THE HIDDEN HEROES OF INDUSTRY: FASTENERS
CONSISTING OF PIECES LIKE SCREW, BOLT, NUT, WASHER, PAILETTE AND RIVET; FASTENERS HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE OF HOLDING TOGETHER ALL KINDS OF GOODS THAT WE ARE USING IN OUR DAILY LIFE. FASTENERS ALSO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE FOR MACHINERY SECTOR TOO. AS AN ESSENTIAL FOR MANUFACTURING, FASTENERS HAVE 42 BILLION DOLLARS OF EXPORTS VOLUME GLOBALLY. TURKEY IS BETWEEN THE FIRST 10 COUNTRIES ON FASTENERS PRODUCTION, AND BETWEEN THE FIRST 3 IN EUROPE. TURKEY IS ALSO THE 21ST BIGGEST FASTENER EXPORTER OF THE WORLD.
Fasteners are consisting of pieces like screws, bolts, nuts, washers and rivets and used frequently in industry for connecting materials together. Since fasteners are essential for all kinds of manufacturing sectors, they are heavily used in industry and in our daily lives. Consisting of more than 3.500 different pieces, fasteners are frequently used in a quite wide range; from construction to automotive; household appliences to electricity, furniture to electronics, defence industry to aviation and space industry sectors.
There is a quite interesting anecdotal about the industry’s essential element, fasteners: ‘During the Second World War, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s first military action against the Germans was to order to bomb fastener factories.’ We can easily say fasteners are the heart of the industry and they have a very strategic role in production. And we can easily predict that the fastener industry will live as long as production exists in the World.
Nevertheless, since fasteners are the ‘unseen’ elements of the products and the machines, they are frequently ignored or unrecognised by the end user. Yet, trading volume of the fasteners have reached 42 billion dollars globally and fastening industry is a vital industry for the most advanced countries of the World.
FAST INDUSTRIALIZATION TRIGGERED THE PROGRESS OF THE SECTOR
The history of fastener production in the world goes back further but we know some types of fasteners such as bolts and nuts were produced in Turkey during the 1920’s. Turkey imported fasteners for a brief period after the World War II. Since from the early 50’s fasteners started being produced in İstanbul at Haliç and Rami. These productions were feeding the steel, furniture and ship building industries. The manufacturing of fasteners was in slow progress until the 70’s because there were no new investments on the sector. Starting from the 70’s giant steps were taken in industrialization, and this triggered the fasteners production too. The foundations of today’s production capacity were built during those days. Today the majority of fastener manufacturers cluster around Marmara Region. There are also important fastener establishments in İzmir, Konya, Bursa, Ankara, Adana and Kayseri. The technology and quality investments on the fastener industry in recent years has increased Turkey’s competitiveness in manufacturing standart and custom made items. MATIL (Materials Testing & Innovation Laboratories Co.) is playing an important role in supplying tests and analyses for the fastener sector, and securing the industry’s production and quality standardization. With the help of MATIL, we can easily say that Turkey’s production structure and quality in fasteners have developed evidently. MATIL, primarily supplying high cycle fatigue tests and notch impact tests, is able to do all kinds of physical, chemical and metallographic tests, and serving 26 countries in the World including Germany and Japan.
WE ARE AMONG THE TOP THREE FASTENER PRODUCERS IN EUROPE
Turkey is exporting fasteners to 180 different countries. It is a constantly developing and growing sector. Turkey is between the top 10 manufacturers of the World and is the third biggest manufacturer in Europe, following Germany and Italy. Turkey is also the fifth country in Europe with the magnitude of fasteners market.
There are about 200 production facilities in our country and all kinds of fasteners that Turkey needs is produced with good quality and with competitive prices in these facilities.
On the other hand, there are a lot of strong facilities that produce the raw materials that fastener industry needs in Turkey. Furthermore the moulding supplier industry is quite strong too. These factors help the fastener industry to improve its development and service quality. Locally produced heat treatment machines, plating facilities, washing machines, thread cutter machines and picking machines are also serving the fastener industry. Turkey’s geographical location is also ensuring major logistic advantages. Since the country is surrounded by the sea, marine transportation is advanced. Ground transportation is also securing fast logistics to strategical countries with very competitive delivery time and is helping Turkish products to be chosen by other countries.
GLOBAL VOLUME IS 42 BILLION DOLLARS
According to the UN’s Statistics Department, fasteners’ global commerce value have been 41.9 billion dollars in 2018. Turkey has a rapid progress in fastener commerce. Last year Turkey’s fastener export has increased 28,7% and reached at 470.31 million dollars. In 2018 the biggest fastener importers are Germany, with 6.83 billion dollars; China, with 6.45 billion dollars and Taiwan, with 4.64 billion dollars. Turkey is at the 21st place with 470.31 million dollars and with 28,7% increase at the exports of fasteners. When we analyze Turkey’s fastener exports and imports in details, according to the TÜİK’s data, we realise that our biggest export and import market is Germany.
‘DOMESTIC MARKET IS NARROWING, WE ARE EXPECTING INCREASE AT EXPORTS’
BESİAD’s (Fastener Industralists and Businessmen Association) Chairman of the Board Mustafa Necati Tecdelioğlu says 2018 has been productive year for both Turkey and BESİAD. Tecdelioğlu says the domestic market narrowed at the last quarter of 2018 and the manufacturers have turned their faces to the exporting markets. Tecdelioğlu says: ‘But because of the intense competition in international markets, we had to decrease our prices. In year 2018 our total exports reached 135.000 metric tons, with the value of 500 million dollars. With the help of fasteners that we supplied for automotive, steel construction and furniture sectors, our indirect exports surpassed 1 billion dollars. Fastener exports value increase has been 29%, on the other hand quantity increase has been 21% in 2018. Because of the narrowing in the market that showed it’s face at the second half of 2018, the fastener manufacturers that are working for the domestic market had to shrink around 25%. On the other hand, the manufacturers that turned thier face to the international markets because of the problems in the domestic market, have increased their exports in quantity but not in value. We sacrificed on our prices to retain our markets.’