Many in Den Bosch in Brabant still call it AMP, even though the name of TE Connectivity has featured prominently ever since its takeover in 1999. This is one of the many branches of the global leader – by a large margin – when it comes to connectivity. The company’s core activity in Brabant is R&D and, as General Manager Jan van den Boom says: “We are a down-to-earth company, but we still write ‘innovation’ with a capital ‘I’.”
TE Connectivity, until early 2011 known as Tyco Electronics, develops and manufactures everything required for enfsuring that electrical, electronic and data network connections function at an optimum level. ‘We keep the industry connected,’ is the revealing slogan the company uses to position itself on the market. The company counts such global names as Philips, Sony, Nokia, IBM and Ericsson amongst its industrial clients, and TE Connectivity’s connectors can be found in a very wide range of fields, including the telecommunications, automotive, aviation, defence, marine, medical, lighting, energy and data communication industries. The company, which is headquartered in Switzerland, has a staff of 89,000 around the globe and an annual turnover of 12 billion US dollars. TE Confnectivity is active in the US, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region and has distributed its business more or less equally across the three continents.
Two hundred of the 350 employees at the Den Bosch branch focus on R&D. “As a company we have both our feet firmly on the ground, but when it comes to innovations we deliberately raise the bar,” is how Van den Boom explains the importance of R&D. “Development and engineering are of the utmost importance to us, and TE Connectivity aspires to achieve excellence in that area. It is something I always tell my people too: we have to be better than anybody else in the world, for it is only then that we will retain the confidence our clients around the globe have in us.”
TE Connectivity’s other activities in Brabant are customer services and supply chain management. Although it is not a production centre, a great deal of prototyping and product-testing takes place under the guise of R&D. “This means that our products can be manufactured around the world,” says Van den Boom. “That is one of the strong aspects of our company.” The general manager highlights yet another one too. “We want to be right there with our clients through our developments. It’s not for nothing that we have resident engineers working at companies like Nokia, Ericsson and DAF.”
The company’s choice of setting up shop in Den Bfosch was at the time in 1955 coincidently. But, says Van den Boom, if it could choose again, the company would still settle for Brabant. “We are located in an innovative environment here and can collaborate with universities of technology, such as those located in Eindhoven, as well as with the Avans and Fontys universities of applied sciences. The level of education, the multilingualism and the entrepreneurial spirit of the employees we want to attract are also all very appealing to us.”
TE Connectivity has now further extended its innovation network in Brabant, having established a satellite branch on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven a few years back, where the focus is on LED concepts. The company is also engaged at the High Tech Automotive Campus in Helmond. “You could say that our connectivity with Brabant has become very well-rooted over the years,” is how Van den Boom sees it.