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Interview

Turkey’s Transparent and Neutral Testing Solution Partner Equipped to Meet the Needs of Global Clients

TRtest Company - Bilal AKTAŞ General Manager discusses TRtest’s new test center, strategy and its solution partners. The sector will provide consultancy services, as well as a reliable, accessible and affordable test center. TRtest aims to test the ballistic products to be exported abroad on behalf of the customer country

Defence Turkey : What can you say about the organizational structure, vision, and goals of TRtest which was founded with the aim of establishing, operating, maintaining, and providing training services for conformity assessment infrastructures such as testing, inspection, analysis, demonstration, supervision, certification, calibration, and qualification?

Bilal AKTAŞ: TR Test ve Değerlendirme AŞ, started its activities on November 1, 2018, at the Technopark Ankara campus of İvedik Organized Industrial Zone.  It was officially established in December 2017 with the partnership of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), Turkish Standards Institution (TSE), TÜBİTAK, the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TSKGV), and STM. TRTest set out with the vision of becoming a company that meets the testing needs of both national and world industry with the aim of being an independent and reliable testing authority with indigenously manufactured equipment for testing high-technology and value-added products. Main goals of TRTest can be summarized as; keeping inventory of whole existing testing infrastructure in Turkey and ensuring the effective use of subject testing infrastructure; preventing redundant investments in testing infrastructures; and opening such testing infrastructure to companies operating in Defence Industry and also to various Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in other sectors of industry in Turkey and worldwide. To accomplish this goal, we have been creating a portal that will make this inventory visible to all sectors and will sign agreements through which their use will be offered to the military and civilian sectors. The portal will also serve as an interface for accessing the testing capabilities of private sector enterprises. 

Defence Turkey: Have you conducted a classification and inventory study on testing capabilities and test centers within the public, private sector, and universities since taking your new assignment? What is your assessment of the sector regarding the existing testing capabilities?

Bilal AKTAŞ: We initiated our study at TRtest with reference to the work we conducted with the SSB before. First of all, we are in contact with the SSB to update this study. Furthermore, we also identified more than 1,000 test laboratories accredited by TÜRKAK. With the launching of TRtest, test-oriented companies in the private sector began to contact us, and we are bringing their talents into our inventory. We now have quite a large portfolio with the defence industry testing inventory, TÜRKAK inventory, testing inventory of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, including the non-accredited inventories of companies with production-oriented testing capabilities. In the coming days, we will expand and classify this inventory in order to quickly and effectively match testers with test centers.

We will integrate our inventory study with the existing test infrastructures at our universities, and I believe that ninety percent of the tests required by the domestic industry can be met in our country.

Defence Turkey: From your vision, we see that you are aiming to serve as a bridge that builds trust between companies and existing test centers in order to meet the needs of the sector rather than being an investor. Can you explain this in more detail?

Bilal AKTAŞ: Since our domestic industry started to provide products in terms of subsystems for national projects such as ALTAY, ATAK, ANKA, MILGEM, and HISAR after transitioning into designing products from simply manufacturing them, this led to the need of accessing reliable test centers where the companies producing the subsystems would entrust design information of their product. Moreover; as valid for both domestic and global companies; sometimes, companies are faced with situations where they need to use the testing capabilities of their competitors. With its corporate structure and work ethic, TRtest ensures an environment of trust that makes it possible for manufacturers to test their products in facilities of a rival company with TRtest personnel which will secure protection of the private information. 

Defence Turkey: Do you have any infrastructural studies and marketing activities to present the existing test centers as competitive centers to be preferred by foreign companies in addition to Turkish companies? What is your vision about this?

Bilal AKTAŞ: The capability to carry out tests does not only concern the necessary equipment but also our trained human inventory. Our study on domestic test infrastructure inventory began to mature. Marketing these capabilities abroad is also a part of our vision. In this context, we have contacted certain foreign companies. We discuss joint investments in testing capabilities which Turkey needs as well as marketing of domestic testing capabilities with them. We have test equipment capacity and trained human resources to conduct tests especially in the fields of ballistic protection, textile, and chemical analysis in our country. Regarding the test sites, we have test sites that most countries do not have, and I believe that this potential can be marketed abroad.

Defence Turkey: TRtest and test companies sign agreements for the use of test infrastructures. With these agreements, the test companies offer their test infrastructures to the sector under the coordination of TRtest. Can you inform us about the scope and objectives of these agreements? What tests can be carried out under the coordination of TRtest?

Bilal AKTAŞ: We aim to provide the laboratory inventory in Turkey to customers in a fast and reliable way. Environmental tests, fungus test, Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) tests and ballistic tests can be carried out under TRtest coordination. With TRtest and its solution partners, the sector will attain the right consultancy service, as well as a reliable, accessible and affordable test center.

Defence Turkey: There is a small number of Turkish companies involved in the production of test equipment. What are your efforts to increase production, competition, and localization in this regard?

Bilal AKTAŞ: As TRtest, with the collection of test infrastructure inventory and test manufacturers inventory, we are starting to see more clearly what kind of insufficiencies or duplicities we have on the subject of testing. To support the production of domestic test equipment; there are plans to establish “Test Centers” for the areas that need testing activities and to equip these centers with domestically produced equipment.

Defence Turkey: How do you evaluate the sector in the field of ballistic testing capabilities and centers? It has a significant position in the domestic private sector in this field. In this context, do you have any studies on meeting the domestic and international test requests?

Bilal AKTAŞ: We have already signed contract with Nurol Technologies Inc. and Garanti Apparel Composites Technology Industry and Trade Co. Inc. which have TÜRKAK accreditation. We began to carry out tests with our own trained personnel in these facilities. Companies with ballistic test infrastructure provide us with the necessary logistic support and tests are conducted under the supervision of TRtest. We have eliminated dependence on foreign countries in the testing of ballistic vests and helmets. This case was recorded as the first success of TRtest. We are equipped to meet the requests from abroad with a transparent and neutral test service. 

Defence Turkey: Finally, is there a message you want to give to our readers?

Bilal AKTAŞ: Our domestic test infrastructure inventory study began to serve the defence industry sector. I would like to inform the companies, which could not find a test center to conduct the tests they need, that we can help them to fulfill their test requirements within the country if they submit their test requests via the request form at www.tr-test.com.tr and also I would like to thank you for sparing your time to talk with me about our company, TRtest