“The North American market is the Premier League for companies offering high quality and service. İmaş supplies machines to global food giants like ADM and Cargill. Our operations and success in this market proved that we are a global player. We are also among important suppliers of other big American millers like Mennel, Fairview, Grain Craft that have mills in many states of the USA.”
Imas Machinery, General Manager
Konya-based Imas Machinery, which was established in 1989 under the umbrella of İttifak Holding, is among leading technology suppliers for the milling industry. Imas contributes to the development of the milling industry with high-technology and efficient machinery and plants as well as innovative solutions. Imas is among a few brands having its own patents in the sector and it exports its technology to Central Asian countries, Africa, Turkic republics and the United States. The company builds flour, semolina, corn flour factories and feed plants for the ovine, bovine and poultry.
Mustafa Özdemir, the General Manager of Imas Machinery, gives some keywords for the success of Imas as “innovation, quality, technology and sustainability.” Mustafa Özdemir gave an interview to the Miller Magazine. He talked about recent projects of his company. Imas has successfully completed 39 projects all over the world and it is working on 17 projects in various countries.
Imas also made it into the US market where quality standards are higher. According to the General Manager of Imas, the Northern America market is a “Premiere League for companies offering high quality and service.” “Imas supplies machines to global food giants like ADM and Cargill. Our activities and success in this market proved that we are a global player,” he says.
The milling industry has also some shortcomings. The biggest problems are; “market shrinkage, increasing competition and quality problems as a result of excessive number of manufacturers breaking into the market” according to Özdemir.
You can find our interview with Mustafa Özdemir, the General Manager of Imas Machinery below:
Imas is a leading company for the milling technologies industry. First of all, could you please tell us about the company’s history and its role in the sector today?
Our company was established in 1989 under the umbrella of İttifak Holding. We always aim to be on the top of the list. We are one of the three largest firms among Turkish milling machine manufacturers and among top 5 companies in the world. We have highly experienced and professional teams for production, marketing and after-sales services and we practice working habits of international norms. We focus on cutting-edge technologies, production rate and standardization, minimizing production costs, and offering immediate support all of which are demanded by the customers in the global market. We continue to operate with knowledge, experience, and responsibility to realize corporate continuity principles.
We have different brands for different areas of operation: Milleral for grain milling, Viteral for feed milling, Cuteral for saw bucks and Steral for the steel construction sector.
We offer manufacturing and installation machines and turnkey plants for processing grains like corn, rye, oat, barley into flour and semolina under the brand name of Milleral. We transferred our experience of manufacturing and installation of machines and turnkey plants into the feed sector under the brand name of Vitaral for ovine, bovine and poultry.
We offer high-speed horizontal band saw machines in many models like semi and full automatic, pivot, double column, circular, high speed and PLC band saw machines under Cuteral. Steral is operating in the fields of establishing turnkey projects like steel constructing, industrial buildings, service buildings, social buildings (hotel, mall, hospital), stadiums and bridges.
And please give us brief information about your manufacturing facilities.
Our factory is established on 60,000 square-meters area and it has a closed are aof 30,000 square-meters . We have a parking lot of 42 cars, 1 km length walkway, basketball and volleyball courts. The layout of our factory is made compatible with the machine manufacturing process and planning, and minimizing the waiting time. We have warehouses of 2000 square-metes for finished and semi-finished goods.
Thanks to our 6 kW fiber laser, we have increased our speed in sheet metal processing by 3 times. By means of our investments on 5 axis CNC, we have increased productivity by more than 40 percent by giving a new dimension to machining. By the new welding robots we have the opportunity to offer better quality and more efficient products and services.
There are a number of milling machine manufacturers in Turkey. What does Imas offer flour industrialists in a sector with fierce competition? What gives you a boost?
Imas makes the difference at innovation, quality, technology and sustainability. Another important point is our ability to offer spare parts and technical support services 7 days in 24 hours. We have a separate team called ProSupport for after-sales services. We put so much importance to after-sales and sustainable services in this area are among our priorities.
Would you please give us brief information about your recent projects?
There are plants in many parts of the worlds that we have commissioned. This year we had three projects in Algiers with daily flour production capacity of 500 metric tons and 300 metric tons and with semolina production capacity of 120 metric tons a day. We also commissioned flour production plants In Russia, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia and Mali with capacities from 60 metric tons to 240 tons a day.
We also commissioned plants in Turkey in 2018. We built flour production plant for Torku with a capacity of 200 tons/day and for Ekol Sera a with 300 tons/day capacity. We also have other projects which installation works are going on. We plan to commission them soon. You can follow our social media accounts to get informed about our latest projects.
Imas is among companies that highly invest in R&D. It especially focuses in R&D. You established a flour mill for R&D purposes in 2012 and that was supported by Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. You also established an R&D center last year. What is your R&D budget and what do you do in terms of research and development? How your R&D activities contributed your sales and brand value?
We pay so much importance to Research and Development. We are among the biggest 1000 Turkish exporters and biggest 250 R&D investors. And feel right proud of this. We spent more than 6 million Turkish liras for R&D. For 2018 this will reach to a similar amount.
After our R&D center became active, we increases R&D investments. Thanks to these investments, we further improved quality of our products. Now, our R&D center is working for developing new products. We also attach great importance to university-industry cooperation. As we decrease production cost, we achieved to develop energy efficient products and this reflected in our exports in a positive way. We focused on innovation by recruiting qualified personnel in order to produce high value-added goods. Our aim is to contribute in creating a highly efficient and competitive economic atmosphere.
Let’s talk about your operations abroad. How many countries have you exported your goods? Is there a specific region you focus on?
Imas Integrated Machinery Systems is one of the few brands that have their own patents in this sector. Iit exports its technology from the Central Asian countries to Africa and from Turkic republics to the United States.
In 2017, we completed 19 turnkey projects for Asian and African countries. This year we increased this number to 39 including ongoing projects. We have ongoing projects in 17 countries from North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
We have exported our goods to 94 countries until today. We especially focus on Africa. In addition to this we attend trade fairs in many parts of the world in order to increase market diversity. For instance, in the last 2 months we contributed trade fairs in Turkey, Iran, Philippines, Algiers, Kenya, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Chile. In 2018, the number of fairs we attended is close to 30.
You opened an office in the USA in 2011. And you have become a supplier for giants like ADM and Ardent Mill. How are you perceived in Northern America market. Did you find what you expect?
We were already aware of the fact that Northern America market is highly competitive one when we opened our office there. We faced some resistance during the first few years but we did not give up and continued to offer services and exist in this market. Now we supply machines to global giant ADM’s mills in different states there. We also supply machines to mills in Canada. We are proud of being a supplier of a global scale firm like Cargill.
American market is the Premiere League for companies offering high quality and service. Imas supplies machines to global food giants like ADM and Cargill. Our activities and success in this market proved that we are a global player. We are also among important suppliers of other big American millers like Mennel, Fairview, Grain Craft that have mills in many states of the USA.
What are the biggest problems the milling industry face?
The biggest problems are; “market shrinkage, increasing competition and quality problems as a result of excessive number of manufacturers coming into the market.
You are in close touch with flour industrialists. What are their expectations from machine manufacturers that have been adapting higher technology?
Their main expectation is lower input costs. That means; decreasing energy consumption, maintenance costs and number of personnel. And we can only achieve that through full-automation. Decreasing outage rate and increasing yield to highest possible levels are also important.
What are your targets and expectations for your company?
Our aim is to offer world class services that is being supplied by the best machine manufacturers and to pay importance to customers satisfaction as first priority. We want to exceed expectations of our customer and staff with facilities of the highest quality. We invest in Research and Development more than any other Turkish companies in order to reach our goal which is not only adding value to our company but also contribute to the sector as a whole.
You are a highly experienced professional in the sector. Can you please evaluate recent developments?
The market is continuously shrinking so it is crucial to penetrate into new markets. In addition to that, after-sale services started to become as important as selling the project itself. In order to do that, you have to set up a separate unit to focus on after-sale services. Here, I say it with a great honour that Imas is the leading company in Turkey in terms of after-sale services. We have a separate team called ProSupport for after-sales services which is ready 7 days and 24 hours in more in more than 95 countries. Thanks to the automation system we use, we provide online instant solutions and make them feel that we are the solution partner on every occasion.
Turkey is the global leader in flour exports. What is the main factor behind this success? Do you think that it is sustainable?
No success is coincidence. 10 percent of the success lies on skills and 90 percent on hard work. We can make this a sustainable success if we work hard. I believe that Turkey will maintain and improve this success with more brilliant success stories.
Our Black Sea neighbors Russia and Ukraine have been increasing their production each year. Those grain giants are also planning new investments for their milling industries. Do you foresee an investment potential in these countries?
Grain production in those countries has been increasing in those countries. That it especially the case for corn and wheat. We hope that they will invest more in milling in order to make more profit. But economic sanctions to Russia may slow down this trend.
Is there anything you want to add?
Research and Development investments of companies and the country as a whole will enable us to have a great say in global markets. Imas Integrated Machinery Systems spares no effort with this awareness and taking strong steps towards to the future. We will continue to contribute with value added services for our customers and also for the industry and our country.