Interview with Mr. Murat Baykal, CEO in Baykal and Mr. Bayar Koray, Bayer BG

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2011

We are producing the largest bending press in the world

Interview with Mr. Murat Baykal, CEO in Baykal and Mr. Bayar Koray, Bayer BG

Dear Mr. Baykal, your company is producing the largest bending press in the world. Could you tell our readers more about this exclusive machine?
The bending press was produced for a US customer and will be used by the petroleum industry. It is the biggest bending press ever produced. It has 6000 tons operaring power. The weight of the machine is 920 tons. This machine can bend stainless sheet metal pipes with up to 52 mm thickness. The whole process is automated.

What else is included in your production portfolio?
First founded in the early 1950s in the city of Bursa in northwestern Turkey by Mr. Hakki Baykal, Baykal today is firmly positioned as a leading manufacturer and global supplier of "Sheet Metal Working Machinery" specializing in the production of press brakes, shears, punching machines, laser cutting systems, plasma cutting equipment and water-jet cutting machines.

For how long is Baykal presented at the Turkish market?
Baykal Company started building machines first time in 1960 and it was known to be the first company in Turkey to produce power guillotines and hydraulic press brakes. Baykal also was the first Turkish machine-builder to apply series machine production in a factory environment in the early 1970s. For its manufacturing operations Baykal presently utilizes 4 factories which together combine a production area of 75, 000 square meters, making it one of Europe’s largest facility for sheet metal working machinery, and generally, for machine-tools production. The total workforce at Baykal is currently numbered at 650 employees and is composed of highly trained and skilled machine operators and assembly technicians supported by a staff of 40 engineers. All the machines offered by Baykal are designed, manufactured, assembled and finished wholly at Baykal’s purpose-built, high-tech plants in a CAD environment with extensive use of CNC machining and modern workshop equipment. Since the last 30 years Baykal has progressed to become a major exporter of sheet metal working machines to the world markets with customers located in all the machine-tool consuming countries of the global geography from Americas to Asia and to Australia. Baykal is currently represented in over 80 countries worldwide through appointed dealers. In the base market of Turkey, Baykal sheet metal working machines have traditionally commanded a leading market share thanks to company’s pioneering role in the development of Turkey’s machine industry and its never-lessening emphasis on quality, service and customer relations.

Which are your main customer segments in Turkey and abroad?
Main Sectors for our products are Steel Construction, Furniture, Construction, Home Appliances, Duct Systems, Automotive, Energy, Aviation, Ship Yards, Communication, Electronic Equipments, Machinery, Industrial Equipments and Metal fabrication.

What was the reason to choose Bayer BG as your Bulgarian partner?
Mr. Bayar Koray worked in Baykal Company over 10 years in different managerial positions. He has deep technical background and knowledge in machinery sector. He also graduated from Sofia Technical University in the field of Mechanical Engineering. He also speaks Bulgarian language in fluent and a native Bulgarian Citizen. That’s why we present him as Baykal’s sole distributor in Bulgaria.
Dear Mr. Koray, recently Bayer-BG arranged a visit to manufacturing facilities of your partner companies Baykal and Akyapak-Akbend in Bursa, Turkey for your Bulgarian clients. What was the purpose of the visit and how do you assess the effect of it?
We are doing such organizations quite often, but these have not been as large scale as this one.
Few of our customers participated in the visits to Baykal and Akyapak. These were companies that were interested in the products we offer. Our product range covers iron, sheet metal, pipe and profile cutting and bending machines. Shortly, the goal of this visit was to give our old and potential customers the opportunity to see for themselves what machines and how the machines they are using and will use are produced. Secondly, we wanted our old customers to see the progress we have made over the last years and what kind of new products we have been manufacturing. Our customers tell those interested in our products why they chose us. All this increases their confidence in our company. What is more important is that our customers get in contact with each other, get to see different business organizations and operating conditions which may be useful in their own future business operations. For us it is also important that they tell others what they see.

Which other companies do you represent at Bulgarian market?
We also represent Jorns Ag - Schweiz, Dirinler - Turkey, Primaindustrie - Italia, Eae Macinery - Turkey, Kesmak - Istanbul, Ums Kaynak- Turkey, Ilmaksan - Izmir, Sente Makina -Istanbul, Sahinler- Bursa V.S.

How is Bayer’s after-sales service organized? Do you offer some long-term technical support for your customers?
All machines that we sell have two years warranty. After the expiry of the warranty period we provide maintenance services for 15 more years. We are there for our customers with our after sales services. The fact that we immediately respond to the requests of our customers and solve their problems within 24 hours is what makes us different from the other companies. Our service staff plays an important role here. Almost all of them had worked for the manufacturers or take part regularly in their training activities. This is why we have more than 500 customers in Bulgaria.

How do you evaluate the present market situation in your field of activity?
In recent years the world has changed in many respects, which also affected our business. But one should not be pessimistic. Business is not so bad. Sales have decreased but have not come to a halt.
Metal processing has a future. Business is picking up gradually.

What is your opinion about the Bulgarian machine industry? In what direction it should be developed in near future?
In the past the heavy industry was developing. This is history now. Today we should focus more on small machine production and machines for the food and agricultural industries. Slowly but surely we should quit niche production for others and develop our own products and sell them to other countries. The future lies in export. Whoever exports their machines will be in a better position.