Micro-campus feeling essential in ‘new Xsens’
In a previous interview we already told you a bit more about Xsens’ new construction. By now we are almost six months further on. What’s the state of affairs? And how does the construction fit in with the campus feeling towards which our Kennispark is going to grow? We called General Manager Boele de Bie and Operations Manager Jeroen Weijts of Xsens for an update!
“Before Christmas, everything has to be ‘windproof’,” Boele starts. What we need to see at least is a three-storey building with a connecting loft for 120 people and a new factory space with two more office floors on top. After that, we’ll be working hard until spring to complete it: “We’ll first finish the new part and then upgrade the existing part. If all goes well, the office spaces will be available in the spring. I hope that we will actually deliver around that time”.
Starting up the factory in February
The factory is the beating heart of Xsens and can probably ‘start up’ as early as February next year. This priority also has an important reason: “Because of our growth, we quickly need more production capacity. In addition, we can tailor the new building to our specific needs. For example, a special vibration-free foundation has been laid for our calibration robots. Around that space (building on the left) there will be no car traffic within a radius of four meters. In this way we ensure the most optimal conditions for calibrating our own products”.
Focused on more dynamics
The surrounding grounds of Xsens will be designed according to the spearheads of the image quality plan of Kennispark. Weijts: “From the street to the front garden of Xsens a gradual and transparent transition between public and private grounds must be created. We do this by bringing the paths into contact with the street and placing slightly sloping flowery grass hills. This makes the front garden accessible and evokes a ‘welcome feeling’. In this way, the layout of the site fits in very well with the open connections that need to be created between the buildings at Kennispark and also creates even more dynamism”.
Measures are also being taken to keep the parking pressure manageable: “Less than 50% are already coming by car, so what we want to do is stimulate the use of the bicycle and make electric driving as attractive as possible for those who really need a car”. Xsens’ mobility plan in figures:
– 6 parking spaces for visitors (of which 4 charging points)
– 58 parking spaces (including 25 charging points) for staff
– Solving parking at the side and back of the building
– Covered and lockable bike shed for 20 e-bikes
– Covered bike shed for 200 bikes
– At the main entrance at least 3 bicycle parking spaces for visitors and courier services
– Fast traffic (car) and slow traffic (bicycle and walkers) are separated as much as possible.
Smart production routing
IAA Architects is the spiritual father of design, both exterior and interior. Jeroen: “The interior will remain close to Xsens as a brand in terms of look and feel and will be tailored to the latest office insights. Interesting is mainly the way in which the production routing will be set up: “We have looked very critically at the position of specific functions and how they serve the production as optimally as possible. Personnel will actually see the production literally right in front of their noses”. We also thought about flex-working: “At departmental level, we looked at the extent to which flex-working is useful or necessary for each job. At the same time, we are taking a close look at how the cohesion between the various departments is maintained”.
Link with community
The openness of the site is also very much reflected in the auditorium that will have a place in the heart of the building: “For all companies at Kennispark this is an interesting addition. In the first instance, it is of course a central hub where we organize events. We also want the community at Kennispark to make use of it. In this way we think we can strengthen the link with the community of Kennispark. Next year there will be a symposium in the auditorium. Which we will combine with the opening. We are still working on the program, so we may communicate more about it later this year.
Energy label A
As of 1 January, every industrial building must have at least ‘energy label C’. Of course, Xsens has also given this a lot of thought: “We use solar panels and go off the gas in phases. For the new part this should yield an energy label A”. To ensure optimal working conditions, the entire building is cooled by means of air cooling, the latest technology in the field of air treatment. A conscious choice: “Air treatment is extremely important for a good working climate and the creation of the right production conditions. Certainly in the industry in which we as Xsens operate”.
The parent company of Xsens, mCube, took over Kinduct not so long ago. In view of the new building, a strategic choice: “We want to collaborate more with application developers. With Kinduct, for example, we are already turning ideas into product plans for software aimed at sports and health management. We have also made space available for startups in our building plans. This will enable us to further develop our collaboration with the UT and graduates will be able to start a startup with us. We want to be set up as a kind of micro-campus.
Even more campus feeling
With the current expansion, Xsens can absorb the growth for the next three to five years. What happens after that? Concrete ideas are already there: “Across the street there are two buildings that we could rent. In this way, we will soon be able to connect all the parts, giving this area an even more open campus look. For example, I can see a large courtyard garden in front of me between the five buildings”.
More than 50 vacancies in 2021
Xsens is expected to have more than 50 vacancies next year!