We are ending our 65th anniversary year differently than we had imagined. The world seems to be going into lockdown again and booster vaccines are the topic of the day. Despite the major professional and personal impact of the Coronavirus, we can look back on 2021 with satisfaction. We have worked with energy and dedication towards creating a more sustainable future. In this last blog of the year, we look back on the highlights of our 2021!
In 2021, we celebrated our 65th anniversary. This year, we have taken an important step towards a sustainable future and we have loved sharing the new innovations that our developers have been working on. We organised the Rioned Innovation Days for the first time in October, a successful weekend, with many visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium and France. There were some interesting product launches, including the CompactCam, the next-generation UrbanCombi and the brand new eControl Touch machine management system, which you will read more about later in this blog.
We were joined by a number of our valued colleagues, and were pleased to see our former Director/Owner Ad Smeulders, who was in good health and keen to hear about the latest developments in sewer cleaning!
“You have to cherish the past", we wrote in the anniversary book unveiled during the Innovation Days. Many of our employees contributed to the book, which, in particular, looked back at the past 20 years. They told us about Rioned in the present day and also looked ahead to the coming years. What will the future bring us?
If you are interested in reading our jubilee book, it is available in Dutch and English and can be ordered here.
We also welcomed many new colleagues. Carmine, Bram, Nezjdeh, Ben, John and René have started in our factory. Christopher, Sebastiaan and Kevin started in the warehouse and thanks to Koen and Serkan the Marketing & Distribution department is complete again. Also, with the arrival of David, we have a new sales representative on the road for our Belgian customers. We are happy to have expanded our team and we are ready to produce a large number of new machines in 2022!
During the Rioned Innovation Days, we introduced several new products and developments, including the CompactCam. This compact inspection camera is the successor to the SaniCam and is ideal for the inspection of kitchen and bathroom pipes. The 15-metre long push cable is particularly flexible and can easily take right-angled bends, while the integrated 5" monitor shows the inside of the pipe very clearly, under all conditions. Videos and stills are stored on the Micro-SD card but can also be sent directly to a smartphone.
We also introduced the updated UrbanCombi. This sturdy combination unit was specially designed for use in places with limited access. With a height of less than 1.85m, it is ideal for work in car parks and narrow city streets, while the four-wheel-drive also makes it suitable for difficult terrain. The revised design also offers even more storage space to carry extra tools.
The highlight of last year was the introduction of the eControl Touch, the next generation machine control system for use across our range of high-pressure drain and sewer cleaning machines. Following the success of the first eControl unit, which garnered a prestigious Red Dot award for innovation in 2015, the latest iteration comes with a range of new smart features and offers unrivalled sewer machine control and diagnostics.
Key to the development is the inclusion of more real-time sensors, with operators now able to monitor pressure and flow, RPMs and fuel and water level at a glance. Sensors also continuously monitor machine components, with the eControl Touch displaying warning alerts and solutions when detecting impending machine malfunctions. This accurate monitoring of the condition of critical components enables users to reduce machine downtime and maintenance costs.
Currently, the eControl Touch can only be ordered with the CityJet with V1505-CR Turbo engine. It will be rolled out to other machines over the course of 2022.
Powerful machines and efficient combi units
In 2021, we supplied powerful machines and efficient combi units to a range of happy customers. Sewer Cleaning Service RRS took delivery of their 75th CityJet, we handed over two super-complete FlexComs to our Danish distributor JKL and Sapphire Utility Solutions received no less than 5 RioComs. We even delivered a RioCom and a UniCom to Malé Water and Sewerage Company in the Maldives.
In addition, we achieved a world first with Van der Velden Rioleringsbeheer. During our Innovation Days, we introduced the first-ever electric long-range van equipped with a fully-electric high-pressure cleaning machine. In a time where environmental requirements are becoming ever stricter and sustainability is high on the agenda, Rioned and Van der Velden joined forces again, with Van der Velden taking delivery of no less than three vans with eCityJet!
We have also worked with Torio (Technical Training Centre for Sewerage Management). Director/Owner Kornee van Terheijden hopes to solve the great shortage of good mechanics and to make the profession more popular, and Rioned support him in his mission. "Rioned stands for quality. That is why we find it important that there are enough, well-trained sewer mechanics to be able to continue to guarantee quality in the sewerage sector. We support Torio in their mission to solve the great shortage of good technicians!"
Visiting distributors and Pollutec Lyon
Whenever measures allowed, we immediately packed our bags to visit a range of international trade fairs and distributors. Our Director Jan Pieters and new Export Manager Serkan visited Rafnar in Poland. We also visited our Italian distributor Vivax at Ecomondo 2021 in Rimini, the Rørcenterdagene in Denmark with our Danish distributor JKL, Kommunalmesse in Austria with our distributor König & Landl, and Transportmessa 2021 in Norway with our Norwegian distributor BN Miljø. In October, we had our own booth at Pollutec 2021 in Lyon, France. We enjoyed meeting everyone again in the real rather than the virtual world.
Staying connected using online communication
Due to Coronavirus, we had fewer visitors than usual. To stay in touch, online communication has played a major role in the past year. We were active on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
Together with Capture Rebels and Inpetto Fotografisch, we have created some great content this year. Besides several new product videos of the eControl Touch, Victor and FlexJet, we also made wonderful product photos to give our website and catalogue a fresh new look. We are currently working on the 2022 catalogue, which is expected in Spring.
Look ahead to 2022
Meanwhile, we are already looking forward to 2022. Next year, we will again launch several new developments and innovations. We are looking forward to the new year and are excited to meet you.
But first, we are going to enjoy the holidays. Our factory is closed from Monday 27 to Friday 31 December 2021. During this period, there will be minimal staffing at our (after) sales department. From Monday 3 January 2022 we will be back to normal operations.
We thank you for your trust in our organisation and our products.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and successful 2022!