As part of our Allura Meet The Maker blog series, we catch up with Arjen Roelofs, Director of Research and Development and Forbo employee for over 28 years, to find out more about his involvement in the creation of the new collection, what it means to him, and what working in the Forbo R&D department really involves.
What was your creative process when designing the new Allura collection?
As I am responsible for R&D, my main role within the development of the new Allura collection was to establish processes to manufacture the products. While this is wholly challenging, the main issue I had was to develop a first-class process that would ensure optimal product quality for our new Allura ranges: Ease and Puzzle.
Can you tell us something that we might not know about the Allura collection?
The Allura Ease, Puzzle and Click collections are really complex products to produce. However, thanks to the processes that we have in place and all of the technology that is available in Coevorden, all of the products are high-quality and have unique properties.
I really like the burned oak colourway, as it is a beautiful combination of modern and traditional aesthetics.
What inspires you and what helps you to relax to get you in the right frame of mind to develop new products/solutions?
People inspire me! I like to motivate people to use all of their knowledge and power to be the best in class and to keep moving forward – and sometimes after a long struggle they are always proud and happy at what they have achieved.
I love being outside among nature, having long walks with my family and taking my bike out onto the open road.
What does your average day look like?
In my role, there is no average day. In general, I am in a lot of meetings about our product and process developments within the BU vinyl (four factories), but I am also directly involved with the developments in the laboratory and production facilities.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Forbo?
Thanks to my long experience at Forbo, through the good and not so good times, I have enjoyed making a difference. I can share my personal knowledge and by doing so, motivate my team; motivating them to learn from the past, and from there on take the next steps into the unknown. Of course, that is not always a comfortable step for people to take, but by doing it together and by allowing mistakes, I can help people to grow and develop. This is what I enjoy most!
What’s been your proudest moment to date?
I am very proud of playing a significant role in transforming the Coevorden factory from a loss-making cushion vinyl factory (in 2004) into a high profitable project vinyl factory, with the capability to make a variety (customer driven) of quality products.