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IRS Robotics® – A trademark for a reason

With more than 20 years of experience, IRS Robotics has been on a remarkable journey. Originating from the LG.Philips Displays Machinery Factory in 2002, we are now a dynamic family business specializing in refurbished industrial robots and comprehensive robotic services. Our HQ and dedicated team of 15 experts is based in Weert, The Netherlands (Europe). We deliver worldwide!

IRS Robotics is all about robots, robot service, and therefore the success of your robot purchase. We not only offer robots including warranty, but also essential support such as maintenance and training. We want you to be able to make informed decisions.

Our presence on LinkedIn with more than 30,000 followers does not necessarily prove anything. But it does underscore our commitment to transparency and engagement in robotics. Even more important is our ongoing commitment to market development in refurbished robots. The market for ‘second-hand robots’ is becoming increasingly complex and lacking in transparency. With ample in-house inventory, an excellent reputation, and an average of 250-300 robots delivered annually, IRS is the proven reliable source. Want to know more about why IRS is the best choice? Then click here.

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IRS Robotics

Our 20th Anniversary: A Milestone in Robotics

30-10-2022. Exactly 20 years ago, the parent company of today’s IRS Robotics was envisioned and founded: NEPECO, which stands for Netherlands Precision Engineering Company.

The founder of NEPECO’s workhorse “IRS,” is Jo Waltmans (middle). The first years of IRS were quite turbulent. The traditional mechanical engineering and workshop business was not exactly unique in a crowded market. However, he saw a light through the dense fog. “Maybe focusing on the robotics business could be viable?” The IRS know-how in robotics had until then only been applied to internal Philips projects.

Brilliant idea. But how exactly to implement this was not entirely clear in the early days. Hard lessons were learned that specialization does not come easy. And that turn-key projects also require forces other than just the actual building. But that soon changed. Backed by Jeroen, Patrick, and the IRS robotics specialists, the company was decisively zeroed in and driven to today’s IRS Robotics. The rest is history…

The photo on the right was shot on the anniversary day. It took place in Valencia, the same place where the first brainstorming sessions and fledgling ideas for IRS Robotics originated 20 years ago.

IRS Robotics - HQ Weert - The Netherlands

Moving to Weert: A Modern Approach to Robotics

A more modern building on a solid industrial estate. Tailored to the new IRS vision. Absolute focus on refurbished robots and further sharpening and deepening of services for our clients. That is what was needed. More specialization, but no concessions in basic customer needs: robot, service, advice. Keeping delivery times and quality firmly in our own hands.

And that is what we found at De Kempen industrial estate in Weert. The Experience Center could be built there, with a professional customer reception area, a spacious workshop, plenty of light, and a pleasant working atmosphere.

IRS Robotics - Location Budel 2

Commencement of Budel chapter 2 (Meemortel)

Lack of space! Because own stock began to play an increasingly important role, the location ‘t Inne became far too cramped. You cannot store robots outside in all weather. Robots must be stored properly and there must be room for refurbishment.

A stone’s throw away was a building with 3000m2 of storage. That was necessary and gave IRS even more options for further specialization in refurbished robots and the necessary services. This included its spray booth and a larger warehouse. But especially a more professional storage of large robot stock was essential.

IRS Robotics - Certified Yaskawa Maintenance partner since 2012

Official YASKAWA Benelux Partner: Strengthening Our Services

In 2012 an official cooperation agreement between Yaskawa Benelux and IRS was signed regarding various activities and coordination regarding maintenance and breakdown service for Yaskawa Motoman robots in the Benelux.

Through close cooperation, the set service upgrade objectives are achieved. Hundreds of robots are now in the picture so that the YASKAWA robots are assured of an even longer life span and faster response in case of failure. Being a partner of a robot manufacturer is not a given. We are still proud of the good cooperation and mutual respect.

IRS Robotics - Location Budel 1

Budel – Chapter 1 (‘t Inne)

Gradually, more and more previously typical IRS activities turned out not to fit into the direction in which the company was moving. Further specialization in Refurbished robots was already a spearhead in 2004, but even more so in 2010. Because the location in Eindhoven had far too much office space compared to the workshop, a more suitable location was diligently sought. The ridiculous rental prices in Eindhoven also played a role, of course. And by now we had so many international customers! They probably don’t care whether they are in Eindhoven or in, let’s call it …. Budel.

And that turned out to be the case. So IRS moved to the Meemortel business park in Budel. We immediately decided that no more robot projects would be carried out. Only the delivery of robots and service! And that worked fine and gave the necessary space for even further specialization in refurbishment.

IRS Robotics - location EIndhoven Leemkuil

Evolution from Philips: Our Robotic Beginnings

In 2006, IRS moved to an independent location on the Kapelbeemd industrial estate in Eindhoven (Leemkuil). There, IRS worked hard to complete the very last projects for Philips, including for the glass factory Philips Aachen.

The search for new clients had been in full swing for years. Turn-key robotics projects and the new B2B work mentality were difficult for many employees. Working for Philips internally is a bit different from business to business projects. These were completed with varying degrees of success. But sales of refurbished robots were taking on larger and international proportions. That is what we are good at! Specialization in this became leading.

IRS Robotics - location Eindhoven Strijp R Building RF

The Birthplace: Strijp-R in Eindhoven

It was the very first workshop of IRS. A place full of nostalgia! But Building RF at Strijp-R is no ordinary building. Strijp-R is known as the birthplace of television. Philips worked here extensively and for decades on the production and development of TVs.

Strijp R is the third business park developed by Philips. After the S, the T, and the R of STRijp, Philips went no further. On the site where thousands of televisions were once produced by Philips, now stands Strijp R. A nice place to live, with designer Piet Hein Eek’s workshop, studio, and restaurant as a neighbor and the elements of the past still clearly visible. The trees Frits Philips brought back from his travels and planted around his property still stand proudly. And a historic railway platform looms up between the houses. With Strijp R, an urban residential environment has arisen.

And so it was there that the first workshop of IRS was located!

IRS Robotics - first logo!

Establishment of IRS ‘as we know it!’

Right after our parent company NEPECO (Netherlands Precision Engineering Company), workhorse IRS Robotics was founded! On the right is our very first logo. IRS stands for Industrial Realization Services.

Robotics was already an important part of our work at that time, but not yet a spearhead. That was machine building and engineering. Everything still breathed Philips. All employees were Philips colleagues so the entire expertise and mindset was embedded in IRS. A gigantic head start!


Philips Displays

Before IRS Robotics saw the light of day, all employees were fine Philips employees. In the last years of the golden era of Philips (2001), there was another global joint venture between Philips and South Korean LG Electronics called: LG.PHILIPS Displays.

In 2002, several existing Philips divisions were spun off through so-called Management Buy-Outs. Including the machine factory in Eindhoven, which became IRS Robotics. In 2006 the LG.Philips Displays-timebomb burst due to bankruptcy. The company tried another restart as LP Displays. Anyway, by then IRS, with a group of Philips robotics specialists, was already operating as a fully independent private LLC. Saved by the bell!