Rosemont, Ill. — Celal Beysel started from nothing when he set out to build a rotational molding company in Turkey — because there were no other rotomolders in his country in the mid-1980s.
In 1982, Beysel read a magazine article about rotomolding. That sparked his interest, and he formed Floteks A.S.
Now Beysel is the newest member of the Rotational Hall of Fame. He was inducted Sept. 28 during an awards dinner at Rotoplas in Rosemont.
“He knew nothing,” said Ravi Mehra, who nominated Beysel for the honor, introducing him at the banquet. “He started with his own machine. Molds. His own compounding machine. Grinding. And the molding process.
“On top of all this, he did not start by molding simple products. Like tanks, or flower pots, or toys. But chose his first rotomolded product to be a fuel tank, because of the concentration of automotive industry in his area.”
Beysel had the enthusiasm, but starting Floteks was a major challenge. It started with his homemade rotomolding machine, which he painstakingly built over several months.
“The machine worked for about one hour,” Beysel said, promoting laughter from the rotomolding audience.
But he kept trying.
“I had no money to invest in machinery, but I was young and courageous and curious. And also innocent to believe that I could manage to make a rotomolding machine, a mold and a product,” he said.
One of his early cast aluminum molds had “huge porosity,” Beysel recalled. “It took me one month to find out that it was not possible to mold parts,” he said.
Beysel said he quickly learned his first lesson, which is still true today: “Nothing in rotomolding is as simple as it looks.”
Beysel joined the Association of Rotational Molders in 1991. ARM organized the Rotoplas conference. He kept up his gung-ho attitude — Mehra showed scenes of Beysel and fellow ARM members having fun at industry events around the world.
He dropped a lot of names of rotomolders who helped him. One was rotomolded fuel tank guru George Kracor, founder of Kracor Inc. in Milwaukee. Beysel told the story: “I remember George Kracor, when I visited his company, telling me: ‘You must know the truth. Rotomolding does not make you rich.' One of the lessons I learned was, don't give up hope to get rich in rotomolding. And so, after 35 years in rotomolding I still try to prove that George was wrong.”
Beysel has given back to his fellow rotomolders. He gave a presentation at Rotoplas. Mehra, an international business consultant and managing director of rotational mold maker Norstar International LLC, said Beysel has presented at conferences in India, France, Germany, Austria, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Dubai, England, the Netherlands and other countries.
Today, Floteks grown to 200,000 square feet on three sites, all near one another in Bursa, Turkey. The company's markets include automotive, playground and recreational products, infrastructure and custom molding. Floteks runs a major research and development department.
And now, Floteks buys machines from the experts: machinery manufacturers.
He said his son, Mehmet Beysel, has taken over management of Floteks.
“It's a great honor and a pleasure for me to be elected into the Hall of Fame of ARM,” Beysel said.