For entrepreneurs to succeed, they need more than just a good idea – they need the right timing. Mehmet Özpolat had both.
In the mid-1960s, Mehmet Özpolat was working as a manufacturing supervisor for a Turkish milling equipment supplier. The work provided vital experience, but he envisioned a way to make better milling equipment on his own. So in 1966, he founded Özpolat Milling and Machinery Technology in Gaziantep, Turkey.
According to Mehmet’s grandson, Baris Özpolat, a board member representing the family’s third generation in the business, the timing to start the company was just right.
“This was a period of technological advancement in Turkey, particularly in the area of milling equipment,” he explains. “Mehmet believed he could design and manufacture better equipment for flour millers, and he turned out to be correct.”
The company saw steady growth, but business took off with its first big innovation in 1980, when Özpolat introduced the Turkish milling industry’s first-ever fully automatic rollermill with a completely cast iron-built body. This new technology helped to elevate the company as a leader in milling industry equipment.
In the 1990s, says Özpolat, the company expanded further by beginning to export its products, offering turnkey flour mills, and performing research and development (R&D). “The R&D was established with the goal to introduce an innovation or improvement to every piece of equipment we manufacture.
“These changes in the ‘90s really helped us grow,” says Özpolat. “Since then, we have expanded significantly. The company has 100 employees across 17 locations globally, with clients in 40 countries. In 2020, it changed its name to Özpolat Grain Processing Technologies to cover its multiple areas of expertise. “Today, we are not only a machine manufacturer,” he adds, “but also an engineering company. Since we design the mills and produce the machines ourselves, everything works simultaneously in harmony and efficiency.”
Özpolat says the company’s mission is to develop advanced technologies that help its customers feed the world. “We want to create a world where everyone has access to healthy food. And one of the steps toward accomplishing this goal is to make sure no grain grown on Earth is wasted.
“Grain is so valuable,” says Özpolat, “because it can be used for human food or animal feed. Everyone benefits from it.
“That’s why we have invested so heavily in R&D,” he explains. “We have the knowledge and experience to help any type of processing facility or mill, no matter the grain.
“It is our vision to be the first company that comes to mind for processing any grain in the production of both human food and animal feed in all countries,” he adds.
“We supply everything needed to operate a flour mill,” says Özpolat.
The company manufactures all of its equipment, such as its new pneumatic rollermill, at an 70,000-square-foot factory in Gaziantep.
The fifth generation of its pneumatic rollermill was introduced in 2020. According to Özpolat, it is designed for the first and second crushing and grinding of grains. “The machine consists of technological and kinematic parts that work independently from each other. V-belts and independently controlled electric motors are used to drive each part. One of its unique features is that it can be controlled remotely with a phone, tablet, or PC.
“In addition,” says Özpolat, “we have designed our plansifter so that the body and frames are able to freely oscillate at every stage of the body, ensuring cleanliness and uniform sorting of the milled product.
“Another key area of the milling process is dampening, and moisture content of the wheat is very important here,” he explains. “Our patented turbo-dampening machine is used to rub the outer husk of the grain so that moisture reaches the endosperm. On top of that, the machine adjusts the exact amount of water necessary to dampen the grains perfectly. The only thing the user has to do is enter the desired humidity, and the machine handles the rest.”
Electronic filters are another key product for Özpolat, he adds. “Electronic filters provide purification of air/dust mixture. It removes dust and discharges clean air from the funnel.
“The filter is used with flow rates between 2.5-800 meters cubed per minute. It can be used in vacuum-operated and pressurized systems. The compressor, which is cleaned from oil and water, provides low pressurized air at 0.5 bar for cleaning filter bags from accumulated dust.”
Tucker Scharfenberg, managing editor