In the 1960s, the first greenhouses were mainly constructed from wood or steel. In 1969, it became possible to produce aluminium extrusion profiles on an industrial scale. This was a reason for wood production company Hordijk, and Westland’s largest greenhouse builder Voskamp & Vrijland, to establish the Aluminium Constructie Maatschappij.
Alcomij started as a joint venture of the two companies. Hordijk contributed its machinery knowledge because wood working and aluminium processing machinery obviously had many similarities. And Voskamp & Vrijland, as big international greenhouse builder, brought in the contracts.
In this period, Alcomij became a serious manufacturer of aluminium greenhouse systems and steel greenhouse structures. During the winter, its enthusiastic production team produced the entire stock of standard construction components to cover the requirements for Dutch horticulture projects over the summer, projects varying in size from 500 to 1000 m2. An extremely straightforward world!
Alcomij a full Hordijk subsidiary
Export used to be very different: much wilder, more adventurous and at that time really special. With its typical Westland attitude and boldness, the company was extremely pioneering in Western European countries like England and France, as well as in countries like Romania, Bulgaria and the former Soviet Union. If parties lacked hard cash in the latter countries, they paid for large Westland greenhouses with oil or train carriages filled with horses. The risks were high and with the collapse of the greenhouse market at the end of the 1970s, this ultimately led to the bankruptcy of Voskamp & Vrijland. This resulted in Alcomij becoming a full Hordijk subsidiary in the mid-1980s and being given the opportunity to develop again after recovering from the setback.
Fifty years of growth
Alcomij has had its ups and downs over the past fifty years. Despite various setbacks, the company has been able to demonstrate steady growth. The addition of logistics products for cultivation, including auction trolleys and mobile benches, has enabled Alcomij to achieve synergy and to continue to respond to the ever-fluctuating market demand.
Belief in an honest, high-quality product also plays an important role in this. In order to continue to achieve this, the company has worked since its inception on improving and modernising its own production facilities. Another reason why Alcomij can always ensure that production capacity is a perfect match for the current market demand.
What was once a well-equipped wood manufacturing company, is today a high-tech machine pool for steel and aluminium processing. In the transition to automated production, traditional factory worker roles have been replaced with employees who have knowledge of robotised production and specific laser technology.
In the 1990s, the sector entered a dip. Market turnover was on average 70 percent lower. In Alcomij, this led to an unpopular round of redundancies, but also to creativity in finding new sales markets. With new contacts in Sweden and Germany, Alcomij took the first serious steps in exports.
2002 – Takeover of BOSKON
Under the management of director Kees de Groot, Alcomij acquired BOSKON’s greenhouse construction division in 2002. At that time BOSKON, previously known as Bosch & Onderwater, produced structures for horticulture greenhouses and non-residential construction and was a renowned Alcomij competitor.
2006 – Takeover of ALCOA AGRO
Alcoa Agro’s greenhouse construction division was added to Alcomij under the management of director Theo Sanders. This was a strategic move because it not only fulfilled the desire for international growth, it also enabled product range to be expanded to include the Widespan and Euronova greenhouse roof system and the Slimline greenhouse gable system.
2012 – Takeover of ALKUPRO
Competitor Alkupro went bankrupt in 2012 and, under the management of Director Theo Sanders, Alcomij acquired its entire portfolio, including systems. Alcomij continues to supply the Alkupro greenhouse roof system to this very day.
2015 – New accommodation
In 2015 it was time to modernise the work environment and Alcomij relocated to a new building on its own site. Since then, Alcomij has been based in Hagemanstraat in ’s-Gravenzande.
2018 – Production environment upgrade
To ensure that production capacity could continue to meet current market demand, in 2018 considerable investments were made in upgrading both the aluminium and steel production facilities. This included the full automation of both production environments.