UKUB Turkish tool and mould industry to grow 15% this year
In an exclusive interview with ETMM, the chairman of UKUB, the association of Turkey’s tool manufacturers, said the country’s mould making industry will grow by 15% this year and sales will exceed $800 million. Chairman Samil Ozogul also noted that half of mould sales in 2011 were earned through exports.
ETMM: What are the main opportunities for mould makers in Turkey today?
Ozogul: Turkey represents a resourceful new market with better conditions than elsewhere. Second, it provides a niche for start-up companies wishing to manufacture tools that they are importing at the moment. Third, lower manufacturing costs in Turkey present a unique opportunity for foreign toolmakers to move their production facilities to Turkey or form joint ventures with Turkish toolmakers to supply the global market. In addition, R&D laboratories and tooling design studios are available on a contract basis. Generally, Turkey is a well-advanced regional industrial power which exports a wide range of products to the EU.
ETMM: What sort of difficulties are they facing?
Ozogul: Turkish mould makers are competing head to head with European mould makers in terms of quality and technology. Whereas we supply world-leading brands, the domestic market satisfies its need for moulds by going to low-cost foreign mould makers. Therefore, UKUB needs to create more awareness of the value of using “made in Turkey” moulds in the domestic market.
To respond successfully to the growing demand for higher-quality Turkish moulds, the number of technically qualified personnel needs to be increased. Keeping this in mind, UKUB is determined to train prospective toolmakers capable of designing and fabricating tools with no supervision. Hence, in collaboration with universities and vocational high schools, UKUB intends to found the UKUB Vocational School for Toolmakers by 2014.
ETMM: How does Turkey’s geographical position affect the country’s mould making industry?
Ozogul: Turkey is literally a bridge between Europe and the Middle East. The longest flight between Turkey and any part of Europe takes 3.5 hours. Turkey is surrounded by seas, with four of them along three of its sides. In Turkey, as in other developed countries, industries are clustered around seaports. This in turn offers a tremendous logistical advantage for both domestic and international markets.
Turkey’s geographical position is of vital importance when it comes to saving time in dealing with production follow-up, technical service and tool modifications.