Global Attention on Aksa Run Flat – Building Cooperation with Foreign and Domestic Wheel Manufacturers

In an exclusive interview, Aksa Run Flat General Manager Mr. Rıza Saçmacı discusses the company’s successes, future roadmap and R&D activities focused on product development, cost efficiency and running production through environmental-friendly processes.

Issue 72

Defence Turkey: Mr. Rıza Saçmacı, first of all thank you for your time. Could you briefly inform us on the establishment process of your company, staff and facility structuring as well as areas of activity? 

Throughout my business life, I have always acted with a perspective attaching importance to domestic capital. I can say that the most important factor in the emergence of Aksa Run Flat was the lack of a domestic producer in this area in our country’s defense industry. During the period when I worked for the development of the very first Run Flat, we ran a few trials at the facilities of the National Police and designed the appropriate product and connection form. Then we successfully conducted our initial field test at the facilities of Nurol Machinery and consequently started serial production. 

Our factory consists of 2 divisions; the raw material production line and the assembly line. We manufacture the main raw material used within our Run Flats on this production line. All our staff is composed of trained, competent, qualified individuals who are aware of their responsibilities. 

The Run Flat application is available to almost all of the ground vehicles with the proper wheel and wheel rim combination. Our products are presently being used in personal vehicles, public transportation vehicles and military vehicles. We have been executing projects with our country’s leading vehicles (BMC, Otokar, Katmerciler, Nurol Makina, FNSS) since the first day of our establishment.

Defence Turkey: Your Run Flat technologies are being actively used in the platforms of various categories from the Tactical Wheeled Armored Vehicles to V.I.P. vehicles used by the Military and Security Forces. What would you like to say on the characteristics of your product, the advantages it brings to the users and its technical superiorities when compared with the rival products in respect to the cost, logistics and technology?

Aksa Run Flat became one of the worldwide brands in respect to the product range. As you have also mentioned, we are capable of installing the Run Flat application to almost all the vehicles. One of the most prominent technical superiorities of our products is its quite practical installation and disassembly compared to the other products of many rival companies. Personnel trained in this area are capable of conducting all the operations with a simple gadget without requiring any expensive and complex equipment. And this creates major advantages considering the cost, work safety and ease of application against our competitors. We are always on top of our work to provide remote or on-site support with our competent staff and our quick response times according to demands.  This is one of our features that enables us to be superior to our competitors. Presently we are at a level in which we are capable of competing in the world market with our products with convenient prices and without compromising quality.  A concrete example of our quality is in the fact that we achieved more successful results than the worldwide leading companies in the Run Flat field test that was run at the BMC facilities under the auspices of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, registering this success on official platforms.

Defence Turkey: What are the defense industry projects you have been involved in since 2011, both in our country and in foreign countries? Which defense industry projects do you aim to take part in during the upcoming period?

Aksa Run Flat vehicles have been used in vehicles such as Ural, Kirpi, TOMA, Amazon, Loader, Backhoe Loader, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Toyota Land Cruiser in our country. We conducted defense industry export activities to certain countries within the scope of those foreign projects. We aim to take part particularly in the European and American markets in the upcoming period.

Defence Turkey: You are in close cooperation with the major companies of theTurkish Defense Industry such as FNSS, Nurol Machinery and Otokar. What type of collaboration you are building during the development stages of the vehicles, especially throughout the R&D studies with other companies in this respect?

Our R&D studies are one of the most essential components of our production plan because as Aksa Run Flat we always endeavor to achieve the best and to keep up with the latest technological developments. Within such a framework, the leading vehicle manufacturers such as BMC, Otokar, Katmerciler, Nurol Machinery and FNSS conduct information exchange with the Aksa Run Flat on the vehicle’s wheel- wheel rim Run Flat configurations throughout the production stage. As I also mentioned previously, Run Flat can be implemented on approximately all ground vehicles with the help of the proper wheel rim configuration. At this step of production, in respect of the applicability of Run Flat, we attach great importance to the mutual exchange of information with vehicle manufacturers. Therefore, we always strive to build direct communication with the vehicle manufacturers both in our country and in foreign countries. 

Defence Turkey: We are monitoring that the Turkish Defense Industry Land Platform manufacturers are forming a settled structure in the Middle Eastern countries and in certain Asia Pacific countries and thus becoming active players in such countries. What type of a plan and strategy did you build in relation with the launch of your product to countries especially to United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia?

We are aware of the demands emerging in the Middle East and Asia Pacific countries for the Run Flat and we have been closely following these regions for a while. Launching the Aksa Run Flat to markets in those regions through granting distributorship in certain locations and becoming the leading Run Flat supplier in the target markets are amongst our main targets. In order to introduce our products to these regions we wish to display our quality to other countries by participating fairs and events.

Defence Turkey: Do you plan to build cooperation in certain areas in the upcoming period by gathering with the Turkish and Foreign Wheel manufacturers conducting worldwide production activities?

Currently there are certain projects in which we collaborate with Petlas - Ako wheel rim as Aksa Run Flat. When the Wheel rim - wheel - Run Flat configuration is properly achieved, all of these three products become capable of displaying better performance. I can say this easily as a result of the experiences gained and the results we achieved in the tests. Therefore, making the wheel - wheel rim selection correctly and being in touch with the wheel and wheel rim manufacturers as soon as the vehicle enters the project stage are important criteria for our company. To this end, building cooperation with the wheel manufacturers and gathering our product with the foreign wheel companies exist among our plans for the future. 

Defence Turkey: What would you like to say on the investments you made in R&D, the incentives you received and the R&D projects you have been conducting?

We attach great importance to the R&D activities in order to develop our products, to decrease costs and to run our production through environmental-friendly processes. We believe that all the manufactured products could be further improved and therefore we continue to increase our R&D activities uninterruptedly and carry them forward. We build the prototypes of our raw material, and the mechanical, physical and chemical tests of the products we manufacture through our devices with laboratory scales in cooperation with universities. Building an R&D laboratory in which we could be capable of running all our tests is also among our future plans. 

We conduct the performance tests of our products through our special test device which we designed as wheel rim - wheel - Run Flat and we determine the direction of our R&D activities according to the results of such tests.

Defence Turkey: Lastly, is there any message you would like to convey to the readers of Defence Turkey magazine?

As the Aksa Run Flat family, we strive to reach a significant position in the global market and become a worldwide brand in this area. I believe that we will be elevating all our targets to achieve success by acting in line with our plans in the future years.