Interview: Dr. Çetin Nazikkol of ThyssenKrupp AG speaks about the company and Industrie 4.0

The company of ThyssenKrupp is one of the European multinational conglomerates in the world consisting of 670 companies. The company came about from the merger of two of Germany's largest companies, Thyssen AG and Krupp, in the late 90's. Between both compnaies is over 200 years of knowledge and business success. Since the merger of the two, the conglomerate has become one of the largest producers of steel in the world, and also provides components for the automotive industry, elevators, escalators, material trading and industrial services. 


The Global Success Club is proud to have one of the company's distinguished executives with us as a panel speaker at the upcoming 2. Turkish-German Innovation Summit. Dr. Çetin Nazikkol, CEO of Thyssenkrupp RHQ Middle East & Africa, will join us to speak about chances for German firms and R&D efforts in Turkey. Please enjoy now a short interview we did with him in preparation for his panel, and be sure to join us at the upcoming Summit in March to hear more from Dr. Nazikkol.


GSC: The ThyssenKrupp website proudly displays the slogan "engineering.tomorrow.together." at the top of its homepage. What does this mean to the company and what sort of efforts has it taken to ensure that the slogan is followed?


Dr. Çetin Nazikkol: “engineering. tomorrow. together” are the three words that describe who we are, what we do and how we do it.

Our claim condenses our strategy and our brand promises which stands at the very center of everything we do at thyssenkrupp: we advance our customers. That is to say understanding current and future customer needs and delivering competitive products, services, and solutions.


GSC: During your panel at the upcoming Turkish-German Innovation Summit, you will be specifically talking about investment opportunities for German firms in Turkey. If someone from a German company were to come to you right now and ask about investing in Turkey, what is the one biggest piece of advice you would offer them before they start?


Dr. Çetin Nazikkol: This is an amazing country with a young and dynamic population. Turkey is well connected to Europe, Middle East and Africa. This is partially due to its geopolitical location but what is even more important is that the country is like a melting pot of all these cultures as well. You can see and live that in your daily business life. There is a high quality standard when it comes to manufacturing which makes Turkey an important supplier to Europe for several industries. Automotive for instance is one of those industries. Turkish suppliers are providing high quality parts & components to major brands producing in Germany as well as in other countries in Europe. On the other hand however, personal relationships are highly determinant on business relations. Emotions play an important role and Turks generally seek to build trust before making a deal. My biggest piece of advice therefore would be to try to understand the culture and the way of doing business here.  Good communication can open doors.


GSC: Being such a large company, I'm sure that ThyssenKrupp has taken some efforts in order to implement Industrie 4.0 applications in their manufacturing facilities. Since the Turkish-German summit you will attend soon will have Industrie 4.0 as it's main topic, can you please share your company's stance on the topic and give an example where you implemented an application of it?


Dr. Çetin Nazikkol: Industry 4.0 is high on our innovation agenda. We are working hard to ensure that in the future thyssenkrupp stands for sustainable products produced in a sustainable way. We are spending around 2.5 percent of our turnover annually on research and development. For this we not only need lots of good ideas, but also have to define the entire path from idea to successful product. Our Product Lifecycle Management system describes the stages of product development. Our TechCenters play an important role in this. They can develop ideas very quickly to the point where we can make an informed decision about a market launch. Current studies show that cooperation across traditional sector and technology boundaries is becoming increasingly important. With its diverse technologies, this is one of thyssenkrupp’s major strengths.

For instance, in our Ilsenburg plant, camshafts and the machines used to produce them are in active dialogue. Each camshaft has its own unique ID and passes through the production process almost as if it had a first and last name. And it carries a large amount of data, such as the customer for which it is being produced, its current processing status, and in what condition it left the previous process step. This dialogue between product and production is based on interfaces to the Internet.

GSC Team
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Date: 3/23/17