Collaboration between 3 companies from Twente became known worldwide

Three companies from Twente, Mekufa, Galvano Hengelo and TMI Group produce components in a unique partnership to ultimately produce high voltage insulators. These high voltage insulators are used all over the world by the largest cable and switch manufacturers. What makes this collaboration from Twente so special? “We are simply the best in the market”, says Niels Peters, managing director of Mekufa. “We did not start collaborating just because we all happen to be from Twente; Galvano Hengelo, TMI and we are simply the best at what we do.”

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In short

  • A fantastic collaboration between Twente companies Mekufa, TMI Group and Galvano Hengelo became known worldwide
  • These three companies all produce a component of a so-called high voltage insulator
  • These high voltage insulators are used in windmills, for connecting high voltage cables that are underground or on the seabed, and for high voltage switches, among other things
Three companies from Twente

High voltage insulators from Twente can be found all over the world. These high voltage insulators are used in high voltage switches. These switches are used in windmills and high voltage substations, among other things. You can find these in big cities and power plants, for example. High voltage insulators play a crucial role in these applications. They are the result of the collaboration between three companies from Twente: Mekufa, TMI Group and Galvano Hengelo. Mekufa is a company that makes epoxy resin insulators. They are leaders within Europe and supply their products and services to companies all over the world; from the United States to Russia. The TMI Group is an expert in the field of metalworking. Products from TMI Group can be found in hydraulic systems and high voltage applications. They are also used in the automotive industry, and in machine and appliance construction. Galvano Hengelo is a specialist in galvanising; applying a metal layer (silver, nickel, tin and zinc-nickel) to a metal product, thereby improving the properties of the original product. Think of protection against corrosion, or for improving the wear resistance, solderability or current conductivity of the part. 

Toepassing van de hoogspanningsisolatoren die Mekufa, Galvano Hengelo en de TMI Group produceren

High voltage insulators

The header photo at the top of this page shows the collaboration between the three experts from Twente. The outer white part is Mekufa’s epoxy resin insulator. The TMI Group delivers the metal part and the processing thereof. The silver-plated layer around the metal part is the result of Galvano Hengelo’s work. The epoxy resin part is used for isolating the electrical voltage. It has the same function that the outer sheath has with a conventional cord. Mekufa’s epoxy resin must be able to withstand extremely high voltages up to 800,000 volts. The metal part, however, must be able to conduct the electricity perfectly. It is therefore crucial that the metal is produced flawlessly, which can be entrusted to the TMI Group and Galvano Hengelo. The current is transported on the surface of the aluminium product. Aluminium oxidises when it comes into contact with oxygen for a long time. It is not beneficial for the conduction of the current if the surface of a metal product starts to oxidise. More resistance means more heat development, which means a loss of energy; but it can also be dangerous. The silver layer around the aluminium part prevents this. 

Special collaboration

It is not a coincidence that the experts in this industry are all located in Twente, according to Niels Peters of Mekufa. Twente is a very technological region, and Galvano Hengelo has close ties with leading companies in Twente; Eaton and Thales. “The things we do are very special”, says Niels; “Galvano plates aluminium parts with silver for this product, which is a lot more difficult than silver-plating other types of metal. TMI Group processes this metal part very precisely afterwards, and each metal part must be identical. Our partners TMI and Galvano are simply the best at that.” Matthieu Tanke, director of TMI Group: “The collaboration between the three of us is simply great. We are creating fantastic things together, and that is what it is all about in the end. We are important to each other and deliver a fantastic end product.” Ivo Willemsen from Galvano Hengelo is also extremely happy with the collaboration and the results that have been achieved: “The positive thing about this collaboration in Twente is that the production chain has become very short. The three of us can easily coordinate and improve the production process. This also benefits the quality, of course.”

Date: 17 June 2020
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Audio / video: Mekufa