Mr. Olgun joined HAUS in 2014. After working for 3 years in different divisions of the sales department in HAUS İstanbul office, he was appointed as the Southeast Asia Regional Manager in 2017 and moved to Malaysia. He has been based in Malaysia since 2017 in managing and developing the existing sales pipeline of the company in the region. Also in this role, he focuses on improving the effectiveness of the agency network as well as increasing the brand awareness of the company in the region.
1. HAUS has been in the industry since 1954. Do share with us a little bit on HAUS’ background and milestones.
HAUS was founded by a young engine master in Aydın, Turkey in 1954. In the beginning, the company was providing equipment and services for only the olive oil industry. However, due to the increasing demands of our clients, the company started to manufacture different types of centrifuges for the needs of different industries.
1989 was a milestone for the company because the production of our very first decanter centrifuge and disc stack separator (purifier) was completed this year. After a couple of years, the first centrifuge export of the company was realized. Since 1990, we have provided different sizes and configurations of decanter centrifuges and disc stack separators (purifiers) for different industries. Today, we export more than half of our total production to more than 50 countries.
2015 was another milestone for the company because our Southeast Asia Regional office was opened in Malaysia. The palm oil industry played an important role in our decision to open our regional office in Malaysia. As you know, decanter centrifuges and disc stack separators (purifiers) are often used in palm oil mills for oil clarification purposes, and unfortunately, there was not enough competition for centrifuges in the palm oil industry since the centrifuge market had been dominated by just a few suppliers. This situation intrigued us. We thought palm oil customers would be eager to see a new centrifuge supplier in the industry. Accordingly, we set up our regional office in Malaysia and started our R&D studies for the palm oil industry.
I can say that our R&D studies were concluded very quickly. As a result of our trials (we conducted studies into different processes at a few different palm oil mills), we could design our palm oil machine configuration, and we sold our very first palm oil decanter to our Malaysian customer in 2018.
Thanks to the high performance of our first machine and the positive feedback of our first customer, we were able to impress our other customers in the region. After 2018, we started to get palm oil decanter orders from both Southeast Asian countries and South America, and we successfully commissioned these machines.
There was further pleasing news for us in 2021. We received our first repeat order from one of our existing Malaysian customers. This order was of great importance to clinch our success in the industry, and it motivated us significantly.
Today, we continue our R&D studies without interruption to make our success in the palm oil sector permanent.
2. Could you share with us what are the operational challenges in palm oil mills nowadays? How can HAUS products help mitigate these challenges?
I can answer your question by giving an example of a topic which has been very popular in recent years. As many of our readers are aware, process contaminants - namely 3-MCPDE - became a widely discussed issue throughout the palm oil industry in recent years. These esters are formed during the refining of palm oil, especially at upstream stages. To curb and reduce this formation, we redesigned our purifiers. We now offer the combination of our decanters and purifiers to our customers to provide a thoughtful solution. Our decanters are helping to yield maximum oil from underflow sludge while our purifiers are helping to purify the recovered oil. By using our purifiers, more than 95% of the palm oil is obtained while 3-MCPD-causing substances from the oil are reduced.
3. How does HAUS' decanter centrifuge differs from other products that offer the same solution?
We decided to do something out of the ordinary while we designed our palm oil decanters and purifiers. In the palm oil industry, both decanter centrifuges and purifiers are supplied with very simple control systems for ease of use. However, we designed our products with advanced control systems where the operation of the machine can be controlled live from the other end of the world. For example, our service engineer who is in our factory can operate our palm oil decanter which is installed in Johor, Malaysia without the need to physically appear at the site. Our system is very detailed, so much so that our service engineer in our factory can even diagnose a loosened cable termination at the site while observing the error in PLC.
Thanks to this system, we have managed to keep all our machines in working condition, especially in the past few years when travel restrictions were very strict and we were not able to travel freely.
4. What are some of HAUS's expansion plans in this region? Are there any other palm oil-producing countries HAUS is planning to expand into outside Asia?
We decided to start our journey in the palm oil industry in Malaysia since our regional office is located here. As I mentioned in my answer to your previous question, we carried out our first R&D studies and field trials in Malaysia and we sold our very first machines to our Malaysian customers. After this stage, our sales and marketing teams did a great job and promoted our performance results to other palm oil customers in different countries. We received our first order outside of Malaysia from Thailand. In the same year, we received our first orders from South America. Due to the size of the palm oil sector, our primary target market is the Southeast Asian region for now. However, we are also following the industry in the South American region closely and aiming to penetrate the West and Central African markets very soon.
5. What do you feel could be improved in the palm oil mills currently? What role could technology play?
As you know, years ago people kept vegetable oils in large tanks to separate the oil phase from its residues. Even today, many companies continue to use this practice. However, this process takes a lot of time and space. Centrifuge technology was invented with the development of technology over time. Today, thanks to centrifuge technology, it is now much easier and takes much less time to separate the vegetable oils from their residues. Now, the main demands of the oil producers are to make the separation of oils and residues more efficient by spending less energy and labor. This is a very reasonable demand in terms of sustainability. We continue to work on this demand by using the latest technologies to provide more sustainable solutions to our customers. For example, we use high-energy-efficiency motors in our machines, we regenerate the used energy back into our systems, we use advanced control systems in our machines that require minimal manpower, and we continuously improve our machine design to result in maximum oil yields. In this way, we are increasing the process efficiencies of our customers while helping to reduce their operational costs.