Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Pitane Image

With the development and production of a new smart mast, VDL Groep is the initiator of a new international ecosystem.

VDL Groep is one of the largest manufacturing companies, also known as factory companies, in the Netherlands and without really realizing it, we come across VDL every day in our living environment. Directly and indirectly, VDL is closely involved in many production processes. Visible when we take the bus or drive south and pass Eindhoven or Born, and invisible in supplies and semi-finished products.

The numbers don't lie. The company now has 106 companies spread over 19 countries and employs 15.925 employees. With a strong balance sheet solvency of 59.9%, the company is characterized as a leading family business. Not listed on the stock exchange because all shares are held within the same family. With business activities spread over 5 worlds, it exports 75% to 110 countries, which accounted for 2022 billion in revenue in the first half of 2.6 and a net profit of 54 million.

With the development and production of a new 'smart mast', VDL Groep is the initiator of a new international ecosystem. A term used to refer to a network of organizations and individuals working on an international scale towards a particular goal or area. This partnership meets the increasing demand for charging and metering infrastructure and sustainability in public spaces in a socially responsible and intelligent manner. 

"We have been at the back of the bus long enough as VDL. Now we want to be at the front of innovation processes."

With this statement, VDL director Janssen indicated during a meeting of Brainport VVD members last Monday that the largest manufacturing company in the Netherlands has become the initiator itself, after years of working on demand from their customers. The company does not want to stand still when it comes to innovation and actively directs the development of new technologies with partners from the region.

street scene

It is difficult to say what the future streetscape of light poles will be, as it depends on several factors such as developments in technology and lighting, and the changing needs of cities and communities. But a possible future development is that light towers will increasingly become smart and advanced systems that are able to adapt to changing circumstances and needs. For example, they could be able to adjust the intensity and direction of light to increase energy efficiency, or respond to changing traffic patterns or weather conditions.

There is also a chance that light poles will increasingly be connected to other urban infrastructure systems, such as traffic control systems, camera surveillance and other sensors, to create a more integrated and efficient urban environment. In general, the streetscape of light poles is likely to change as technology and needs change, and light poles will increasingly become an integral part of urban infrastructure and people's daily lives.

'Smart Pole'

The VDL 'smart pole' consists of several types and can be built with different options for connectivity from various brands and solutions. This provides maximum flexibility to customers. The idea for this open system arose when it became clear that the future streetscape would be 'polluted' by a proliferation of various light and communication masts. 

(Text continues below the photo)
VDL Smart Pole

VDL builds smart light poles, in which cameras, sensors, Wi-Fi, 5G and charging facilities are integrated.

open system

Based on the VDL philosophy of strength through cooperation, the masts have been designed based on the principle that different suppliers can supply the various functionalities. An additional advantage is that new innovations and connectivity options can also be added to the mast later. In this way, the masts can 'grow' with the 'smart public environment' of tomorrow. As the largest mast manufacturer in the Netherlands, VDL Groep will produce the smart mast.

“With this ecosystem, we make an important contribution to creating an optimal liveable urban environment in which sustainability and corporate social responsibility are the main starting points,” says director Eric Janssen of VDL Mast Solutions in Oss. 


The energy transition is a complex process that requires a lot of time and effort from governments, companies and individuals. It requires developing and implementing new technologies, creating new laws and policies and changing the way energy is produced, used and distributed. The aim of the energy transition is to guarantee a sustainable, safe and affordable energy supply for the future.

At the time, the energy transition was still in its infancy, but it was clear that the need for a single mast that can also provide the public space with a variety of functionalities will increase. This could include LED lighting, charging options for vehicles, communication (WiFi and data collection), sensors that measure air quality, noise and/or traffic movements, and signage, for example. In a few decades, VDL Mast Solutions has grown into a professional, leading manufacturer of masts. 

(Text continues below the photo)
After 38 years, Wim van der Leegte graduated on September 6, 2004.

VDL Group is a company with a long history. A striking detail in this is Wim van de Leegte, who started at the company in the third year of his HTS education due to his father's poor health. William was then 19 years old. The internship of initially three months is then first extended to six months and then to nine months. Wim then discontinues his education and becomes director. After 38 years, Wim still graduates on September 6, 2004. The title of his graduation thesis 'Preservation of industry in the Netherlands through more labor flexibility'. Wim received his diploma from then Secretary of State Mark Rutte.

VDL Mast Solutions

VDL Mast Solutions started in 1947 in Oss in Brabant with contracting activities, earthworks and the installation of cable networks. The first production of light towers was established for own use. In 1966 the start was made with what is now the core activity of VDL Mast Solutions, namely the production of mast constructions. From this start, VDL Mast Solutions has grown as a leading producer in the field of various types of masts. 

In order to offer the customer a total package, in addition to a complete production line, an engineering department has also been set up to calculate and draw mast constructions. Finally, a field service has been put together to be able to realize the assembly in addition to engineering and production. This allows us to carry out all processes related to mast constructions completely.

(Text continues below the photo)
We come across VDL every day in our living environment,

In order to accelerate climate objectives, among other things, multidisciplinary collaboration is desirable, with room for the technical applications of today and tomorrow. This one VDL Group approach is supported by all partners (eg ABB, ACiiST, Microsoft, Signify en Spie) with specializations in solutions such as charging, connectivity, metering, lighting and digital aspects for the system. In this way, the solution is jointly created for the challenge facing governments as owners of public space.

VDL Groep, strength through cooperation.

Related articles:
Calendar pack