How Dutch company Bega helped change the way bearings are mounted & dismounted

We speak to Communications Director and former co-owner of Bega International, Carol Poelma, about the company’s impact on the power transmission industry.

I was 16 years old and my Father-in-law-to-be was realising his dream: to set up his own company.

He had just become owner of a patented bearing extractor called “TRACTA”. A wonderful tool, which has been much appreciated by passionate engineers in the power transmission industry. (It was years later that I joined the company in 1988.)

The next products that were added to the program were analogue induction heaters, for heating and mounting bearings.

Extending this range of tools, all of excellent quality, became Bega’s specialism in the world of power transmission, selling to companies in the Netherlands and Belgium, at first and later moving on to worldwide trade.

In those early days, ‘safety first’ was yet to be invented. It was taken for granted that a working environment could be dirty or hazardous. Smoke and oil fumes were an inconvenience.

It became our mission at Bega International to educate and demonstrate how certain jobs could be done safer and quicker. For our sales reps it was sometimes a challenge to pierce that armour of “we have our own methods”. Many manufacturers questioned why they would buy an expensive extractor or heater when you can do the same job with blowtorches and hammers. That’s why it was all the more satisfying when we managed to convince such old professionals otherwise.

A lot has changed since then. Preventive maintenance and planned downtime were not high on the agenda for many businesses. Today, preventive and predictive maintenance are a top priority. The application of knowledge and maintenance attention to machines and factories, to ensure their proper function, and to enhance their life cycle, is now common practice.

Inspections are planned in order to identify potential problems. Planned maintenance work with sophisticated programs that help optimise operating profits are also implemented. All fantastic, but it’s also vital to have the right tools, in skilled hands, to do the job. We’ve evolved to provide just that, becoming specialists in maintenance tools for the mounting and dismounting of bearings, gears and couplings.

How the Bega range has grown

Our range of products has grown and kept pace with new developments in the field. Sometimes even taking the lead. A proud example is the Bega (BETEX) induction heater range. Developed and produced by Bega in The Netherlands. These evolved from analogue to digital control and from Standard heaters to Turbo models.

Our new generation of heaters have full control over the heating process, with double temperature control for stress free heating and memory storage. This new technology is available for both mounting and dismounting purposes. For special projects we can tailor heaters to customer specifications!

This family owned company changed hands at the beginning of 2019. Plans to grow the business further and to improve the range of tools, are in place. However, the original company philosophy is always in the back of our minds.

New owner, Henk van Essen, has a clear view on how he sees the future of the company. Developing new products under the BETEX brand name, growing the distributor network and deepening existing partnerships are his main priorities.

Henk also demonstrates leadership internally, encouraging staff to educate themselves and expand their knowledge and responsibilities. It is fantastic to experience how our team can still grow and reach out to new goals.

As ever, Bega is still a ‘big family’ and we all enjoy the benefits of being part of a successful company. We are proud to look to the future and be part of a company getting ‘Bega and Bega’.
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