Eczacıbaşı Group’s VitrA Tiles has been honoured with a pioneering role in the adoption of technologies from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, marking a first for a ceramics manufacturer in the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network as a leader in embracing 4IR technology.
As Türkiye’s Eczacıbaşı Group’s premier ceramics division, VitrA Tiles, has recently joined the Global Lighthouse Network (GLN), celebrated as a Factory Lighthouse with 21 other new members. This inclusion in the World Economic Forum’s initiative spotlights leaders in innovative manufacturing.
Atalay Gümrah, Eczacıbaşı Group’s CEO, and Hasan Pehlivan, CEO of VitrA Tiles, gave speeches on 15 January 2024 at the Davos Summit awards ceremony. They spoke about their commitment to technology-enhanced operations and scaling up Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies across their production networks.
This recognition holds special significance as VitrA Tiles is the first in the ceramic tile sector to gain such acknowledgment from the World Economic Forum for its innovative 4IR technology application.
Overcoming Challenges with Innovation and Growth
On this remarkable occasion, Atalay Gümrah, CEO of Eczacıbaşı Holding, expressed his excitement, stating, “We are thrilled that our Bozüyük Production Facility has been selected as one of GLN’s Factory Lighthouses, in recognition of the leadership we have shown in deploying Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Facing disruptions in manufacturing from climate change, a volatile financial landscape, and geopolitical crises that have led to fluctuating energy prices, particularly in Türkiye, this recognition underscores how we looked at these challenges not as setbacks, but as catalysts for further innovation and growth, harnessing 4IR to enhance our operational competitiveness.”
GLN represents a group of manufacturers leading the way in the application of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to revolutionise factories, value chains, and business models, thereby achieving substantial financial and operational returns. Factory Lighthouses exemplify how manufacturing innovations have bolstered performance, enabling them to adapt to volatility and achieve success beyond just financial gains.
Digital Transformation Leads to Exceptional Results
VitrA Tiles’ Bozüyük site effectively implemented its digital transformation strategy, focusing on intelligent process and production controls. The result was a remarkable 19% increase in Overall Equipment Effectiveness, a 56% reduction in scrap, a 14% decrease in energy use, and a 43% rise in recycled content usage over the last year.
Hasan Pehlivan, CEO of VitrA Tiles, commented on the achievement, noting, “While our solutions might be unique, the challenges we face are global, and we recognise the value of a global community in solving global challenges. The future of manufacturing is not about just one company, or one sector, or a single country, but about bringing the global community together to address major challenges. I believe the GLN has much to contribute to this journey, and I welcome this excellent latest initiative from the World Economic Forum.”
Artificial Intelligence Leading a Manufacturing Revolution
Amid swift technological advances, rising geopolitical tensions, and escalating climate change issues, Global Lighthouse Network members are embracing cutting-edge technologies to boost productivity and sustainability. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning at the forefront, these Lighthouse members are revolutionising global production. Notably, during the COVID-19 pandemic peak, 85% of Lighthouse factories saw less than a 10% drop in revenue, a success rate far surpassing that of other manufacturers.
These Lighthouse factories are leading the way in global manufacturing, integrating innovative solutions across their networks. They are forging paths towards a sustainable future and heralding a new era of transformative change. This strategic focus on innovation is reshaping the manufacturing sector, highlighting the extensive impact of advanced technology in overcoming contemporary global challenges.