Interview: Özge Çağıl Sütcü
Eliar has developed the revolutionary “Eliar Digital Factory” within the scope of R&D and sustainability studies. With the “Digital Factory”, digital twins of textile facilities are formed and real-time product monitoring is carried out. In this way, businesses can analyze efficiency by instantly monitoring their carbon footprint and monitor their real-time costs.
Since 1984, Eliar Elektronik has been a global player in automation systems designed and developed specifically for the textile finishing industry, exports to more than 45 countries, especially India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
As Tekstil Teknoloji magazine, we special interviewed with Ata Turgutalp, Eliar Export Sales & Marketing Leader. Turgutalp gave information about Eliar Digital Factory, which forms the digital twins of textile enterprises, and talked about Eliar Smart sensors, Eliar Academy and sustainability goals.
“How do you evaluate your company’s position in the market? What are your goals for the Turkish and world textile machinery market in the near future?
We aim to carry out global operations based on customer satisfaction thanks to our ability to bring the R&D culture that we take from the founding codes of our company together with end users, our innovative and unique perspective, and our agile organizational structure. At the same time, we are recognized in the industry for our wide range of products, the strength we derive from our robust integration between electronics, mechatronics and software, and our solutions focused on Industry 4.0. In fact, we think that digitalization and artificial intelligence solutions will be very important in the textile industry as in all industrial sectors in the coming period. Based on this, we invest in these areas and use all our know-how to develop products and services for digitalization and sustainable production in the industry in the digital transformation era we are in.
Could you give information about your export markets and your international organization? Which countries do you export to and what kind of activities do you carry out to increase export markets?
Eliar has tens of thousands of controllers and more than 1,500 automation systems operating in more than 45 countries. While we believe that verticalization is the key to global success, our main export markets with a special focus include India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. We establish strategic partnerships with local distributors in these markets. We have a strong presence in these markets thanks to our offering of world-class automation solutions customized to the needs of each market.
“There is an Increase in North Africa and South America for our Products and Services”
The textile industry continues to evolve and expand, so we are looking to emerging markets with great potential. We see a significant increase in demand for our products and services in North Africa and South America, where textile production has grown and developed rapidly in recent years. At this point, our main goal is to produce a main market in our foreign markets without losing our focus on customer satisfaction. At this point, we are strengthening our digital marketing infrastructure with the technological possibilities of today’s world. At the same time, we are increasing our participation in fairs, which are conventional but indispensable elements.
What measures do you take for environmentally friendly and sustainable production? How environmentally friendly and sustainable are your products?
The importance of sustainability has reached a global awareness level today. As Eliar, we have long been aware of the importance of sustainability in the textile industry and have been acting decisively on this issue since our establishment. Obviously, reducing the environmental footprint and sustainability in textile production is a very important part of our product development and production processes. We not only meet our customers’ automation needs, but also work indefatigably to deliver sustainable products and solutions that are aligned with our customers’ own sustainability goals. As a result of all these efforts, last year we developed the Eliar Digital Factory, which will provide a revolutionary approach to the sector. With the “Digital Factory”, we form digital twins of textile enterprises and perform real-time product monitoring. In this way, businesses can instantly monitor their carbon footprint, analyze efficiency and monitor their real-time costs.
Digitalization and R&D projects have become a necessity for the future of a sustainable industry. What are your digitalized solutions as a company? Can you tell us about the advantages these products provide to users?
The name of our company is actually an abbreviation of the Turkish words for “Electronics”, “Manufacturing” and “R&D”. The inspiration from our name reflects our commitment to research, projects and technology development. As a company that already serves the textile automation industry, digitalization is our main motivation. Eliar Smart Sensors and Digital Factory are examples. Eliar Smart Sensors is a family of sensor products that can be controlled remotely with a mobile app. The Digital Factory is the digital twin of your factory. Using RFID Technology, the digital factory makes it possible not only to monitor your factory instantly in a virtual environment, but also to analyze this data quickly and make the most efficient planning, thus making it possible to manage factories digitally.
“We are Working to Incorporate Artificial Intelligence into Our Customer Satisfaction Processes”
What do you offer your customers in terms of after-sales services and what kind of feedback do you receive from your customers at this point?
Obviously, as the Eliar family, our approach to automation projects is always a bit more introspective. For us, automation is not only a project, but also a production partnership. Our realization of a project in an enterprise brings a long-term solution partnership due to the nature of the process automation concept.
When offering customized automation solutions to our customers, we start with understanding the customer and their production for a successful project. We progress step by step with our customer in this process until we move our customer’s traditional textile habits to today’s industry 4.0 standards. After these projects, it is not enough just to realize our project. Because we know very well that true success is continuity.
We currently offer uninterrupted local customer satisfaction support in almost every market we serve. In addition, our strong team based in Turkey is always ready to support and train our colleagues in other countries. With the “Eliar Academy” within our organization, we are able to successfully realize both the trainings of our customers’ stakeholders and our internal trainings. Thanks to this approach, our customers know that they can always reach us in any way and ask for support in any matter. Obviously, this awareness is one of the main reasons for our brand awareness.
In addition, we have been working on remote monitoring and SCADA solutions specific to our systems for many years. Thanks to our data science and predictive maintenance modules, it is an important achievement unique to Eliar to understand, analyze and solve many problems in advance. We are also working hard to include artificial intelligence in our customer satisfaction processes in the coming period.
“2023 was a Successful Period of Increased Automation Awareness Despite Everything”
How was 2023 for your company? Could you evaluate your machine sales and export figures?
2023 started with the tragic earthquake disaster in our country and then continued with wars with global effects that we wish would never happen again. These events inevitably triggered global inflation and affected the demand for textile products. On the other hand, it also brought along global economic instability, creating an environment of insecurity in the markets and making some entrepreneurs hesitant to invest. But despite all this, there is now a general acceptance of the necessity of automation in the textile industry. Therefore, in this period of increasing global competition, investors who want to make sustainable production and indirectly reduce their costs are aware of the need for automation. At this point, although we will remember 2023 with unpleasant events, from a commercial point of view, I can say that we had a successful period in which automation awareness increased.
“We are among Turkey’s Top 10 Companies Allocating the Most Resources to R&D Activities”
What are your 2024 expectations and targets? Will you be working on new products and investments in the near future?
Eliar Elektronik San. A.Ş. derives its 40 years of pioneering power and competence in the sector from its engineering school of origin, numerous R&D studies and its passion for constantly aiming for the better. Our Digital Factory product, the digital twin project developed by our R&D team, responds to the digitalization needs of the industry and we believe that it will make more noise in 2024. At the last ITMA 2023, we were proud to introduce our projects on image processing and robotic solutions carried out within our R&D center. Of course; R&D activities at Eliar are not limited to these. Our R&D center continues to increase its R&D projects with national and many international academic institutions. In fact, in the recently published R&D expenditure ranking for the year 2022, it proved this passion once again by ranking among the top 10 companies in Turkey that allocate the most resources to R&D studies in the field of Electrical-Electronics.
As you know, ITM 2024 Exhibition will be held in 2024. What kind of preparations are you making for the fair? What can you say about what ITM 2024 Fair will bring to the textile machinery sector?
ITM 2024 has become one of the most important and anticipated textile and clothing technology exhibitions in the world, especially after the last edition. It brings together industry professionals, manufacturers, researchers and textile enthusiasts from around the world to showcase the latest developments in the textile sector.
We recognize the value of participating in this important event. For this reason, we started our preparations for ITM 2024 with great excitement. We are making great efforts to ensure that the event runs smoothly. This year, we will have a total of 410 m2 of stand in two separate areas for the exhibitions. Now we are just counting the days. Our aim is to offer an experience where we transfer our culture, 40 years of experience and vision for the future to our guests.