We re in Turkey, near Balikesir, to visit the manufacturing facility of Yaris Kabin, a leading Turkish manufacturer of cabins for agricultural and earth-moving machinery. The temperature is very high, but tempered by a gentle breeze that makes it a pleasure to admire the hilly landscape surrounding the plant before being received by Mr. Nazmi Yaris, the Owner and Mr. Omer Arabaci, the Production Manager.
"My two brothers and I started this business in 1977 from a mere 50 sq.m", begins Mr. Nazmi. "The idea came from my eldest brother, who passed away a few years ago. He immediately directed the activity towards the production of tractor cabs that were initially sold directly to farmers, who then installed them on their own tractors or to shops who would sell and install them on tractors. Fortunately, the business grew well and in 1996 we took the first step by moving to a larger facility (about 2,060 sq. m) on the road to Izmir. But the real turning point for the business was in 2001 when we targeted the OEMs and started selling directly to tractor manufacturers and not only to private individuals. Since then, we have been experiencing growth and continuing success that has led us to the current position." The company's head count is approximately a total of 1,000 employees in three production facilities: Balikesir with two plants totalling 60,000 square metres in which the cabs are physically assembled and Bursa, with one facility of 12,000 square metres in which parts of the cabins are produced and some subcontracting work is carried out. Among the major Customers of Yaris Cabin are CNH Italy (part of the Fiat Group) and Tube Tractor, Turkey. These two account for about 60% of the total production.
Yaris Kabin has always pursued "product quality" through a continuous program of investments in innovative and reliable machinery. This is essential for the growth of the company. "No company in Turkey has an installed machine base comparable to ours" says Mr. Nazmi Yaris with pride. In fact, a tour of the company premises confirms that the equipment in the production plant has been selected with a clear vision about the development of the manufacturing process, aimed towards process automation thro' high technology. To see the robotized painting system with 4 robots that carry out pre-painting surface preparation and painting is a great pleasure and at the same time an example of high quality and efficiency. We cannot avoid mentioning the measurement and dimensional control system installed in a special cabin. A laser system scans the cabins and generates the 3D model and compares it with the original 3D model.
The technological choices and the higher automation of the production process have, among other things, allowed Yaris to overcome the period of global crisis in a much better way than others. "There was a 30% drop in orders, but considering that the overall earth moving sector had suffered a downturn of 90%, we were better off" Yaris says.
"Customers who visit our company express appreciation of the heavy investments in technology and feel reassured" says Mr. Yaris also referring to another competitive advantage resulting from the choice of a modern and efficient production line. It is not by chance that the facility in which we are was set-up after the crisis and other projects are in progress, proving the ability and farsightedness of Mr. Yaris in making the right choices at the right time. A new building dedicated to tube processing is already under construction, while another dedicated to the production of plastic canopies is planned to be built on an area that has already been acquired.
The BLM bending machines were also chosen due to their high technology and, in fact, have contributed to Yaris Kabin making a major quality leap. "Certainly they are not low-cost machines - Mr. Yaris says smiling - but we must say that they have helped us to solve important production problems." To confirm this, Mr Arabaci describes the specific case of the cab supporting tube that, before purchasing the BLM's tube bending machine was made from three separate components that were successively welded together. All the bending machine manufacturers told us that it was not possible to manufacture it in a single piece and even BLM appeared sceptical due to the presence of two variable radius curves close to each other. Afterwards, however, the technicians studied special equipment to be mounted on the ELECT XL system allowing us to produce the component in a single piece".
"We also very much like the control software; in particular the touch screen on the bending systems is much easier and user-friendly, facilitating all day by day operations," concludes Omer Arabaci.
After the electric bending machine, the process of technological innovation continued with the Laser Tube LT722D system that impressed Mr. Yaris especially for its speed, which is certainly not the only advantage of the system.
We are still only just beginning to exploit the machine's potential, but certain important aspects are already clear. For example, the special scrap reduction cycle whereby Yaris saves about 50,000 Euros per year of scrap material. This cycle optimises the material usage by calculating the length of the starting tube considering the components to be cut keeping the scrap to a minimum.
When talking about the future, Mr. Yaris smiles and shows his optimism based on a consideration that is both simple and undeniable: "humanity is constantly growing and will continue to eat, therefore more and more food will have to be produced and to do so agricultural machinery with the cabs that we manufacture will be required."
In fact, the optimism of Mr. Yaris seems to be founded on far more solid grounds, founded on the certainty of having a company focusing on its ability to innovate thro' high technology and knowing what it takes to beat the competition worldwide.