joined Heinen & Hopman. For 11 years I worked as chief mechanic at one of Damen’s yards, active in the field rather than the office. As a result, in my role as Heinen & Hopman project engineer I know everything about vessels and their systems – from ventilation to the electronic specifications.

“Thanks to my experience as a mechanic I am now working as an engineer on vessels that I know by heart.”

This specific expertise can also be invaluable as I am point of contact for all installation mechanics abroad, including in shipyards in Vietnam and China. I provide them with items such as test lists and electrical diagrams with which they can test the systems. As such, my 11 colleagues and I ensure that all the cooling and heating materials required to build the perfect climate system for every vessel are ordered and delivered.

Hille de Graaf | Senior project engineer

Hille de Graaf has been working at Heinen & Hopman for 26 years. He started out as a mechanic, worked as commissioning engineer and currently holds the position of project engineer. His work led him to visit many countries all over the world. He is passionate about his job and loves the technical aspect of it.