Flokser Chemical is Turkey’s leading polyurethane system center that provides solutions in building, slipper and sole, furniture, automotive, adhesives, white goods and isolation sectors with its’ polyurethane, polyurea and polyester products.
Recently, PUdaily had the honor to interview Ms. Ekin Tükek, the General Manager of Flokser Kimya, to communicate about Flokser Chemical's polyurethane business development status, innovation and sustainable development achievements, future plan in the PU industry and the vision of China-Turkey polyurethane trade cooperation.
Ms. Ekin Tükek
PUdaily: Could you briefly introduce Flokser? What kind of products and services does Flokser provide for the Polyurethane Industry?
Ms. Ekin Tükek: We are a family company established in Istanbul in 1984 with the objective of providing polyurethane raw material demand for our country and neighbouring countries. Since the day we were founded, we have been supplying the raw material needs of many sectors with various product groups we produce. We export to more than 55 countries, especially Europe, Africa, Middle East and Russia. We operate in many sectors such as polyurethane footwear and footwear products, construction and insulation, heater-cooler products, automotive, furniture, and defence industry. We are Turkey's leading polyurethane, polyurea and polyester producer with our globally recognised production standards.
PUdaily: The Covid 19 Pandemic has greatly affected the global economy. What challenges did you face during the pandemic? How did Flokser manage this crisis?
Ms. Ekin Tükek: Supply problems, rising prices and delays in transport during the pandemic period had negative effects on the world economy. Although the pandemic has been challenging for us, we adapted to this global change in a short time. We are one of the first companies to react to the pandemic in our country. As soon as the pandemic started, we switched to a work-from-home system and implemented practices such as flexible working hours. Together with our corporate doctor and psychologist, we provided trainings to our employees on pandemic awareness and management of pandemic psychology. At the same time, we accelerated our digitalisation projects and started to hold all meetings on online platforms. We regulated our working hours and continued production with a minimum number of people. We made plans with our suppliers for our priority works in order not to disrupt the supply chain. We achieved our year-end targets by coordinating with our customers and suppliers and revising our monthly budgets. In this context, we protected both our employees and our production.
PUdaily: Sustainability has become increasingly critical for the Polyurethane Industry. Can you share with us Flokser's activities in the pursuit of sustainability?
Ms. Ekin Tükek: We focus on social responsibility and recycling projects in the field of sustainability. We work with a sense of responsibility towards the world, our country, our company, our employees, our customers, our suppliers and with a permanent, sustainable and transparent operation for the benefit of the society. With this awareness, we act by considering not only the chemical sector but also all sectors.
In addition to waste reduction projects with our Zero Waste projects in production and management, we are not only focused on the re-production of recycling wastes as a filler or additive, but also on the chemical conversion of recycling wastes back into raw materials. As Flokser Kimya, we develop environmentally friendly, nature-friendly, high value-added products to solve problems related to waste management and for a sustainable future, and we are on our way to becoming an exemplary company in the sector. At the same time, we have established our sustainability department within the company and we have a sustainability master plan. We integrate the UN sustainability development goals into our company goals.
In 2023; we will increase energy savings with products with low heat conduction coefficient and produce more qualified products with our products with increased non-flammability. We are working on biobased product developments. We are planning to increase our production capacity with our new investments in order to fulfil the rapidly increasing demand for bio-based polyurethane following the developments in the automotive sector. We also plan to obtain our raw materials from products that do not enter the food cycle. We have focused on developing products that cannot be used in food or that are food waste and cannot be used again.
PUdaily: Can you share with us your views on the future development of the Polyurethane Industry? And could you summarise Flokser's plan for 2023, especially in China?
Ms. Ekin Tükek: In the product field, especially energy saving and environmental protection based products will be more prominent in the future. In the automotive and household appliances sectors, where the use of polyurethane is intensive, we think that polyurethane consumption will increase more in 2023 and beyond, and manufacturers will focus on sustainable raw material resources. As Flokser Kimya, we have planned a growth of more than 40 per cent in 2023. China is one of our most important supplier countries. We realise our growth strategies and R&D studies with the support of our suppliers in China. We think that our co-operation will increase even more when freight prices reach normal levels.
PUdaily: R&D is essential for organisations in a polyurethane industry. What innovations does Flokser want to emphasise for the Polyurethane Industry? Will more competitive products be launched?
Ms. Ekin Tükek: The chemical industry is a sector with a very wide scope and is encountered in all areas of life. Our main product group consists of polyurethane, polyurea and polyester. However, when you take a few steps back and look, you will see that these raw materials are used for different purposes in many different sectors. Sometimes our products appear on the steering wheel or seat of an automobile, sometimes in a refrigerator, sometimes in a building project, sometimes in the shoes you wear. Each sector and each order has its own expectations. While a shoe may be expected to be antiallergic, the heat resistance of the product you develop for a construction project may be important. For this reason, R&D is an indispensable unit of the company for manufacturers in the chemical industry. We have given importance to R&D from the very first day. We are the first ministry-approved R&D Centre in the polyurethane sector in Turkey. In addition, every year we are on the list of the top 10 chemical companies that invest the most in R&D in the chemical sector in Turkey. R&D activities have a great contribution to the growth of our company. We have adopted the principle of always running ahead in this never-ending race to meet the expectations of the world, to develop value-added products and to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Today, as Flokser Kimya, we also develop ballistic coatings, composite armour systems and flexible polyurethane systems for the military industry. In short, we continue to exist and set an example in every field where chemistry and polyurethane are used. We are able to develop formulas that can satisfy the expectations of our customers in whichever field our product will be used. We owe this flexibility and success to R&D studies.
PUdaily: Many Chinese companies are keen to participate in polyurethane fairs organised in Turkey. Can you make suggestions for trade and economic co-operation between Turkey and China?
Ms. Ekin Tükek: China is an important and major supplier of Turkey in the polyurethane sector and there is a long-standing commercial relationship between the two countries. Turkey is in a very important position with both its domestic market size and its export potential to the surrounding regions with its strategic location. Turkey has a growing polyurethane market every year and a fair network that has become a centre of attraction. Therefore, Chinese suppliers should improve their relations with Turkey and increase both marketing and joint R&D activities with Turkish companies in order to get more share from the market.
We think that we will contribute to both our company and the economy of both countries by increasing our exports with high value-added products with the experience and raw material resources of China through commercial and economic co-operation.
Source: PUdaily exclusive