A flourishing company from 1978 to the present day
Wim Bijl founded his company in the Westland area of the Netherlands in 1978, and produced the first mould for manufacturing polyester boats. After ten years, the company’s activities had grown to such an extent that more space was required. A new facility was built at the Dintelmond industrial estate in Heijningen in 1988.
In 1995, the company started to produce glass fibre-reinforced polyester profiles, in addition to the range of polyester products. The first pultrusion machine was purchased for this. It was not long before the first orders were received from the air treatment sector.
The full timeline is available here.
In 2019, after more than 40 years of trading, the company changed its name from Bijl Profielen en Bijl Bruggen to krafton®.
Continuous improvement to the quality of our profiles
Quality has been a priority for krafton® since the company’s incorporation in 1978. Increasing expertise in the field of polyester and plastics leads to satisfied customers. Design creativity, without compromising the quality of the material, drives continuous expansion of the company’s activities. For example, the polyester glass recycling containers, which appear in the Netherlands from the 1990s onward, and are also used in other parts of Europe, are a major success.
Experts from krafton® help draw up the first CUR Recommendations for GRP profiles. krafton® is also an industry leader in the area of (N)EN standards. The company works on quality assurance and quality improvement in-house and in collaboration with universities and research institutes. This results in many certificates and approvals over the years, from bodies such as TNO, UCL, TÜV-LCA, etc…
The purchase of a Zwick-Roell test machine in 2010 also allows us to test all our profiles in-house and guarantee even higher quality.
The first certificate from DIBt, the German centre of expertise for building technology, is obtained for krafton®’s polyester cabinets in 2004.
In addition, the GRP profiles satisfy the European NEN-EN 13706 standard.
A landmark DIBt certificate for the three types of GRP Bridge decking elements follows in 2017. In 2018, DIBt also awards the company certification for the associated fitting methods and a fourth plank design. These certificates give krafton® full access to the market in Germany and the company starts to more actively promote its solutions for sustainable refurbishment of cycle and pedestrian bridges in the German federal states.
At the end of 2018, the company also obtains EBA and DIBt approvals for the GRP profiles. These approvals give krafton®’s structural profiles and products for the rail infrastructure sector a major competitive advantage in international markets, particularly in Germany.
If the certificate or approval you require is not shown on the website, or if you would like personal advice, please contact us without delay!
Bridge construction with GRP profiles and bridge decking elements
In 2006, krafton® starts to produce glass fibre-reinforced plastic bridge decking elements. These bridge decking elements soon become extremely popular. On completion of a thorough product development programme, krafton® also starts to offer composite girders, profiles and handrails.
The next logical step – in-house manufacture of fully composite bridges – follows in 2010. In 2013, a separate company called BIJL Bruggen is incorporated for this activity. Because more and more project principals are opting for sustainable construction, krafton®’s bridge, which is completely made from composite materials (girders, decking and railing) is an excellent choice. Minimum maintenance, sustainable and a service life of more than 50 years. Because the process for producing our composite bridges consumes very little energy in comparison to steel and/or concrete, and no environmentally harmful finishing is required (e.g. hot-dip galvanising), this turnkey product is an extremely sustainable solution.
Not only does the company produce many small bridges, it also successfully completes a number of prestigious projects. For example, the bridge over the motorway close to Venlo for the Floriade 2012 event, or the magnificent bridge for cyclists and pedestrians close to Roermond, which measures 85 metres in length and 3.5 metres in width. Please refer to the bridge decking element reference projects for further interesting examples.
We enter the German market in 2014. These initiatives really take off in 2017 when we obtain DIBt certification (Z-10.9-655) for three types of bridge decking plank, specifically the 500.55, 500.40 and 256.40. New customers in Germany are quick to adopt these extremely strong decking elements, which are capable of withstanding high point loads and offered with customer-specific wear-resistant finishes (with a TÜV-certified R13 rating). The addition of 12 different fitting methods to the Z-10.9-655 certificate in 2018 further completes the company’s offer.
As time passes, the demand for GRP bridge decking elements and profiles becomes so strong that the company once again decides to focus all its resources on producing these high-quality semi-finished products.
In the meantime, the company continues to develop new types of decking planks that are even easier to install (type 236.40), or that can withstand even higher loads (type 400.85).
Standard GRP profiles for the construction sector, HVAC, industry and offshore
In 1995, the first pultrusion machine is put into service. This machine is capable of producing box section profiles, U profiles, tube profiles and I profiles. The first orders, for the air treatment sector, come in almost immediately. Along with orders for angle profiles for coachbuilding and trucks.
More and more sectors adopt GRP profiles due to the material’s special properties. For example, we produce GRP profiles for sun protection products. The profiles are also used by our customers as base frames for air treatment units, and for making platforms and stairs in the infrastructure, offshore and industrial sectors.
The following project is an example of an interesting future-proof structure:
In 2016, we accepted the order for a challenging project: The dome of the subtropical Aqua Mundo swimming complex at the Center Parcs Het Heijderbos holiday park needed to be completely refurbished. Composite trusses made by krafton® were used to replace the existing wooden framework. The existing main trusses, made from laminated wood girders, were retained. This was krafton®’s largest production project ever for composite I girders. The I-780x300mm girders in the bottom ring were more than 26 metres long. The vertical beams, based on the I-240x150mm profile, were more than 23 metres long.
More and more construction companies come to us with orders. The use of krafton profiles becomes increasingly widespread in industry and construction thanks to extensive certification and the ability to produce structural strength calculations based on our standardised profiles.
The DIBt Z-10.9-803 certificate for our profiles also opens up the German market for structural profiles, and EBA approval allows us to offer our profiles in the railway infrastructure market.
krafton®’s future vision for GRP products
krafton®, a family-owned business that has traded for more than 40 years, continues to innovate, improve its business processes and perfect the quality of its products on a daily basis.
Technical craftsmanship and the family’s passion for proven quality and structured business processes lead to unsurpassed quality.
We believe that ‘krafton®’ stands for high-quality, extremely strong glass fibre-reinforced plastic profiles, sustainable solutions, Dutch craftsmanship and innovation.
After starting out as a ‘pioneer in pultrusion’, we have become a leading ’specialist in GRP profiles’ and we continue to make every effort to offer our customers the best possible levels of quality and service.