Turkey - European fastener market insight
10 July 2019
With so many political, economic, and industry, factors currently influencing the fastener market we decided to invite leading fastener businesses, from all European countries, for an insight into the prospects and challenges of their domestic markets.
We asked them to consider not just economic and financial issues but also technology drivers for the fastener industry and to identify priorities for the future. We are really grateful for the time and thought generously invested in assembling a unique perspective of the European fastener landscape.
For space reasons we have edited some contributions but have been careful to retain the core of each contributor’s insight. Of course, there will be other, and perhaps divergent, viewpoints. Yours may well be one and we would be very happy to hear it for a future issue: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, we hope you find this anthology as fascinating as we have.
Fatih Uysal, chairman
Turkey is in the position of being the fourth biggest European manufacturer after Germany, Italy and France. The sector, which has the objective of becoming one of the two leading production countries through new investments, has approximately 200 manufacturing facilities.
Turkey exports to 180 countries; in particular to Germany and France. Automotive is the leading sector of the domestic market in terms of fasteners and is one of the most important sectors in Turkey – providing the fundamental motivation for the domestic market to be active.
The automotive industry grew after the Customs Union agreement with the EU, resulting in world leading automotive companies basing themselves in Turkey due to its geographical proximity, logistics amenities, and workforce potential. This caused a rapid acceleration in the fastener industry. In this sense, considering automotive is the main player of the domestic market, the opportunities and threats in the automotive sector will inevitably affect the fasteners sector in Turkey, which moves with an understanding of innovation and R&D based production and supply.
NORM’s success is achieved by focusing on high-quality production, investing in technology and building good relations with customers. When we look at our domestic market, we know it will be affected from declining trends in the world’s automotive production. However, there are still new investments happening such as a potential new Skoda plant (final decision not given), a joint VW-Ford project and transit productions.
How has the fastener industry developed in your country over recent years? What are the key topics impacting companies?
“As I mentioned, the development of the fastener sector corresponds to the period when our country became an automotive base after the Customs Union. At NORM Holding we played a key role in this development – especially as the leading company within our sector. We have paved our own way and brought new technological and high-quality products to the sector.
In a country where there are no staff specialised in this field within the academic environment, Norm Holding has encouraged its experts to receive academic education at universities and we then share the technologies we have developed with the universities – contributing to the development of the sector in the country.
We have achieved many successes in 2018 and have continued our export-oriented growth – receiving national and international awards, through the fairs we have attended, as well as thanks to our quality and production departments. According to 2018 data, in the ISO 500 rankings we have moved up 34 places from 189th to 155th.
NORM Holding, with over 2,000 employees and embodying sector leading companies, is the leader in the fasteners market in terms of production and sales in Turkey. Its leading company, NORM Civata, has quadrupled production in the last 10 years.
NORM Civata has also achieved the highest exports regarding fasteners in Turkey of 55% – being the 183rd biggest Turkish exporter according to the ranking of TİM (Turkish Exporters Assembly). The company exports a variety of products to over 50 countries, including Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and China.
Likewise, Standart Civata, which has an important place within the group, works actively in the country – with its 25 sales representatives and 160 personnel – and is the leader in the sector in terms of import and export – providing services to many sectors.”
What are the advantages of being a Turkish company?
“There are many benefits of being a Turkish company. First of all, Turkey is known as one of the best cost countries in the fastener sector; which enables us to implement competitive pricing. Secondly, Turkey’s strategically important location – being a bridge between Europe and Asia – makes the logistics easier than other countries.
Our business philosophy of producing high-quality products and being customer focused are our greatest values and we never comprise on these key areas. With this understanding, we have the flexibility to tailor our production process based on our customers’ needs and expectations. Lastly, having fast decision making process within the business, along with an entrepreneurial spirit, differentiates us from our competitors.”
What are the technology drivers for your country’s fastener industry?
“The development of this sector in Turkey has to be coordinated with the world. Quality and innovation form the basis of competition in the international market. This is a must in globally competitive conditions.
Through our NORM Civata and NORM Somun R&D centres we closely follow the developing trends in the world of fasteners in order to increase our competitive strength. In parallel, we see innovation as one of the cornerstones of our strategy, and we are working hard to strengthen our R&D ecosystem. In short, the importance we place on R&D and quality constitutes our main distinguishing feature.
The basic principle of innovation-based production, in the era of robotic production and where Industry 4.0 is being talked about, is not only mass production and digital quantity, but also production directly proportional to value-added production, quality, robustness and corporate trust. This is what makes us different in the market.
We have also received some awards recently that underline the importance we place on R&D. As a result of the evaluation of OSD (Manufacturers Association in Turkey) members in 2017 – within the framework of quality and delivery reliability, cooperation in technology development, and competitiveness criteria – NORM Civata, operating within Norm Holding, was awarded the OSD Subsidiary Industry Achievement Award.
In addition, the EUREKA SMART Advanced Manufacturing Cluster, where NORM Civata is a founding member, announced its first invitation to project applications on 11th December 2017. As part of this invitation, the Cryogenic assisted machining ‘CryoMach’ project prepared by NORM Civata, together with its partners from Belgium, Sweden and Spain, was awarded ‘EUREKA SMART Label’ as a result of the evaluation made by international judges.
In addition to all these awards and efforts, NORM Holding’s R&D Centre won the ‘Best R&D Project of the Year’ award in İZTEK Innovation R&D and Technology Awards 2018, organised by İzmir Technology and Innovation Platform. Nedim Uysal, honourary president of NORM Holding, and the NORM Holding R&D team that developed the project, received the first prize at the ceremony held at the Ministry of Industry and Technology, İzmir Provincial Directorate of Industry and Technology.”
What do you believe should be the priorities for the future?
“Developing our technology and innovation capacity will be our main priorities for the future. With this in mind our R&D investments are accelerating day-by-day. With higher R&D capability, we aim to develop more patented, lighter and solid products for the future – focusing on weight reduction constraints and electric vehicle production. In addition, being close to our customers and responding to their needs quicker is another priority. In that sense, we added two logistics centres to our operations – one in Michigan (USA) and the other one in Poznań (Poland). With these investments, we are able to better serve our customers in Turkey, Germany, France, Poland and the USA.
Lastly, providing our customers with a full service and offering them high variety of products is crucial. That’s why we are investing more in technology and machinery to extend our portfolio and give our customers an even better service.”
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