The Turkish company’s patented technology uses pressure—not heat—resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional products.
Who better to create cutting-edge sustainable engineering solutions than one of Turkey’s top green innovators?
Since 1967, family owned and operated Ergin Makina has been providing manufacturing, assembly and mechanical services to construction and engineering firms across Turkey.
In 2013, a demand for more affordable—and greener—counterweight options inspired CEO Okan Ergin and his team to launch a product range unlike anything on the market: eco-friendly counterweights for elevators and cranes, made primarily of recycled materials. They called it Greenweight.
Traditionally, these items are composed of concrete, metal sheet, billet iron and cast iron, and carry a significant environmental footprint.
“Made from 80 to 94 per cent recycled metal, Greenweight products contribute greatly to the circular economy as an innovative and environmentally friendly product with low cost…The products are unique and unrivaled in the world,” says Ergin. A third party Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Products Declaration conducted by LCA Studio confirms the statement: Greenweights have a lower environmental footprint and produce less carbon emissions than their conventional counterparts, when suppliers, production, distribution, use and end-of-life phases are taken into account.
Sustainability is considered at every step of Greenweight’s production line. Using advanced simulation and CAE software, the company’s patented technology applies pressure to compress scrap metal recycled from manufacturing plants—metal scraps, sawdust, steel scraps, metal sheets, galvanized metal sheets and slab iron—transforming it into counterweights that can be used for elevators, building maintenance units and cranes, among other applications. “Greenweight products are produced in the production phase without any heat treatment. In this way, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” says Ergin.
The machinery used to create the counterweights is also green. It’s built in-house, which avoids the transportation emissions associated with outsourcing.
The product also features a corrosion-resistant and paint-free surface, and its ergonomic design is both sleek and modern.
With a team of 35 employees, including an R&D department working closely with universities and laboratories such as The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜB?TAK), as well as consultants from Istanbul Technical University, Greenweight is at the forefront of the sector’s sustainable innovation, positioned to ensure the highest quality products with the lowest environmental footprint.
And while some green engineering solutions might carry a higher price point, it’s not the case here: Greenweight’s products are five to 10 per cent less expensive than steel or cast iron plates, says Ergin.
Since launch, the brand has gained significant traction in the market, supplying counterweights to firms globally, with a growing client base. “In a very specialized industry with a few big players and scattered local players, the elevators market worldwide is dominated by the largest few who are in a position to provide high technology lifts and high precision engineering. We are currently negotiating with two of the top 10 largest elevator companies in the world for the use of Greenweight products,” explain Ergin.
Ergin feels fortunate to be able to make a positive impact relating to a cause that’s important to him personally. “I grew up in an area with an unpolluted lake and with so much green space, however over the last 20 years we have lost all of these beautiful things. I always thought that if I could do something good, I would. I chose to move toward operating more sustainably because I care about the environment. There’s no denying that global warming is an enormous issue, and I wanted to do my part to make a positive change,” he explains.
The company is already making significant waves in the engineering industry and beyond, but Ergin says the business is just getting started. “We hope to expand the use of Greenweight products by at least all global elevator manufacturers in the next 10 years. For this, the production lines we’ve developed need to be established in local markets. As a result, product costs will decrease and products will have a lower carbon footprint.”
The executive says Greenweight also has plans to market and sell their patented counterweight technology to companies around the globe, including elevator manufacturers in China, giving them the ability to manufacture the products themselves—while further reducing the product’s transportation footprint. There is also talk of expanding into the fitness and wellness market. “We want to start manufacturing dumbbells, weights and barbells in the next three years,” Ergin explains.
These are ambitious plans, no doubt, but the CEO is happy with the progress made to date. “We dreamed of starting a business with a mission to protect the environment, and we have done it. Practicing sustainability doesn’t have to be restricted to your lifestyle choices outside of work. As a sustainable business owner, you can contribute to change by offering your customer greener alternatives.”
To learn more about Greenweight’s products, visit Greenweight’s Intengine profile.