Ruud Mourits starts the interview with infectious enthusiasm, using the drawings he has brought with him to tell us more about his work. Whatever the task, ranging from machining and milling small parts to turning one-metre diameter flanges and six-metre long shafts, Ruud savours the challenge of using the machines at his disposal to produce each order as efficiently as possible, and to the right accuracy and tolerances. “Variety is what makes my work so much fun. On Monday, I might be working on what I feel are quite simple flanges, and then, a few days later, I have to rack my brains to puzzle out how best to produce a complex design.”
His passion for making things was apparent from an early age. As a youngster, he loved tinkering with bicycles and mopeds, and he grew up in a technical environment. With a diffident smile, Ruud tells us that he enrolled for technical training as soon as he could at school, because he wanted to become a welder.
He started his career at an engineering company where he subsequently qualified as a machinist. After 35 years with his first employer, he accepted a new job with a company that specialised in manufacturing gear cogs. He worked there for 2½ years before joining Gpi. The opportunity of working with stainless steel and the broad range of tasks at Gpi were the factors that made him move to Gpi De Gouwe.
Ruud is responsible for all the turning and milling work at Gpi De Gouwe. “With my experience and knowledge, I often approach things differently to my predecessors, which sometimes leads to surprised reactions. The final result is better though, and that’s what counts”, he says modestly. He appreciates the fact that his knowledge and experience are valued by the company: for example, the engineers in the design department welcome and regularly ask for his ideas about specific designs and he is allowed to carry out his work in his own way. “The feeling of satisfaction when everything matches up neatly and fits perfectly at the end of the process is hugely rewarding for me”.
Even though he is a relative newcomer at Gpi De Gouwe, he feels totally at home and tells us that he loves coming to work. “This is obviously personal to some extent, but my colleagues here at Gpi are friendly and easy-going and my work is varied and interesting. What more could you want?”