Creating Technological Moments of Sheer Happiness

  • An automated preparation process for every type of sweets

    Children and adults from around the world have enjoyed happy moments with Matthijs sweets for nearly 100 years. And the sales market keeps on growing. This growth requires an expansion of the production capacity while maintaining the optimal quality and consistency.

    Sheer Happiness PENKO equipment"We are traditional Dutch sweets manufacturers", says Walter Matthijs, CEO and 3rd generation of Matthijs BV in Hoogerheide. "We have been making liquorice, wine gums, and gum for the Dutch and foreign markets since 1920. The entire line, from sourcing to production up to the delivery in the sweetshop, we all do it under our own management. Our clients are relying on the top quality and consistency of our products. We closely guard this reputation, there can be nothing standing in the way of creating these happy moments. That is why we also carefully choose the suppliers we work with."

    Walter tells us how his grandfather started producing confectioneries: "At home, in a cooking pan on the stove". The company grew from a bakery into a liquorice factory. His father, the 2nd generation, cooked the black liquorice, the only kind available at the time, all by himself. Walter joined the company in 1995. "It was my ambition to expand our company, both in sales as in technological developments." Today, Matthijs exports to 34 countries, to clients in Europe, America, and Asia, and the company produces over 100 types of sweets, all made from natural ingredients. The cooking process in a pan has, of course, changed into a - highly sophisticated - automated production process.

    Cooking Process

    The production in the factory runs via the kitchen, the foundry, the drying department, and the packaging department to logistics. There are employees checking every step of the production process, testing all the types of sweets. "This way we can be sure that we have a continuous quality and top-range product. The start of the production, in the kitchen, is essential. Here, the recipe is entered into the system and all the ingredients are added in exactly the right amounts. Nothing must go wrong at this stage or we run the risk of losing the consistency of our product." Daniël Nijhuis of the technical services department adds: "That is why we built the cooking line ourselves.

    We know all the details, do the maintenance with our own people, and thus reduce the risks. We get the machine parts from our regular suppliers. The automated weighing equipment from Penko is an important element in our cooking line". Daniël was already involved in the installation of the first weighing equipment at Matthijs, 30 years ago. "Three relocations and three installations down the line, and I'm still very satisfied with Penko. Their short and direct lines of communication, as well as their flexibility and system, match perfectly with us. In all these years, we have never had any disruptions in the weighing, dosing, and measuring processes."

    Weighing Equipment

    In 2015, Matthijs started with a total refit of the company in order to respond to the explosive growth of the past years: expansion of the existing production site, a doubling of the warehouse space, an upgraded packaging department, and a restyling of the offices and reception areas. "We are now working on a second cooking line with new weighing equipment while the weighing system of the first cooking line is upgraded to an equal standard."

    Sheer Happiness CandyIntegration

    “The new installation means more for us than just weighing", Walter continues. "It contributes to the improvement of our operational processes. The system, based on the latest technological developments, offers a full integration with our office environment. We enter the orders via our ERP system, after which the information is automatically forwarded to the production in the factory. The operating panel in the factory remains straightforward and userfriendly. When the production is completed, the ERP system gets further information in order to take the following steps for an efficient delivery. We can make standard solutions home-made. Daniël discusses the desired components with Penko, which can be provided right away." This work method offers many advantages. Walter mentions the lower personnel costs and clear operational processes. "Turning our production process into a fully automated system forces us to think carefully. Each and every detail is essential and serves our goal for consistency and quality." Another important issue is retaining the IFS and BRC certificates. Thanks to the automated documentation and a work method that complies with the proper operational processes, the sweets factory has no problem passing the strict audits. "With the top-range technology, we can be top of the class in the Netherlands. This is indispensable to stay ahead of the competition abroad."


    “Together with Penko, we can grow as a sweets factory", concludes Walter. "It is extremely important that you can rely on the service of your supplier and the constant and continuous work quality of your system. And this also boosts the work pleasure, of your own employees and those of your clients. With our 100 types of sweets, we remain first choice for happy moments. Even with our new vegetarian sweets; the trend for the future."

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