Turkish bike manufacturer powers to leading position
The global boom in cycling, and the demand for stylish new models, has reinforced the importance of a supply chain built on strong partnerships, quality products, and a shared passion for innovation. So when BİSAN, the first and one of the biggest bicycle manufacturers in Turkey, wanted to bring the manufacture of bicycle frames in-house and local, rather than relying on stretched global supply chains, it turned to Interpon, a leading global brand of powder coating from AkzoNobel, to help it on its journey.
The partnerships dates back to 2018 when the General Manager, Ali Orçun Bal, recognized that becoming one of the few bike brands in Europe to have its own frame-making capability would give it a competitive advantage, and attract new business from OEMs. He spoke to the experts at AkzoNobel Powder Coatings about the benefits of switching to Interpon powder coatings:
“Previously the frames would arrive at the BİSAN plant pre-painted. While the colors were popular, I recognized that the liquid paints they used came at a cost to the environment and the finish was not durable enough to meet our high-quality standards. With the support of AkzoNobel Powder Coatings, we made the switch to Interpon which are not only better for the environment, but also offer much greater protection, being highly resistant to UV, chipping, and scratches.
“Best of all,” he continues, “is the range of colors and finishes available to us. Both of our organisations are close followers of trends and AkzoNobel delivers with the latest on-trend colors to a quality and consistency second to none. The Interpon technical team also works with us to develop bespoke colors to support new model launches, as well as matching existing color schemes that gave the look and feel of a fluorescent liquid paint, but without causing harm to the environment.”
To give some idea of how demand for BİSAN’s bikes has increased, and the relationship between the two companies has evolved, AkzoNobel Powder Coatings created 15 bespoke colors for BİSAN in 2020, and 17 colors in the 1st Quarter of 2021 alone.
Specifically, many of the coatings are derived from AkzoNobel’s Interpon A3280 range and ACE series – which are relied upon by global automotive manufacturers to deliver the durability, style and performance they need to protect their products and their reputations. BİSAN is also using Interpon’s Auto wheel Vedoc black which gives a brilliant gloss finish.
Working with AkzoNobel is making BİSAN more resilient, both in terms of the product it manufactures and the busines as a whole, helping reduce the cost of manufacturing while supporting the environment. Interpon powder coatings create less waste, which reduces BİSAN’s production costs, and the lack of any VOC emissions during manufacture and lower curing temperatures also help reduce BİSAN’s carbon footprint.
“We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and AkzoNobel shares these sustainability values which is very important to us,” Ali Orçun Bal adds.
In the three years that BİSAN and AkzoNobel have been working together, Ali Orçun Bal says the support he has received has been exceptional: “Many Turkish people have an emotional connection to our company having learned how to ride on a BİSAN, so our reputation and our brand are very important to us. That means working only with the very best partners, and with AkzoNobel I have direct access to the very best team that delivers the high-quality technical support and advice we need as a growing business.
“With the support of AkzoNobel, we will sell more than 200,000 finished bikes this year and make another 100,000 frames and forks for third-party manufacturers. Manufacturers are moving away from their reliance on the Far East and looking for partners closer to home in Europe. The strength, durability and color of our Interpon powder coated frames are a strong selling point in helping us win new business.”
Today the ‘local’ manufacturer is a global enterprise, producing 85 models, from children’s tricycles to professional racing bikes, folding and electric, and exporting to 15 countries. BİSAN uses Interpon powder coatings in more than 90% of its total production and is actively working with AzkoNobel at how it may introduce future innovations and processes, including the use of low-temperature curing which is ideal for aluminum frames and the ability to coat a range of heat sensitive substrates.
“Working with AkzoNobel Powder Coatings and our shared passion for quality, innovation and the environment makes me very excited about the future,” Ali Orçun Bal adds. “We very much look forward to discovering where the future with Interpon will take us.”