31 Mart 2011 Perşembe

Global welding industry to gather in Istanbul


More than 700 international experts, academics and researchers from the global welding industry will meet in Istanbul for the 63rd annual assembly of the International Institute of Welding, or IIW.

The assembly, which will be attended by guests from 53 countries, will be conducted Thursday.
Top officials, including State Minister Nihat Ergün and Ulrich Dilthey, chairman of IIW and Halil Kaya Gedik, the honorary chairman of Gedik Holding, met with journalists on Sunday to describe the event.

“A year ago in the annual meeting in Singapore, we were living the hard days of the economic crisis and I said there that we would come out of the crisis with our enthusiasm and dynamism." said Dilthey.
“Turkish companies were able to participate in major international engineering projects as Turkey began to compete with rival economies,” said Hülya Gedik, chairwoman of Gedik Holding’s education and social benefits foundation.

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on the potential of welding in Turkey, Gedik said: “We have observed a great potential for welding here, nearly $800 million per annum. We must develop welding machines, machines of automation and robotics in order to raise Turkish competence by benefiting from Turkey’s innovative skills.”

“I am proud to see this conference being held in Istanbul,” said Ergün. “There are certain inventions in the world but nobody realizes their significance at first sight. Welding is one of them. Without welding, there would be no industry at all.”

Expecting strong growth

“While moving on the way to becoming a leading economy, Turkey is realizing the importance of welding technologies,” the minister said. “The Turkish economy has already overcome its long-lasting structural problems from 2002. Inflation and interest rates went down rapidly and both the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Monetary Fund have announced that the estimated growth for 2010 is around 7 percent.”

Turkey aims to reach an export volume of $500 billion by 2023, the year the Turkish Republic will celebrate its 100th anniversary, Ergün said.

“I am coming from an industrial city which has welding technologies applied frequently,” said Alan Mcleod, a metallurgist and researcher from the University of Australia. “But my country seems to be losing its ground in welding because of the low cost of labor in Asian countries. I assume Turkey has such an advantage too,” he told the Daily News.

Hee Kim, director of a reliability assessment center for metallic materials from the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, meanwhile, said the United States had fallen behind Japan, South Korea and China in welding.
“Many people talk about welding and the low cost of labor, but what they need to see is that welding is now technology-intensive. It is not just based on labor force anymore,” he told the Daily News.

During the IIW’s meeting, hundreds of research, engineering, best practice and standardization documents will be presented and discussed at technical commissions. International delegates and experts representing academia, research and industry will participate in the event, exchanging knowledge.
The annual assembly will continue until July 16.

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