Kreber has been designing and constructing machines for more than a century. We started with tug boat steam engines. Since then we’ve progressed into making all kinds of machines and processing plants, including for the (petro)chemical industry, the food industry and the maritime and offshore sector.
We also carry out a substantial amount of contract work, which includes the welding of complete steel constructions and machine frames as well as machining works such as turret lathing, milling and boring. In addition, we produce and repair components for heat exchangers, such as tube sheets and water header tanks. Kreber’s 9,500 m² manufacturing plant in Vlaardingen is conveniently situated along the Nieuwe Maas river, some 15 kilometres to the west of Rotterdam.
Prilling equipment takes off
In 2009 Kreber delivers two aluminium prill towers to a large Middle East client. Both towers with a height of over 50m are built at our factory site. In this project all the lessons, findings, errors and experiences in project management and working methods that we have been refining for over a hundred years came together. Right down to the finest detail.
Establishment of Heat Exchanger Service
On October 1st, 1996 Heat Exchanger Services (HES) was established. As a joint venture between Kreber and J. de Jonge, HES specializes in the design, manufacturing, repair and testing of any type of shell & tube heat exchangers in a large variety of materials.
Krebers large CNC machining capabilities and excellent knowlegde of machining in combination with J. de Jonge’s excellent track record in the petrochemical industry created a highly flexible and high quality value proposition for the local market.
Establishment of HOSTA
In 1988 the joint venture Hosta BV was established. With Hosta specializing in hydraulic solutions for offshore and heavy industry applications and Kreber specialising in tailored equipment, the synergy effects were obvious. Over the years the joint venture was merged into the Kreber group.
Three locks, six dams and four storm surge barriers together form the Delta Works, as a solution to the great flood of 1953. The project brought Kreber to a new peak. Being specialised in designing and manufacturing tailored dredging equipment, we could meet the most stringent demands for equipment.
In the late sixties business was developing so fast that a larger factory was necessary. We decided to build a new facility from the ground up at the opposite site of the Koningin Wilhamina harbour, where we still reside today. Our 9,500 m2 manufacturing plant in Vlaardingen is conveniently situated along the Nieuwe Maas river, some 15 kilometres to the west of Rotterdam.
Booming dredging industry
In 1965 the Dutch Government (Rijkswaterstaat) awarded the order to improve maritime acces to the Europoort harbours to three contractors: Boskalis, Van Hattum & Blankevoort and Adriaan Volker. It signalled the beginning of a very turbulent era for Kreber. On a weekly basis dredge captains shared ideas to optimize their dredging equipment with Kreber and we converted their requests immediately in actual improvements.
Originating from DSM (Dutch State Mines), Stamicarbon was established in 1947 as a subsidiary company to manage new patents. Over time DSM’s diversification into bulk chemicals and petrochemicals accelerated so that by the time the last mine closed in 1973 DSM was a chemical company. Stamicarbon’s technology portfolio grew to include a number of other products, including urea and the urea derivative melamine, caprolactam, polyethylene, and phenol. For the production of which Kreber developed her renowned prilling equipment.
World War II
During WWII Kreber keeps working for as far as reasonably possible. To keep the staff busy the decision is made to build two steam tug boats on stock and hide them across the river. Unfortunately later the full inventory of milling and turning machines were confiscated by the occupant. The factory was subsequently used as a warehouse.
After the war ended we fortunately managed to retrieve all milling and turning machines. Furthermore we managed to sell the tug boats too.
Dutch State Mines
In the 1930’s our relationship with Dutch State Mines develops into a cooperation that still exists today. Kreber provides the design and manufacturing of tailored equipment such as transport equipment, condensate tanks and (re)boilers.
Walking home from Vlaardingen to Schiedam, Mr. Kreber noticed the Volker family working on the landfills. Mr. Kreber offered to help improve the dredging process by applying tailored dredging equipment. Upto the late 1990’s Kreber played a significant role in designing and manufacturing large equipment for the dredging industry.
Foundation of the NV
On January 26th, 1928 the NV was founded. The product portfolio consisted of vertical and horizontal steam engines, machinery for the dairy industry, machinery for the mining industry, steam- and diesel tug boats, machinery for the dredging industry, machinery for the chemical industry and various sorts of large pressure vessels and autoclaves.
Driven by volitile demand for ship machinery repair, we decided to start new building of tug boats. The application of steam as means of propulsion made the tug boats very powerful and highly reliable.
One of the last steam tug boats is now acting as an operational museum piece in Rotterdam. In 1929 we designed and built the tripple expansion R-29 main angine with surface condensor and Hackworth sliders.
During the trade embargo in WWI, the local milk factory was unable to import cannisters from the USA. This allowed Kreber to set her first steps in the food processing industry by designing and manufacturing cannister processing machinery. This relationship still exists today.
On august 2nd, 1902 Mr. I. A. Kreber established his life dream; a proprietary factory. The company specialized in machinery and pressure equipment for steam propulsion in tug boats and fishing vessels.