BRAM
VANDERKWADEN

BRAM
VANDERKWADEN

Maintenance Planner, AB InBev, Leuven, Belgium
Maintenance Planner, AB InBev, Leuven, Belgium

FROM APPRENTICE TO MAINTENANCE PLANNER AND DETERMINED PROBLEM-SOLVER

Two years ago, Bram started his journey with AB InBev as an apprentice. Now, as a Maintenance Planner, he makes sure our iconic beers are brewed and bottled exactly as they should be – even when confronted with unexpected challenges that put his problem-solving skills to the test. 

Challenge everything

Problem-solving is what Bram does best – and ever since he joined us at AB InBev, it’s been a key part of his day-to-day. Questioning and challenging everything on the way, Bram finished his apprenticeship in the packaging department to build his career as a Maintenance Planner. Being responsible for our machines is no easy task, but Bram relishes conquering any obstacles in his way: “I love problem-solving – and that’s what I get to do in my job every day.”

As part of his internship, Bram authored an essay on Preventative Maintenance for the kegging packaging lines – giving him a taste of the same challenges he faces every day in keeping our machines ready to brew our world-famous beers. “Even as a student, I was given hands-on opportunities to learn. My ideas were listened to and taken seriously. That essay is exactly what my role is all about now: I need to think about those plans and check that we have all the parts we need in stock in case of an emergency”, says Bram. 

Emergency stations

Maintaining the machines means thinking fast — solving everyday maintenance issues or preventing breakdowns that can end the beer-brewing process entirely. For Bram and his team, keeping trouble at bay is all in the details. While the nuts and bolts of the brewery (or valves and pumps) might seem small, they’re essential to the beer-making process. “If they don’t work properly, we can’t produce and package our beer,” Bram explains. “Every day brings new challenges. We never sit still.”

And even on the rare occasion there’s no manpower to help, problem-solving is still a part of the job. “Last winter, I’d just finished a long and busy shift when I discovered we had an issue with the water treatment plant. The plant purifies the water used in the brewing process, so we couldn’t make any beer without it.” As the only person on site that day, Bram had to harness his quick-thinking and problem-solving skills to keep things on track. “I stayed to try and fix it on my own – which luckily, I managed. The team and company were really grateful for the extra effort I put in solo, which showed me how valued my work is here.” 

Perfecting the process

Looking forward in his career at AB InBev, Bram is eager to make things bigger and better. “I’m upgrading our beer brewing equipment at the moment. We want to increase the capacity of the Leuven brewery by 25%. It’s a big jump, but I really feel like my work is important to the company and its future.” Since single-handedly saving the water treatment plant, Bram’s taken a few lessons with him to conquer any obstacles on the way. “With spare parts ready to go, we’ll be able to quickly fix any issues on the way – and keep producing the world’s best beers.”

As a Maintenance Planner, Bram makes sure our iconic beers are brewed and bottled exactly as they should be – even in an emergency. Are you ready to join a world-class team at AB InBev?