Dear BEYSAD readers,
We are thrilled to share proudly with you news on opening of a R&D facility by a member. When the importance of increasing our exports with high added-value products is underlined almost every day, we want and are proud and happy to see most of the teams who strive to make it happen are from our sector. Since it is important to hear what has been done from an experienced person among our esteemed readers, who has achieved it, as you know that it is not easy and many steps are taken and many challenges are overcome, we in this issue give you Orhan Tosun, Manager of Bantboru R&D Center. We wish them the best of luck in their new establishment and thank him for his time.
Could you please introduce yourself?
I am Orhan Tosun. I graduated from Electronic Engineering of Istanbul Technical University and did my postgraduate studies in Industrial Engineering in the USA. The project named “Microprocessor-Controlled Turning Lathe” which I prepared as my master’s thesis in Syracuse University (USA) in 1978 was one of the pioneer works of the low-cost control computer applications. In the following years, I developed mechatronic systems for the textile, metal working, leather, plastic, and automotive industries. I have been working for Bantboru since 2007. I am the Manager of the R&D Center of Bant Boru A.Ş. as of 2015.
Could you tell us about Bant Boru and its operations?
Bantboru was founded in Turkey in 1972 and started operations after an 8-year R&D study. It is one of the 4 companies in the world that manufactures single-layered pipes used in the production of condensers and the double-layered copper-brazed hydraulic pipes. Besides producing brake pipes used by the world’s automotive giants, it is the only company in Turkey that produces hydraulic brake pipes for the automotive industry. Moreover, Bantboru produces condenser pipes for the white appliances industry and fuel pipes for the automotive pipes after the investment made in 2007.
Besides, Ford Otosan and Oyak Renault in Turkey, the company is also an important supplier of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Land Rover in the world. Also, it supplies goods to Renault factories in France, Russia and Morocco.
When did your roads cross with Bant Boru?
We met in 2007 with the project “Peeling Coating on Pipes with Laser Beams” and now we continue with the establishment of the R&D department first and turning it to an R&D Center in the following years.
Could you tell us about the organizational structure of Bant Boru?
Founded in 1972, Bantboru established İleri Elektrokimya A.Ş. in Gebze Organized Industrial Zone for its coating operations in 1992. Bantboru and İleri Elektrokimya companies joined the Harman Grup family in 2005. Also in 2013, Bantboru founded Bantboru GMBH in Saarbrücken to supply to its customers in Germany “just in time”. Today Bantboru aims to strengthen its place as a global player in both automotive and white appliances sector under Harman Grup. With our young and dynamic organization, we wish to add new patents and utility models to our existing ones and proceed by offering different solutions to the automotive and white appliances sector which the company is operated in.
Which sectors do you serve?
Bantboru has been serving the white appliances sector since 1976 and the automotive sector since 1982. Bantboru is operated in these sectors by making double-layered copper-grazed hydraulic pipes since it was founded and extended its product range by making single-layered pipes as of 2009 and launched it as the condenser pipe for the white appliances industry and the fuel pipe for the automotive industry.
Could you tell us about your export rates and which countries do you export the most?
Exports account for 40% of Bantboru’s turnover. The countries the company exports include Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Britain, Spain and Poland. As for the export rates, the first come Germany by 47% and the second is France by 17%.
What distinguishes you from your competitors?
The first reason why customers prefer us is our product quality and price range. We can meet the special requests of our customers. Also, we can quickly take action in cases of customer demands and product-related changes requested thanks to our internal dynamics. We can produce most of the machines we use for production in our own machine shop. Therefore, when a rapid increase happens in numbers, we can meet the customer demands in no time. Besides, our customers can immediately reach the person in charge, when they call the company for their needs.
I wish you the best of luck with your new R&D Center. Why did you need to establish an R&D Center? How did this journey start?
First of all, thank you for your good wishes. This has been a very exciting development for us, as well. Actually, R&D has always been a part of our business. However, we established our first R&D department officially in 2008 with 6 people. When we started our R&D operations, we received support via TÜBİTAK and TTGV. Now we have an R&D team of 32 individuals which we wish to increase in a short time. Besides activities to improve our product range, we also have ongoing projects regarding sustainable quality and automation. We also work on customized products based on the demands of our customers. Moreover, we work on brake pipe development. We have focused on the joint production of brake hose and pipe.
The fundamental reasons for establishing an R&D Center are the following:
- Our R&D department that had been conducting R&D activities for more than seven years had to deal with the current problems with production and could not spare sufficient time for its essential activities,
- To establish an isolated working environment away from current problems as a result of one of the requirements of an R&D Center “structuring in a separate location,”
- The need for more employees for R&D activities, and
- A part of the expenditures made for R&D activities of an R&D Center is paid by the state.
What are the challenges you have encountered during this process?
During the process of meeting all of the “Prerequisites of Establishing an R&D Center” and preparing the “Application File,” it would be beneficial to set up a team of experienced people who had taken part in R&D operations before. It would remove potential problems that may be encountered to develop the past, ongoing and future projects in a certain discipline and to this end, to use project planning software such as “MS. Project.”
It would be great, if you could talk about the benefits you plan to gain; we would want other members to aspire. What are your expectations?
- We think it will be more productive to create working groups focused solely on projects.
- We expect to get more patents in addition to our current patents with the “innovation-focused” works disciplined with project plans of our teams whose essential duty is only research and development.
- With the incentives and support given by the state, we believe that the Center can take decisions required by its internal dynamism in a short time regarding the expenditures of the R&D Center.
- We consider opening an R&D Center is an effective element that will contribute in the promotion of the company.
How many employees do you have in this unit?
The R&D department has 32 employees. 90% of this team is comprised of experienced engineers.
What are your thoughts on and expectations of BEYSAD? What can we do for you?
BEYSAD conducts very beneficial activities in terms of member relations, communication and domestic/overseas trips. The enthusiasm of the management and especially with the Young Beysad group that was formed in the last years, experienced members’ sharing their experiences with the young generations bring excitement to the whole sector for future.