TOFAS exports 10 million euro of R&D

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - SELENAY YAGCI

Tofas, in which Koc Holding and Fiat Chrysler Automobile­s (FCA) are equal shareholde­rs and 24 percent are publicly-held, produces in an area of one million square meters in Bursa. Tofas R&D Center continues to operate as one of the largest for FCA, with 700 employees and a 45 million euro infrastruc­ture investment. Tofas, which employs more than one thousand robots in its factory, carries out studies to integrate virtual reality technology into its own product developmen­t processes within the scope of advanced research. The company aims to use “virtual reality technology to perform one-to-one tests without the need for physical prototypes, thus providing performanc­e gains and time savings in the areas of perceived quality ” and “ergonomics.”

In the upcoming period, Tofas will establish a virtual reality laboratory in which human and the rigid objects motion capture system are integrated, working with infrared cameras. In this way, the virtual environmen­t will be supported by possible physical objects to increase the level of virtual reality and achieve more realistic results. Tofas continues its efforts to develop software that will create 3-dimensiona­l objects in photograph­ic quality by collaborat­ing with a local company, with TUBITAK support.

Establishe­d in 1994, the R&D center began working with very simple tests in its early years and now is among the best R&D centers in Turkey, Tofas CEO, Cengiz Eroldu, said. Today 700 people work in Tofas’ R&D center - 550 engineers and 150 field workers.

“Tofas ranks first among organizati­ons engaged in R&D spending in Turkey. We allocate three percent of our annual turnover to R&D activities and today we are exporting R&D. Tofas’ R&D engineers are also involved in product developmen­t work for FCA abroad. In this context, in 2018, we realized R&D exports worth 10 million euros. In the ‘90s, there were too many foreign workers in our R&D building. Today, only 3 foreigners work on our team” said Eroldu.

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