Here we have an interview with Fatih Uysal, chairperson at Norm Holding, who discusses how Norm Fasteners has developed over the last two years and highlights the key services that have seen it agree the biggest automotive FSP contract in the Turkish fastener market.
The last ‘Made in Turkey’ feature was in January 2020. Obviously, a lot has happened since then. How have the last two years progressed for Norm Fasteners as a business? How has Turkey progressed?
“As Norm Fasteners we prioritise in our agenda the aim to provide innovative support to our business partners together with research and development of new technologies that facilitate the performance of our team. Due to the global crises that occurred around the world in 2020 and 2021, we concentrated on emergency response scenarios; business sustainability management; preparation of quality and performance improvement programmes for suppliers; and increasing the level of automation-based operations.
We improved ourselves in order to manage the fluctuations in the market better. We did this by continuing to use our capacity in the most effective way and by following the rapid production increases and sudden recessions experienced, due to market effects – which we can do thanks to the strong foresight and close communication we have established with our business partners. This approach enabled us to offer a sustainable supply management to our customers by increasing our on-time delivery performance.
As for Turkey, it has also strengthened its position as a sustainable supply hub during the crises. In Turkey we have a strong and constantly developing industry. As a country that can produce its own raw materials and auxiliary materials in many sectors, we have the advantage of moving forward in a more stable manner without being affected by the crises in the supply chain. Therefore, Turkish companies can make agreements and build business partnerships with the strength they have gained from this advantage and offer solutions that make life easier for customers.
Today, ‘Made in Turkey’ means sustainable and high-quality production – especially for Norm Fasteners. One of the main priorities in our investments is to improve ourselves in sectors where we can provide quality and sustainable service to our business partners with our know-how. This is what has enabled us to form collaborations that we have maintained in the global and local markets for 49 years – as one of the leading manufacturers in the global fastener industry.”
How has Norm Fasteners been able to position itself as a global leader in fastener manufacturing? What are the services you are able to supply customers?
“We put emphasis on producing projects that create value for our business partners and make investments focused on sustainability. That is why – despite global inflation; the semiconductor chip crisis – the problems encountered in procurement processes; and increasing commodity prices – we were able to continue to improve ourselves with new sustainable investments and projects.
Thanks to the strategic alliances we have established, we are on our way to becoming one of the world’s Top 5 suppliers of fasteners. For instance, in 2021 we signed one of the biggest supply agreements in the Turkish fastener industry with Ford Otosan and took the first step of a collaboration that will last 10 years. With this agreement we have become the first domestic company in Turkey to earn a ‘FSP’ (Full Service Provider) title – thanks to our ability to provide R&D, design, engineering, production, sourcing and supply chain management services to Ford Otosan.
With our industry-leading Norm Holding companies, such as Norm Coating, Norm Tooling, Norm Digital and NRM, we provide full in-house production services to our customers with our R&D, engineering, process automation, pickling, annealing, cold forming, tooling, heat treatment, machinery and automation, coating, sorting, packaging and worldwide logistics services.
In-line with our quality service and product approach, which we maintain together with our business partners, we also believe not only in quality control but also in quality assurance. In this direction we apply total quality management systems to meet customer specifications, IATF 16949, and special process requirements (CQI-9,11,12). We solve the encountered quality problems using the G8D disciplines and apply them to similar processes to prevent recurrence. Thanks to this service approach, we have established long-term and trust-oriented business partnerships with our customers.
In the future we will continue our efforts to become a service supplier in future shaping projects of the world’s leading automotive companies and will be successful with the infrastructure we have developed.”
What investments have you made in the company over the last twelve months?
“Today’s rapidly evolving manufacturing technologies raise challenges for all players within the fastener industry. For instance, additive manufacturing technology is a major trend in the industry – becoming an indispensable method in the manufacturing of value- added products. At Norm Holding, in-line with our 2025 vision and strategies, we have established Norm Additive and invested in this production infrastructure in order to integrate it into our production expertise. Norm Additive will provide services not only in the automotive industry, but in a wide range of industries such as aviation, white goods, defence, medical technologies, and supplies, both in Turkey and abroad. In contrast to traditional manufacturing technologies, we aim to provide cost and time effective modalities in terms of both engineering and production services – in order to reduce weight and increase performance in structural parts. Prototyping and mass production services will also be offered through our additive manufacturing systems. Under these changing prerequisites, 316L stainless steel and AlSi10Mg aluminium alloys will be available in our systems for our customers in the automotive industry.
In addition to our washer production facility, which was established in 2020 – and due to the years of accumulated knowledge, experience, production, R&D, and engineering competencies we have gained in cold forging – we have also established Norm Forging based on the needs of our customers. Thanks to this new investment – which will include modern forging technical equipment at international
standards to meet the quality requirements of our business partners – we will be able to diversify our product portfolio with hot forged special parts. Our new enterprise will continue to create value for our customers, as well as position us as a solution partner through zero defect philosophy, customer satisfaction-oriented production, and end-to-end supply chain solutions.
At Norm Fasteners we have continued to grow organically and increased our capacity with our new investments in machinery, equipment and cutting-edge technologies in all our fastener, coating and tooling facilities. In the last two years alone, we have increased our production by 35% and our production target is 165,000 tonnes in 2022. We also aim to expand our product range and follow the latest technologies in order to offer a better service to our customers.”
What are your plans for the upcoming years? What do you think will be the challenges for the big and small manufacturers?
“Our main goals for 2022 will be to continuously increase our quality standards, and customer satisfaction, and to strengthen our business practices – to establish sustainability in each phase of our operations. As such, while we continue our efforts to be a mindful business partner for our customers, we will also move forward in-line with the main strategies of our organisation in environmental, economic and social issues. In 2022 and 2023, we plan to invest in business ventures and operations totalling €110 million in Turkey and abroad.
Our logistics and marketing company in the USA will also be our gateway to one of the markets enabling us to grow the fastest. We also aim to grow in the electric vehicle market as well with our reduced-weight fasteners, which we developed especially for the needs of this market and obtained patent registrations. Moreover, we expect rapid growth in Poland, Romania, and Germany, and we aim to increase our business operations abroad in the upcoming period in respect of proximity to consumers, the supply of skilled labour, and ecosystem synergies.
We will also look to continue to prioritise our activities in the R&D and innovation fields, to further understand customer demands and expectations and to offer sectoral or customer-based solutions. With the motto ‘from idea to product, from need to solution’, our goal is to work more on solution-oriented innovative products and processes in coordination with our sales team and other relevant departments. At Norm Fasteners, we will move forward on our path with the same philosophy in R&D and innovation efforts that we have in all aspects of our operations – by always prioritising customer needs and satisfaction.
That is why we are proud to announce that five patent applications for innovative products, which we have developed in this direction in 2022, have been registered. We will continue our efforts with excitement in order to bring new and value-added products to the sector and we will continue to be pioneers in the sectors we operate in, both nationally and internationally.”
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.