Then & Now

We use an extensive selection process to provide natural casings of consistently high quality. How was it then and how is it now?

VH Matters #5 Then & Now



Selection of natural casings was a different game in the past. Production methods, working conditions, and production output all vastly differed from today. Just 20 years ago, only 5 to 10 calibers were produced, and all were neatly bundled according to the 16-2 specification. Calibers refer to standardized casing diameters, while the 16-2 specification required a hank to comprise no more than 16 pieces that could each be no shorter than 2 meters. All products left the factory in dry salt rather than brine, which came later. And when brine was finally used, the workers had to make it themselves. Working conditions were also far from ideal. There was no air conditioning in the summer. What is worse, workers had to use cold water to rinse casings during winter in a factory without heating. There were few safety standards at the time and workers did not have to wear the special clothing required today.




Today, people wear special white outfits and they no longer work with their hands in ice cold water. Regardless of whether the plant in China orders a truck with boiling water or transports steam from the factory across the street to its facility, numb hands belong to the past. Besides better working conditions, the big difference is that the simplicity of the past has made way for complexity. Even though people work everywhere according to the same standards (a clear improvement), the range of calibers has expanded. We now select for twice as many calibers as before. The 16-2 standard for bundles has been replaced by an assortment of specifications and packaging: nets, tubes, and plastic bags. We now have a line-up of 60 different products. At the same time, our flexibility has increased. Orders constantly change and customers often ask for adjustments. This agility is required, as Van Hessen becomes an increasingly global company.