"Die Maschine Made in Bizkaia"
Source: El Economista. Click here if you want to see the PDF.
"The quality of a product relies on testing the materials used to produce it."
Founded in 1961, Hoytom is a third generation family business that has been designing and manufacturing quality control and material testing equipment for over 50 years. It is located in the Bizkaia province in the Basque Country, well-known for its strong business environment and multiple synergies. In today's world, in which every sector strives for excellence in its components and products, Hoytom has carved a space for itself by helping companies to find points for improvement in the materials that they use in their processes, from design and production up to the final product, through its testing machines.
Hoytom has over 50 years´experience manufacturing destructive testing machines
Its teamwork-based philosophy makes it feel the need to work hand-in-hand with its customers, developing testing solutions tailored to their requirements and specific features. This approach has allowed Hoytom to become a national benchmark in this field and also to maintain a privileged position internationally, exporting its products to countries in every continent. Solutions for all sectors In the framework of its specialization, Hoytom provides solutions to all types of sectors. Its regular customers include companies in the automotive, aeronautical, metal, paper and corrugated board, plastics and wood sectors, among others. For this reason, its R&D&I department is constantly evolving, making its customers' future needs its projects of today.
Hoytom designs, machines and assembles its testing machines, which allows it to have full control over each of them
One of the strengths of Hoytom is that it is a company that designs, machines and assembles its testing machines, which allows it to have full control over each of them, using highly qualified staff with extensive experience in manufacturing and assembly, together with the machine tool necessary to achieve the required quality in all its products. Located in Leioa (Basque country – Spain), 10kms from Bilbao, Hoytom’s facilities occupy an area of 1800m2, which is used for manufacturing, storage, offices and a calibration laboratory. Die Maschine (the machine) "is our claim”, states Hoytom’s management, “because we are sure that our testing solutions are the driver of improvements in processes in all kinds of sectors. Quality and excellence are our goal and, therefore, our challenge, in which we want to involve all the customers who believe in Hoytom".
Its machines are tailored to the requirements of each customer
Hoytom has a calibration laboratory to provide a verification and calibration service in its customers’ laboratories (in situ), certified as an ENAC Calibration Laboratory since 1996, which demonstrates our commitment to quality. Convinced of the importance of education and training, Hoytom also offers training courses to any companies, universities, research institutes or groups that request it.
Iván García del Hoyo and Jon del Hoyo Andrés Managing Director and Production Director of Hoytom, respectively
The following interview brings us closer to the activity of Hoytom from the inside, from the perspective of two of its leaders. They tell us about how they work in Hoytom and the value added by its testing solutions.
What value does the fact that Hoytom is a family business add?
Family businesses are characterized by a long-term vision. The values that are transmitted generation after generation are perceived by customers, suppliers, and distributors, generating confidence, even more so when the members of the family, as is the case with Hoytom, are leading the day-to-day business.
The third generation is now in charge… what aspects would you highlight in the history of Hoytom? What decisive steps have been taken?
The most complicated period was at the start. It was our grandfather who had the courage to start up this business as one of the many people who emigrated from other regions, in his case from Asturias, to the Basque Country in search of an opportunity for him and his family. We should always remember where we come from. He remains a benchmark for us even today and one of the values that we hope will continue to live on in the future generations of the family. We cannot ignore the fact that staying in the business for over 50 years has not been easy and that many others have fallen by the wayside. The key has been consistency, hard work and being able to adapt to the changing times. We are aware that our customers' needs and requirements change continuously and we need to be constantly evolving.
What do your testing solutions offer?
We all want quality in our products and achieving that quality means we need to test the materials used in the production process. We provide testing solutions that specifically improve production processes, but we also provide solutions during the product design process and at the end of the whole process, with the final product. We can say that thanks to our machines, all the companies that form part of a product production process meet the required levels, ensuring that the process is in line with the standards and that no problems will be found in the next stage of the chain. We always talk about ensuring the traceability of the material testing used in each process. It is important to test the product at each link in the chain so as to identify any potential anomalies that can spoil a significant investment of money or, even worse, lead to a product reaching final consumers that does not meet their expectations, leading to a poor image of the company.
More and more companies see our machines as a point for improvement in production
So your machines should be understood as a point for improvement in production for your customers? In what sense?
Of course, they are a point for improvement in production, as it is in the production process where we provide the greatest value. The most important thing is to make full use of the resources that each company has and not to waste them. In this regard, our machines help companies to choose the materials that they will use to build their development or product and thus to optimise costs. A poor choice of a material or a poorly executed production process may lead to million-euro losses and that is why quality controls in the production chains are so important.
Do the customers really understand this? What kind of company profile do you work with?
Many companies understand this as the corresponding regulation requires it, and they have no other choice but to follow the regulation in order to comply with the required standards. However, companies increasingly see our machines as a point for improvement in production. All of those companies that do see it in this way improve their production costs and, what is even more important, the final product, which is what the customer perceives. Is the customisation of your machines a distinctive feature of Hoytom? We manufacture standard machines for different types of tests that with a simple change of tools are able to perform tests of different types. But the truth is that these machines don't always do what the customer needs as the pieces or the materials that they want to test have specific characteristics. For Hoytom, being able to provide our customers with a solution for a specific testing problem is a challenge, and we believe that this gives us a distinctive advantage with regard to our competition.
What are the other competitive advantages of the company?
Our machines are manufactured with high quality materials. For example, the load cells that we mount on our machines come from a leading benchmark brand. The importance of this piece lies in the fact that it provides the testing information and should be as accurate as possible. In addition, over recent years we have improved the rigidity of the machines. This is an important factor: today we can say that we have some of the most rigid machines on the market. Furthermore, the design has improved substantially.
What is the role of the R&D&I in Hoytom?
Our R&D&I department is a combination of people with extensive background and experience and young people with new ideas who are keen to continue innovating. We attach great importance to this combination, as it provides us with essential balance in order to continue moving forward and innovating, but building on the knowledge that has helped us to become a benchmark in the sector. The R&D&I department is probably the most important department in the company. It seems a cliché to say this, but in our case the development of machines and solutions adapted to our customers is of vital importance. The R&D&I department gives life to those solutions and very often anticipates them.
Solving a customer´s specific testing problem is a challenge that gives us a distinctive advantage with regard to our competition
What will the keys to the company's future be? Will strengthening its internationalisation be one of them?
One of the points that we want to explore is to continue seeking out or strengthening sectors in which we have a certain margin for growth or where we believe that we can continue innovating. The paper and corrugated board sector is one of these. We have made many machines for this type of testing, but we believe that it is an area in which we can still contribute interesting new things. Strengthening internationalisation will be another of these key areas that will help us to continue growing and in which we expect to make a great deal of progress this year.
Why do you think your customers have confidence in Hoytom?
We have undoubtedly earned the loyalty of our customers. Many have grown together with us and it is this partnership over so many years that creates strong bonds. We also believe that, in our case, word-of-mouth recommendations have worked very well: there is no better ambassador than a satisfied customer. That is why we work with and for them.