TOFAS exports 10 million euro of R&D
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.