Laborex was already active in the rail sector with cleaning systems for cleaning train components when it started developing railway wastewater cleaning systems.
“On trains the wastewater from sinks and toilets is collected in tanks beneath the train and emptied when the train is in the maintenance depot,” explains General Manager Luc Kuysters, who together with his brother Wim shares ownership of the family company. “We have developed a range of disposal networks for underground or aboveground installation. They are able to serve multiple trains simultaneously, and as well as removing wastewater, they are able to supply the train with fresh water.”
LaborexRail supply and disposal networks for train depots are configured to meet every requirement. They take into account all factors such as toilet technology, hygiene needs, typical weather conditions and automation requirements.
“We have invested our profits from the last two to three years into marketing these systems around the world and have succeeded in landing a major order from the Belgian national railway to equip 35 stations with our systems,” says Mr. Kuysters. “The order is worth 50 million EUR and will keep our engineers busy for the next eight to ten years.”
Laborex has benefited from the fact that investment in public transport is currently high after years of underinvestment. Nevertheless, it will still continue to focus on its core business of industrial cleaning and blasting machines.
“A lot is happening in the market at the moment, which makes it very interesting to work in,” adds Mr. Kuysters. “I enjoy the fact that we are active in a variety of sectors and that the challenges are always different.”
One of the key challenges at the moment is environmental protection and reducing the amount of chemicals released into the environment. “As a company we are obliged to meet all of the statutory regulations,” explains Mr. Kuysters. “All wastewater is collected and treated. Our subsidiary CTEC aims to produce agents and detergents that meet the new requirements. A tank with 1,000 l of detergent goes a lot further than it used to, and we also have separators for oil and fat to clean the detergent along the way. Because we make the machines as well as the chemicals, each is perfectly attuned to the other. This is particularly important in areas where water is scarce, such as the Middle East.”
Exports currently only account for around a quarter of sales, but Laborex is keen to increase this figure in the future. “With the order books full, we have the means to invest heavily in the future – which we are going to do,” concludes Mr. Kuysters.