First ELEMENT for Benelux

Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2024.03.06 The third-generation Dutch family business, J&B Grijpers, develops, produces, and sells wire rope and hydraulic grabs, perfectly adapted to bulk material handling. True to the company motto "J&B Grijpers - Grabs everything you want!", the globally active production company has "grabbed" a complete solution from Messer Cutting Systems and is saving a lot of time with the first ELEMENT plasma bevel cutting machine in Benelux.

To guarantee its customers a continued high standard in its wide range of standard grabs, J&B Grijpers is investing in its production facilities. "We wanted to bring our machinery back up to the state of the art," explains Armand Cretz, Production Manager at J&B Grijpers. "For the grabs, we cut the components ourselves. Our existing plasma machine could only cut straight parts. We had to make all the bevels by hand to prepare the components for internal welding of the grabs. The time-consuming manual operations caused a lot of work and tied up too many resources."

Bevel cutting with Industry 4.0 functionality

The company produces between 80 and 120 grabs per year with capacities ranging from 1 m³ to 45 m³. For cutting the sheets, the company was looking for a new modern machine with bevel function for weld seam preparation. The goal was to purchase a modern plasma bevel machine with Industry 4.0 functionalities.

So, in addition to the flame cutting machine, a complete solution was required, including

  • digital planning and time recording of cutting jobs,
  • connection to the nesting software and
  • connection to the existing ERP system.

"We wanted to make our cutting department fit for the future. With a machine that cuts all welding preparations and is connected to our software solutions," explains Edgar Joustra, Managing Director, J&B Grijpers.

Bas Sanders van Well, Business Unit Manager Benelux at Messer Cutting Systems, recalls: "We came into contact with J&B Grijpers through GEHA Laverman in Zaandam. J&B Grijpers had outsourced cutting work there. When we heard that J&B Grijpers was looking for a bevel cutting machine at a fair price with powerful software including installation from a dependable supplier with strong service in the Netherlands, we got in touch immediately."

Convincing on site

After initial discussions, a team from J&B Grijpers visited the European plant of Messer Cutting Systems in Groß-Umstadt (Hesse). The aim was to assess the cutting and machine performance of a MultiTherm in comparison with an ELEMENT. The ELEMENT delivered results that perfectly matched the customer requirements.

The ELEMENT has been working in Utrecht since June 2023 with a cutting area of 3000 mm x 6600 mm. It is equipped with the plasma bevel unit Bevel-S in combination with a Q 3000 plus power source from Kjellberg and an ALFA oxyfuel cutting torch. It is completed with a cutting table from Beuting including a filter unit.

Added to this is the latest version of MesserSoft's OmniWin CAD/CAM nesting software with the Bevel option and 3D import option for Solid Edge. With this software the customer is able to convert 3D components into 2D components and automatically recognize welding preparations.

An impressive 55 minutes instead of 3 hours

The efficient project management of Messer Cutting Systems Benelux in combination with a smooth installation of the machine ensured a quick start of production.

"The visit to Groß-Umstadt already impressed us very much. The professional planning and preparation of the installation then further confirmed our positive opinion of Messer Cutting Systems. But the biggest milestone for us was the first acceptance part that was successfully cut on site. The first bevel cut met our expectations 100 percent" says Theo Vermeulen, Production Engineer at J&B Grijpers, happily. "We are especially excited that the parts are now 100 percent prepared and ready within 55 minutes, compared to three hours it used to take us for the same cutting task."

The new machine not only saves a lot of time but also achieves excellent cutting quality. But welding preparation and work preparation are also much faster with OmniWin and the ELEMENT. The lower noise level is perceived by the operators as a significant improvement in working conditions.

Production Manager Cretz is convinced: "The stability of the machine and the bevel function have already helped us a lot. We are now much more flexible and can process more orders in a shorter time and this for many years. Time is money and this machine will save us a lot of time. We now put that into building our grabs instead."

Next steps

J&B Grijpers is already planning the next steps, especially in the direction of digitalization. "We would definitely opt for this solution again. With the ELEMENT we have a good, stable machine with lots of possibilities and good support from the guys at Messer," sums up Edgar Joustra.

Theo Vermeulen adds: "Currently we are still working on the integration of the 3D software with OmniWin. In the next step, we will couple the ELEMENT with our ERP system for material management and scheduling. When we are familiar with the machine and all its possibilities, the implementation of OmniFab will be on the agenda."

The OmniFab Suite supports the creation of quotations and is used for production planning, control, and monitoring. A demonstration of the modules has already taken place. End of September, the use of the Industry 4.0 software solution at J&B Grijpers was discussed in detail.

What matters

"We need more and more flexibility in our production. Machines must be able to cover more complex cutting tasks and save us working time. This is a trend that is becoming increasingly important from our point of view, especially in view of the dwindling number of qualified workers," Armand Cretz sums up.

He advises companies that also want to move in the direction of Industry 4.0 and digitalization of pro- duction: "Take your time, select the right partner without haste and look at what other companies are doing. Also think about all the necessary changes and technical requirements in your production hall such as flooring, electrical supply as well as gas supply."

ELEMENT - Productivity redefined

The highly flexible all-rounder from Messer Cutting Systems is safe, efficient, can be automated, is versatile and can be expanded with hardware and software from a single source. The ELEMENT is the multi-talent for all common cutting and additional processes, for series tasks with continuous use as well as special tasks where the focus is on perfect cuts.

Plasma bevel unit Bevel-S

Whether complex contours, holes, or bevels for weld seam preparation: specially developed for use with the ELEMENT platform, the Bevel-S can be used very flexibly. It enables precise bevel cuts in the angle range from +45° to -45°. Due to the rotation of ±540° with high acceleration, the machine is used highly efficiently. For the perfect result, the torch height is automatically and precisely controlled by the arc voltage during the entire cut.

Oxyfuel torch ALFA

The ALFA torch allows the nozzle change without tools, which eliminates the need to align the torch and drastically reduces set-up times. The cap unscrews easily, exposing the nozzle for easy inspection or replacement. Material is utilized more efficiently as the ALFA effectively cuts to and along the edge of the plate.

CAD/CAM Software OmniWin 2023

The CAD/CAM software OmniWin 2023 from MesserSoft is a simple, clear, and fast design and nesting software that adapts intelligently to the machines and requirements. It takes care of all the cutting tasks involved, tailored to order-based production with CNC-controlled flame-cutting machines.

DOWNLOAD Press Release here as PDF file.

Image 1: The ELEMENT machine with plasma bevel unit Bevel-S and ALFA oxyfuel torch from Messer Cutting Systems.

Image 2: Messer oxyfuel cutting torch ALFA: Improved material utilisation through optimal sensing and cutting, also along the edges.

Image 3: Easy-to-use Global Connect control with nesting plan from the OmniWin CAD/CAM software.

Image 4: J&B Grijpers is happy with the purchase of the modern plasma bevel machine ELEMENT with Industry 4.0 functionalities (from left): Armand Cretz, Production Manager, Theo Vermeulen, Production Engineer, Bas Sanders van Well, Sales Manager MCS Benelux and Edgar Joustra, Managing Director

Image 5: Instead of the previous three hours, only 55 minutes are now needed to prepare and cut the parts.

Image 6: Whether for manual or automatic nesting: With the OmniWin CAD/CAM software, you can achieve perfect plate utilisation.


Messer Cutting Systems является мировым поставщиком передовых технологий. Наша продукция и услуги становятся мировым эталоном качества в металлообрабатывающей промышленности. Являясь лидером рынка в данной отрасли, мы предлагаем комплексные решения и стратегически ориентируемся на консультационную поддержку наших заказчиков и разработку необходимых им новшеств. Мы продолжаем работать над цифровизацией технологических процессов и продукции. Компания Messer Cutting Systems имеет 5 филиалов с производственными площадками, где задействовано более 800 сотрудников. Наши представительства есть более чем в 50 странах по всему миру.

Ассортимент выпускаемой нами продукции включает системы газовой, плазменной и лазерной резки, от ручных резаков до специальных станков, применяемых в судостроении, а также оборудование для газовой сварки, резки, пайки и нагрева. Запасные части, услуги по ремонту и модернизации оборудования, а также системы очистки дополняют линейку выпускаемой продукции. Наши решения в области программного обеспечения позволяют оптимизировать производственные и бизнес-процессы. Ассортимент продукции расширяется за счет решений, предоставляемых нашими технологическими партнерами, в частности, в области автоматизации.
Мы стремимся к постоянному диалогу с нашими заказчиками. В достижении этой цели нам помогают наши современные центры практической подготовки. На мировом уровне компания Messer Cutting Systems является лучшим партнером в области систем резки, газокислородной технологии и предоставления консультационных услуг для заказчиков.