Developing technology for a safer world

Technology developer and producer Demcon serves a large number of markets ranging from high-tech and smart industry to the medical and agriculture & food sectors. This strong, growing company is now adding defense & security to this. ‘We intend to deploy technology for a safer world and to help defense organizations innovate,’ CEO Dennis Schipper explains. ‘The high-quality systems and products we develop can increase the effectiveness of security operations, for example.’ The very first product presented by Demcon is the E-Lighter, a compact power generator that operates on the diesel used in ordinary vehicle engines. The ELighter can help unburden military personnel in the field by removing the need for carrying the many backup batteries used for their electronic devices. Demcon recently signed a contract with the Defense Equipment Organization for the further development and optional production of this unique device.

More information

Demcon at one point started out as a mechatronics engineering firm that primarily worked for the semiconductor industry and the industrial automation sector. The development and production of medical technology was later added and today Demcon operates in many different markets. ‘We do this because we perceive social challenges and business opportunities in these markets for which we can develop technological solutions with our people and our competencies,’ says Schipper. ‘We are now adding defense & security. Pursuant to our philosophy of creating shared value, we are only going to develop defensive technologies and products. For example, when our country democratically decides to participate in international peacekeeping missions, it must be possible for our men and women to go there well equipped and well protected. In addition, our infrastructure must be protected against cyber and other attacks. When we can contribute to this with our creativity and technology then it is my belief that we must not shirk that responsibility. It is important to keep the industry that supplies such critical technology in the Netherlands.’

Complex technology

Technology is becoming increasingly more important and complex for defense organizations and, moreover, is increasingly more often autonomous, according to Schipper. ‘Their challenge is to quickly develop specific innovations and to introduce reliable and safe products. Thanks to our broad experience with multidisciplinary developments and complex innovation processes, we are a partner par excellence in this respect.’ Examples include mission support systems, communication systems and autonomous technologies designed to make missions safer, and solutions for mobile energy supply systems in the field.

New business unit

All reasons for creating a separate defense & security systems business unit and to recruit John Manrho as its manager. He has worked for aircraft manufacturer Fokker for thirty years, twenty years of which were in the defense domain. Schipper: ‘John knows this world inside out. His task is to expand our defense & security activities and to create a stable business unit with steadily increasing revenues. His challenge is to make it known that we can help defense organizations innovate.’ Manrho: ‘Demcon is an innovative and dynamic organization that just like Fokker operates in highquality technical domains, albeit on a smaller scale. That makes for shorter lines. Initially, I will primarily focus on Defense in our own country. We will be focusing on the innovation themes that are current here and will also be seeking collaboration with knowledge institutes.

E-Lighter

The first project of the new business unit is the E-Lighter, a compact power generator that operates on the diesel fuel used in ordinary vehicle engines. The E-Lighter can help unburden military personnel in the field by removing the need for carrying the many backup batteries used for their electronic devices. Fokker Special Products conceived of this ‘bottle with electricity’, Demcon contributed to its development and has since taken over the product. It is now working on further developing it into a high-quality product and on industrializing production of large numbers with a high degree of automation. Manrho: ‘We are currently in the process of solving the last remaining issues. The product’s capacity must be increased and its noise level must go down, because the device must of course be quiet in the field. In addition, we would like to be able to run the E-Lighter on additional types of diesel.’

Unique device

Demcon recently signed a contract with the Defense Equipment Organization (DMO) for the product’s further development, with both parties jointly investing in it. Manrho: ‘We expect to start up serial production for the Dutch Department of Defense within three years. After this we intend to supply other European defense organizations with which our country has a good relationship. We own the intellectual property.’