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With this new investment, we are in a position to serve every sector and every geography

Ekin Kurt, Turkey General Manager of Unnox Aksoy Kimyasal Ticaret A.Ş.,We had a pleasant interview with Ekin Kurt, Turkey General Manager of Unnox Aksoy Kimyasal Ticaret A.Ş., a joint venture of Unnox Group and Aksoy Plastik.

We have started to serve both with our team and with our distributor network in domestic and foreign markets to give the best service, offering competitive and high-quality products and developing innovative and value-added solutions to Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East markets, especially Turkey.

First of all, Mr. Ekin KURT, could you tell me about yourself and describe your background in brief?

I am a Chemical Engineer and I have 2 master’s degrees in Chemistry and Business Management. For the last 12 years as Senior Management, I held sales and technical roles in international companies in the Plastics Industry, 6 years at A. Schulman in Turkey, 18 years at Clariant in Belgium and Turkey. As of November 2021, I have been working as General Manager Turkey at Unnox Aksoy Kimyasal Ticaret A.Ş. which is a joint venture between Unnox Group (headquartered in Barcelona) and Aksoy Plastik (based in Istanbul).

Could you give information about the foundation, structuring, and development process of Unnox Aksoy?

Unnox Group (headquartered in Barcelona), a subsidiary of Sherpa Capital, a European benchmark in the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of masterbatches, and Aksoy Plastik (based in Istanbul), a technology-oriented producer of specialty color masterbatches and high-end additives decided to invest in Turkey and Unnox Aksoy Kimyasal Ticaret A.Ş. founded its company. The joint venture company, which started its activities on January 1, 2022, promotes and sells the entire product portfolio of Aksoy Plastik and Unnox Group. With this investment, partner companies have completed their high-quality product range and have reached the level that can serve every sector and every geography. We foresee a strong growth potential for Unnox Aksoy with its wide product range, high quality, competitive prices, and experienced team.

Could we have information about your product range? 

Masterbatch (concentrated colors and additives prepared to be mixed with the carrier polymer), which is one of the basic inputs of the Turkish Plastics industry, which is in the 2nd place in Europe and 6th in the world, is a value-added product. We can collect our products in 5 main groups. Color masterbatches, Additives, Combibatches, Black and White masterbatches.

What would you say if we asked you to evaluate the prominent features of the products, advantages, and differences in Unnox Aksoy's portfolio? Which sectors do your productions contribute to the most?

Color Masterbatches: We create the most special colors for our customers and always offer the maximum quality in each of the products we offer. Our masterbatch color range is very wide, and features such as matte, translucent, transparent, two-color, pearlescent, metallic, silvery, fluorescent, phosphorescent, frosted, wood patterned, thermochromic, granite patterned, shimmering effects can also be given.

White Masterbatches: We can produce a wide variety of white masterbatches that can meet even the most demanding technical requirements. We produce white masterbatches that can work on thin films, are food grade, have high opacity and optimum dispersion level, do not contain dispersing agents, contain a high amount of Titanium Dioxide, and are suitable for outdoor products.

Black Masterbatches: Our black masterbatches cover different applications, from standard black to special black.

Combibatches: In addition, we can prepare combibbatches, which are specially formulated products that combine colors and additives, according to tso customer demand. Special formulations combining color and additives make the cost-saving as they eliminate the need for multiple dosing systems, which can be costly. These products streamline the manufacturing process while ensuring that all ingredients are correctly added to a single product.

Additives: We also have a wide range of additives that we have developed to help our customers improve the quality of their products. We develop formulations for each application by making customer-specific studies to provide the best solution. 

Our main additives are;

PPA: Additive that increases gloss, prevents surface defect, and brings cost advantage

• Slipping Agent: Additive that reduces the adhesion of film surfaces without creating migration and allows the films to be opened easily

• Antiblock: Additive that creates spaces between the films, and prevents them from sticking to each other

• Antifog: Additive that prevents water vapor on the surface of the film,

 Antiscratch: Additive helps the removal of plastic products from the mold and prevents the surface from being scratched

• Antioxidant: Additive that prevents thermal degradation, yellowing, and gelling 

• Optical Whitener: Additive that makes the product appear whiter than it is

• Antistatic: Additives that prevents static electricity accumulation and a dusting of the product on the surface of the plastic products

• UV Light Stabilizer: Additive that protects the polymer in the plastic films against UV

• IR: Additive that increases the heating of infrared waves while reducing the cooling effect of longwave emissions used in agriculture

• Antimicrobial: Additive that prevents the fungi, molds and bacteria

• Nucleating Agent: Additive that especially improves and clarifies   the optical properties of polypropylene

• Laser Marking: Additive that provides high contrast marking on plastic surfaces

• Matting Agent: Additive that reduces gloss and provides matt surface in film, blown molding, injection molding, and sheet applications

• Fragrances: Additive that masks the off odor with the desired aromatic scent (lavender, strawberry, lemon, vanilla)

• Purge: Additive that removes the oxidized material from the machine, prevents degradation while machine shutdowns, and cleans the process during color changes and polymer replacements 

The main application areas of our products are;

1. Flexible Packaging (Lamination, Shrink, Heavy Duty Bags, Barrier, Blown Films for Hygiene)

2. Rigid Packaging (Bottles, Caps, Buckets, Thermoforming Sheets)

3. Engineering Plastics (Automotive, White Goods, Electrical Appliances)

4. Building and Construction (Insulation, Pipe, Cable)

5. Consumer Products (Toys, Personal Care, Cosmetics, Stadium Seats, Appliances, Garden Furniture)

6. Fiber (Carpet, Nonwoven)

7. Agriculture Films (Greenhouse, Silage and Mulch Films, Irrigation Pipes, Water Tanks).

8. Extrusion (Cable, Sheet, Pipe, Window Profiles)

9- Compounding and Recycling 

Unnox Group draws attention with its intensive work on sustainability issues (42.1% decrease in water consumption, 7.8% decrease in electricity consumption, 11.2% decrease in gas consumption according to 2020 data).

Could you talk about the technological infrastructure of your productions and R&D works? 

More than 40 R&D employees, universities, and technology centers in different regions in Europe, especially in Spain and Turkey, have developed projects. At Unnox Group, there are more than 100.000 products, and more than 3.000 innovative works are carried out annually. To offer our customers the most competitive solutions, we follow the strategy of sustainable growth with our investments in state-of-the-art machinery. TGS, DSC, FTIR, and XRAY are our basic equipment in all factory laboratories.

Could you give information about your production sites and the quality certificates you have?

Unnox Group has ISO 9001, ISO 22000, ISO 14001 quality management certificates and has 3 production facilities in Spain and a big distribution center in France. Aksoy Plastik has ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 quality management certificates and has a production facility in Turkey. As Unnox Aksoy, a joint venture of these two companies, we provide services in our commercial office in Istanbul Ataşehir.

Which works do you carry out for increasing your market share and which countries do you export it to?

We have started to serve both with our team and with our distributor network in domestic and foreign markets to give the best service, offering competitive and high-quality products and developing innovative and value-added solutions to Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East markets, especially Turkey. As a starting point, nowadays, Unnox Group is exporting 60% of its manufacturing capacity outside Spain and within Western European Countries. At the same time, today, Aksoy Plastik is exporting as well 60% of its manufacturing capacity outside Turkey.

How do you support your customers for product demands that are specific to the application and not on the market? Could you tell us about your pre-sales and after-sales services?

Color matchings are carried out by the processes and demands of our customers, we offer additive solutions that improve processes and products, and we prepare material safety data sheets and technical data forms for our customers. In addition, in case our customers have any problems with the product after-sales, we provide solutions as soon as possible with our expert teams, both on-site and in our laboratories.

What are the differences that make your company stand out from the competition in the industry? What is your global and Turkish market positioning?

Unnox Group stands out with its more than 60 years of history, technology, and innovative works in Europe, and Aksoy Plastik with its 40 years of experience and its contribution to the country's economy as more than 60% of its production is exported.

What would you like to say about your company's expectations and targets for 2022? Will you have investments and innovations about your products, services, and other fields of activity?

We have started 2022 with a high sales volume as we expected, and we made all necessary preparations to continue this trend in the following months. We are constantly developing new products. I also think that we will make strategic investments in parallel with our sales growth.

What could be said about your company's service manner and its view of the Turkish market? How do you evaluate the developments and domestic performance of this sector in Turkey?

With this new investment, we are in a position to serve every sector and every geography. Being in a commercial transition position in the Turkish region, the size of the domestic market, export opportunities, high-quality workforce, and proximity to the European market make our country strong. In parallel with this, the Turkish Plastics industry is growing rapidly by producing more value-added products.

What would you like to say to us as a final comment?

Covid 19 and other factors are causing some difficulties such as wages, inflation, the currency weakened, resin availability and lead time, logistic issues, supply issues, cash collection, but on the other side during the pandemic trade period,  consumers have even more interest in plastic packaging due to safe, easy and recycled materials.

Turkey has always attracted the attention of foreign investors and will continue to do so. I expect our industry to make investments in petrochemistry, especially as a requirement for raw material supply and demand balance. This will allow the sector to develop further. 

I would like to thank Plastik & Ambalaj Teknolojisi magazine for your contribution to the plastics industry.