2 Cutting Steel on the Bosporus In 2004, Tufan Demir ÇelIK A.S. was the first Turkish company to buy a laser cutting machine from BYSTRonIC. Now the company has put a BySPRInt FIBER 3015 laser cutting machine into service. Text: Jürgen Gottschlich, Photos: Jodi Hilton
3 Tufan Demir Çelik TURKEY The job shop of the company Tufan Demir Çelik A.S. on the Ikitelli industrial estate in Istanbul. The first Bystronic machine made it possible to keep up with the then-booming Turkish economy. Ihsan Danacioğlu Our customers place great value in precision. With us, it has always been a question of millimeter work. If something were not exactly right, we would soon have our share of complaints. However, thanks to our Bystronic laser cutting systems, it is a long time since that has happened, Ihsan Danacioğlu says. He and his son Sinan are owners of the company Tufan Demir Çelik A.S., and they are keen to show their satisfaction with their new BySprint Fiber 3015, installed just two months ago. The two men are standing in one of the three small factory buildings that belong to the family company. Besides the BySprint Fiber, this building also houses a Bystronic Byspeed 3015 laser cutting machine. Add to these the various piles of assorted stainless steel and aluminum sheets, and the small factory is rather full. Tufan Demir Çelik A.S. is a job shop, employing 55 people. It is situated in the center of Ikitelli one of Istanbul s largest industrial estates, but also one of the city s longest established. At a first glance, Ikitelli appears to be composed of a wild array of garage-based companies: a rather confusing jumble of streets, where one workshop is followed by another, and it is not always clear where one company ends and the next one begins. This pressing closeness is the result of enormous growth, both on the industrial estate and in the surrounding city. On the pulse of the Turkish economy Located just a few kilometers from Istanbul s Atatürk airport, Ikitelli was originally well outside of the city; however, Istanbul s enormous growth means that the workshops and factories have since become virtually surrounded by newly built living accommodation. The industrial estate is typical of Turkey, but it is considerably larger than the majority of such sites. According to Sinan danacioğlu, it is home to around 40,000 small to-medium-sized businesses. These range from small workshops to larger medium-sized production plants like that of Tufan. The various buildings are grouped according to function: For example, other metal processing factories surround Tufan. However, within view are shoe manufacturers, garages and chemical plants. It is such industrial estates that form the backbone of the Turkish economy. The Tufan offices, where the company s management, sales staff and software engineers are based, are directly over the production halls. 28 BystronicWorld 1/2013
4 Father and son, Ihsan and Sinan Danacioğlu, in front of their new BySprint Fiber In his office where plans for the company s development are made Junior Manager Sinan Danacioğlu expands on why he is so delighted with the new Bystronic laser cutting machine: The BySprint Fiber is unbelievably efficient, fast and flexible. It has even exceeded our expectations. In order to illustrate his point, he tells us a story about something that happened two weeks previously: On the Monday morning in question, three Russian businessmen with whom we had never worked before, appeared at our office. They wanted to place a large order for special metal parts that they wanted immediately for a building project in Kazakhstan. The parts were to be delivered within three days. It took us a day and a half to do the joint planning and the programming of the software, and then our new Bystronic took over the job. By Wednesday evening, we could deliver the parts to the airport. Our customers were delighted. FROM steel merchant TO sheet metal processor This story illustrates what is important to Tufan speed, flexibility and precision: We produce highend steel products that are manufactured according to exact customer specifications. Quantities range from just 20 or 30 parts to several hundred, sometimes as many as several thousand, but we do not do the automated manufacturing of massproduced goods. We are all-rounders, says Sinan Danacioğlu. Tufan Demir Çelik A.S. is a family-run company, founded in the mid-1970s by Ihsan Danacioğlu and his brother. At the time, the company was just a steel merchant: We bought steel both at home and abroad, and sold it on to state-run businesses. This changed in the 1980s, when Turkey opened what previously had been primarily a state-run economy to the private sector. It also began privatizing its state-run companies. Our customers increasingly expected us to deliver finished products and we adapted according to those wishes, Ihsan Danacioğlu explains. The head of Tufan is proud that his employees who also played a large part in the company s success are happy working there. Some employees have worked at the company for over 25 years. Tufan trains its new generations of workers itself. According to the company s senior manager, This is important for the quality of production and anchoring the company culture. BystronicWorld 1/
5 Steel sheets are transported to the workshop, where they will be processed using Bystronic laser cutting machines (above). Housings, produced for an electronics company, are ready to be transported (below).
6 Tufan Demir Çelik TURKEY Precision is essential: With us, it has always been a question of millimeter work, says Ihsan Danacioğlu. Shopping malls and bus stops In 2004 Tufan was the very first company in Turkey to purchase a laser cutting machine from Bystronic. We have not regretted doing so for a single day, states Ihsan Danacioğlu. The machine made it possible to keep up with the thenbooming Turkish economy. Between the start of the new millennium and 2008 but especially after Turkey overcame a homemade national banking crisis in 2001 the country s economy regularly showed annual growth of between 8 and 10 percent. One boom sector, even today, is the building industry. In the last ten years, thousands of shopping centers have been built in Turkey; they incorporate countless stainless steel parts from our factory, explains Junior Manager Sinan Danacioğlu. Last year Tufan reported a turnover of 18 million US dollars. The worldwide economic downturn in 2008 did not leave Turkey completely untouched. The country s annual growth fell by half, but it still remains at around 4 percent, with an upward trend: The market will recover, says Sinan Danacioğlu with conviction. At present Tufan is producing the steel frames for seats to go in the large cinemas that are a standard feature of many shopping malls. The company is also producing steel parts for bus stops, required by the public transport companies in many Turkish municipalities for modernizing their local public transport systems. The BySprint Fiber has even exceeded our expectations. Sinan Danacioğlu But we also manufacture special parts for textile machinery, or for manufacturers of electronic goods, Sinan Danacioğlu adds. All applications that require a great deal of know-how, and demand precise work. At present three Bystronic machines are in operation at Tufan: the new BySprint Fiber 3015 with 3 kilowatts of power, a Bystar 4020 with 4.4 kilowatts, and a Byspeed 3015 with 4.4 kilowatts. The Byspeed and BySprint Fiber are located together in one of the halls. Here we have a diesel car standing next to one powered by electricity, says Mustafa Kizilcik, Managing Director of Bystronic Turkey, summarizing the contrast between the two machines. "The Byspeed, the diesel, is better suited to cutting steel up to a thickness of 25 millimeters; however, for thinner sheet steel and especially for aluminum, copper and brass the BySprint Fiber is unbeatable," explains Kizilcik. Praising the BySprint Fiber, Sinan Danacioğlu says: It is faster, consumes less energy and takes up less space, which is very important for us. BystronicWorld 1/
7 With the Bystar 4020 Tufan is able to cut steel sheets measuring 4 by 2 meters, and up to a thickness of 25 millimeters. Flexibility is one of the strengths of Tufan Demir Çelik A.S.: This leads to a wide variety of cut parts. 32 BystronicWorld 1/2013
8 Tufan Demir Çelik Turkey Quickly over borders With Mustafa Kizilcik s assistance, Tufan sold one of its older machines to another company; thereby clearing space for its new BySprint Fiber The company could have bought a fiber laser cutting machine from a local manufacturer for considerably less money, but the Danacioğlu family wanted to stick with Bystronic. Junior Manager Sinan Danacioğlu sums up this decision, saying, Bystronic not only supplies the machine, it also provides the whole package. Besides the machine, there is a team providing support with it. If he has a problem, Bystronic is immediately on hand to help. We cannot afford to allow a machine to stand idle for a whole day. Two hours are already two hours too many. According to Sinan Danacioğlu, Bystronic s service people will come immediately to site, solving any problem in a minimum of time. The same applies for purchasing spare parts: I do not know how they do it, he says. But they are able to get spare parts from Switzerland and through customs in just a few hours. For anyone who has ever had any involvement with the Turkish customs authority, such praise is the highest of accolades. A pioneer for Bystronic in Turkey This year with assistance from Bystronic Tufan is preparing to make a major leap towards the future. The driving force behind it is the company s Junior Manager Sinan Danacioğlu. Unlike his father and uncle, who founded the company almost 40 years ago, Sinan Danacioğlu is not a self-made man. He is, however, a well-trained manager. After studying in Chicago, he gained his first business experience working for a bank in the USA. Two years ago, his father brought him back to Turkey to start his training, so that one day he would be ready to take over the business. The expansion of the company this year will be his first important test. Tufan plans to expand to the Asiatic side of Istanbul, and it has secured an 11,500 square-meter plot of land in the Gebze industrial park, located in a suburb of Istanbul on the Marmara Sea. The Gebze industrial park has been developed over the last few years and is one of the largest of its kind in Turkey if not the largest. And unlike Ikitelli, there are no small workshops: only medium-sized to large companies. In Gebze we want to establish a situation where, in future, we will also be able to supply large customers from the automobile, shipbuilding or defense industries, states Ihsan Danacioğlu. We are fully convinced that the Turkish economy, but also those of Turkey s neighbors, will again experience strong growth in the coming years, his son Sinan adds. We must remain competitive. The location is ideal. The freeway, a railroad connection, and a harbor on the Marmara Sea everything is in the immediate vicinity. Both the steel works and the new aluminum plant in The Byspeed 3015 that Tufan bought in 2004 was the first Bystronic laser cutting machine in the whole of Turkey. Adapazari just to the east of Istanbul can be supplied by freight train from the Gebze industrial park. The new location should also give a boost to Tufan s exports. The infrastructure at Gebze is still being built, but the Danacioğlu family hopes to start setting up the machine park towards the end of the year. As part of this, they still want to rely on Bystronic for their new laser cutting machines: As far as the workforce and the machine park are concerned, we will double our current position, predicts Sinan Danacioğlu. Mustafa Kizilcik from Bystronic Turkey knows what he can expect. We are delighted about the impending expansion of our cooperation, he says. Tufan Demir Çelik A.S. was a pioneer for Bystronic in Turkey, and this will also continue in the future. Jürgen Gottschlich, cofounder of the German newspaper taz, is an author, journalist, and publicist. The recognized expert on Turkey has worked in Istanbul for 14 years as a correspondent for various German, Austrian and Swiss newspapers. We are fully convinced that the Turkish economy will grow. Ihsan Danacioğlu BystronicWorld 1/