Vollenhoven, Netherlands 1948
In 1948, a young entrepreneur, Meine Hendricus Van der Graaf, opened a small shop in Vollenhoven, Netherlands. He specialized in repairing equipment that was used to extract water from strategic territories in Netherlands and pump it into the sea in order to create farmland and property for families to build homes. The young entrepreneur recognized that the friction clutch, an important component for the operation of these pumps, was in demand, and therefore started manufacturing friction clutches.
After World War II, industries in Europe experienced significant incline and growth; development and manufacturing of mechanical equipment of all kinds were in high demand. Meine H. Van der Graaf embraced this trend and became a subcontractor, manufacturing parts and components used by submarines and helicopters. The agricultural industry in the Netherlands was also gaining strength as well as the need for power transmission equipment to drive belt conveyors.
In response to industry demands, Mr. Van der Graaf started designing and manufacturing gearboxes for belt conveyors. With the help and support of his daughter Ali, and son-in-law Henk Dekker (currently the director of Van der Graaf B.V., Vollenhoven, Netherlands) he expanded production to include the manufacturing of electric motors and variable speed pulleys.
Vollenhoven, Netherlands 1963
In 1961, the company included the manufacturing and production of drum motors.
Shortly after, Van der Graaf developed and started manufacturing granulock couplings that helped to increase their market to other industries.
Toronto, Canada 1985
In 1985, another young entrepreneur, Alexander Kanaris (currently President of Van der Graaf Inc. in Canada and Van der Graaf Corp. in USA), with the assistance of Mr. Van der Graaf, established the manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada and in 2009 expanded manufacturing to Shelby Township, Michigan. Today, over 200,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space in USA and Canada utilizes the latest technology and CNC equipment.
With additional Van der Graaf locations in Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, South Africa, Australia, and representative offices and distribution around the world, Van der Graaf companies have been positioned strategically to provide world-class conveyor drives and service around the world. With fast growing recognition for drum motors, Van der Graaf has focused primarily on designing and manufacturing drum motors.
Vollenhoven, Netherlands today
Initially the drum motor was designed to serve the agricultural industry. Today, Van der Graaf drum motors are manufactured to power conveyors for a wide array of industries; like mining, aggregate, postal, parcel, agriculture, food processing, warehousing and airline baggage conveyors, from 3.75” to 36” diameter and horsepower from 0.25hp to 300hp.
In food processing plants, implementing sanitation processes to battle bacteria has increasingly become more challenging. The Van der Graaf sanitary drum motor features all 316 stainless steel construction and IP69K sealing system which can withstand wash-down pressure up to 3,000 psi. The all enclosed design of the drum motor has no external moving parts compared to conventional exposed conveyor drives. This eliminates the maintenance that is required on external components such as the motor, gear reducer, sprockets and chain.
Mining and aggregate conveyors are exposed to very demanding environments by nature. In the past 5 years engineers at Van der Graaf have been working on drum motor designs that can withstand the punishment of the dusty and harsh environment that is inherent in such industries. The new design of the planetary gear reducers on the Extreme-duty series Van der Graaf drum motors, equipped with mechanical seals, can provide years of reliable service without the need of scheduled maintenance other than oil change every 50,000 hours.
Michigan, USA today
Toronto, Canada today
For 67 years, Van der Graaf has been manufacturing and supplying equipment to the power transmission industry for conveyor applications. We owe our success to our loyal customers that have put their trust to Van der Graaf products. Our mission today still remains the same; design and manufacture conveyor drives with the highest quality standards and provide superior service that matches product quality.