Reference Sarkuysan Electrolytic Copper Co.

Jewel made of copper

The leading Turkish electrolytic copper producer, Sarkuysan, has been using Upcast® technology to manufacture its products for over 40 years. Since it’s founding in 1972, Sarkuysan has grown to be a globally renowned supplier of first-rate copper products. To maintain and improve its performance and competitiveness, the company has systematically upgraded its processes and hardware.

Sarkuysan, a Turkey based company operating also in the USA, has a special place in the history of Turkish industrialization. As the first successful publicly held corporation in Turkey, it has paved the way for the whole country’s economic development. Being one of the first international implementers of the Upcast® technology, Sarkuysan now produces a wide range of high quality products to serve industrial customers worldwide – in­cluding significant amount of the European car manufacturers, and even suppliers of NASA. Today the company is without a doubt the leading producer of copper wire and tube products in Turkey.

– The current wire-rod demand, including the domestic market and export, lies around 460 000 metric tons per year. Our annual continuous casting capacity is 220 000 metric tons, explains Mr. Hayrettin Çaycı, Chairman of Board for Sarkuysan.

Upcast Oy in key role

During its long history, Sarkuysan has learned a thing or two about the copper business. Thanks to its experience and expertise, the company can deliver products of the highest standards.

– To be of industrial value, copper must be purely electrolytic and free from ­impurities. The production at Sarkuysan can be summarized in two main stages, the first being the refining process, and the second the downstream processing and shaping of the pure electrolytic copper, Çaycı says.

Since the 1970’s, Upcast Oy has played a key role in Sarkuysan’s success.

– Our first Upcast® plant, established in 1974, was one of the earliest plants shipped following the commercialization of this technology in Finland. This model had 12 strands, and it was the most suitable option for ­Sarkuysan’s general mentality of ­gradually growing with reasonable investments, says Çaycı and mentions that his foresight on ­Upcast® technology was strong in those days as he spent around half a year being a ­summer trainee as a student in Outokumpu Oy Pori factory in 1966.

After the first plant was in full effect, it soon became evident that the new technology had what it takes to make the business bloom. A second Upcast® plant was established only three years after the first one.

– The demand for wire-rod increased continuously, and we needed to answer it. With almost the same priorities, the second plant was put on duty with 16 strands in 1977, Çaycı says.

Close cooperation for continuous improvement

It has now been over 40 years since the first Upcast® plant of Sarkuysan was established, and the line is still producing first-class copper products. It has, of course, gone through a few modernization processes along the way.

– Sarkuysan sees continuous ­improvement and upgrades as a way to keep up its high level of competitiveness. The first two ­modernization projects were carried out in 1998 and 1999 to improve our abilities to produce oxygen free, high quality rods with diameters between 8 and 22 millimeters.

With the vision of improving its global business, Sarkuysan recently invested in another upgrade project that would increase productivity and optimize cost-efficiency.

The plant’s old induction furnace with a 7-ton holding capacity, rated at 800 kW, was replaced with a new 1300 kW furnace with an 18-ton liquid copper holding volume.

– This project was carried out in close cooperation between the Upcast Oy, ­Sarkuysan AS and Sarmakina AS technical teams in 2013. The new induction furnace has now been operative since April 2014, and has considerably lowered our energy consumption.

At the same time with the major mod­ernization of furnaces, other modifications in were made as well.

– Since then Sarkuysan has been capable of producing oxygen free copper rod in 8–25 mm diameter range at the same Upcast® plant, says Çaycı.

Future challenges tackled

According to Çaycı, the future challenges for the copper business will be related to increasing competition while the profit margins narrow down. In addition, aluminum as a con-

ductive metal seems to be an alternative for copper to a certain degree, and to introduce a limited adverse effect to the copper consumption. Whatever the future brings, Sarkuysan aims to tackle the challenges and keep up its competitiveness. 

– A positive trend is still expected to continue in the copper market. As a market oriented company, we will follow the new technological developments and apply them to our processes if needed. We strongly believe that our cooperation with Upcast Oy will continue in the future in new projects and collaboration areas, says Hayrettin Çaycı.

Hayrettin Çaycı Chairman of Board, Sarkuysan: It soon became evident that the new technology had what it takes to make the business bloom.

A significant amount of the motor vehicles produced in Europe use Sarkuysan’s wires. The upgrades will increase productivity and optimize cost-efficiency.

Sarkuysan AS

  • Leading producer of electrolytic copper products in Turkey
  • Founded in 1972
  • HQ and production plants in Turkey, and in the USA
  • 220 000 metric tons of copper casted annually; products exported to over 60 countries worldwide
  • Upcast® plant in operation since 1974
  • Derives its name from the first syllables of the Turkish words for the founders’ professions: SARraf (Gold dealer), KUYumcu (Jeweller), SANatkar (Artist).