Barkom - A history of R&D

Turkish drill rig manufacturer Barkom Group has made the move from domestic to international success through significant investment in product research and development as explained by Ceren Satirlar Balci, Executive Board member.
Barkom - A history of R&D Barkom - A history of R&D Barkom - A history of R&D Barkom - A history of R&D Barkom - A history of R&D

Barkom’s skid-mounted BDU150 is part of the company’s BULLDRILL line of underground drill rigs

Ceren Satirlar Balci

After being established in 1988, Barkom Group started activities in Ankara, Turkey, in 1992 with the vision of producing high-quality drilling auxiliary machines and equipment alongside providing uninterrupted technical support service as quickly as possible.

In 1998, Barkom increased its employee numbers and started to take its first steps toward foreign trade, and in 2005, it registered with the Central Anatolian Export­ers Union and proceeded to increase its export potential.

These moves took place in consideration of competition not only in the company's home Turkish market but also internationally.

To further set itself apart from its competitors, Barkom operates ISO 9001: 2008 quality control systems in accordance with auditing standards, which means production using the best raw materials available in the market and improvements continue to be made.

The company, which has been developing with continuous projects over the years has increased sales and profits every year; has continued its growth by directing its earnings into reinvestment with auto financing and moved to a new factory with a production area of 5,000m2 in 2012 as well as storage areas which are total 1,000m2.

In addi­tion to its head office in Ankara, Barkom covers the entire Turkish market with further offices in Izmir and Istanbul.

Ankara development

Barkom Group broke new ground in Ankara when it sold its first heat treatment drill rod pipe and had the chance to dominate a large sales network with its horizontal induction machine.

Upon successful completion of the support project of the Ankara Development Agency, it once again expanded its production volume by adding a special processing bench to the production line.

 he umminspowered 1200 surface drilling rig has a 16t pullup capacity The Cumminspowered BD1200T surface drilling rig has a 16t pull-up capacity

In 2015 the manufacture of original design underground drilling rigs began in line with the demands of the compa­ny's customers. With the experience gained in the sector, special machin­ery and rig designs are made and produced for Barkom's customers by technical staff who are specialised in their field and on a production line that includes state-of-the-art turning and milling machines and equipment.

The product range from Barkom has been gathered under three main drill rig groups; underground, surface and ATEX certified drill rigs. These drill rig groups are customised and named according to their drilling capacities and different functions and continue production with many different models.

Within the scope of its experi­ence in the production of the drilling rigs, the current usage areas of the machines Barkom manufactures are the areas where galleries that do not have flammable and explosive proper­ties are extracted.

The production of under­ground drilling rigs in compliance with ATEX standards creates equipment that can be used in areas where flammable and explosive materials are extracted, such as coal mines. This is a particularly important issue for Barkom's international customers.

While its market share in the sector has increased, with various drill rigs being produced within the scope of ATEX proce­dures, as the first and only Turkish company among the few ATEX certified drill rig manufacturers in the world, it is planned to make Turkey and the company known in more countries.

Barkom Group is also a company that produces original products (OEM). As a result of years of experience and R&D studies with experienced engineers and in-line with the needs and demands of its customers, Barkom has started to produce its own brand BULLDRILL drilling rigs. The underground drilling rigs are designed and manufactured under the BULLDRILL registered trademark name by Barkom.

Market needs

The Group aims for the latest technological advances and certification in accordance with instructions from the Turkish Standards Institute to produce the first and only underground drilling rigs manufactured in Turkey.

In 2016 a new market opened up for the BULLDRILL under­ground and surface drill rig range when product development turned towards meeting the needs of military logistics. The result was the production of multi-purpose, armoured, tracked Logistics Military Vehicles.

All of this development work paid off when at the beginning of December 2018 Barkom's R&D centre received certification from The Republic of Turkey Industry and Technology R&D Incentives General Directorate 5746 for its "research on support­ing the development and design operations".

R&D Centre activity areas

Based on the aims of improving its products, Müzeyyen Çakır Yurdabakan, R&D manager, explains that the Barkom Group R&D Centre was established to develop new products and produce more advanced products by gaining competen­cies such as conducting basic and applied research, experimental data and correct results and process development. In line with these purposes, it aims to meet customers' demands at the maximum level and to increase the product portfolio in the light of scientific methods.

In addition, in order to increase Barkom's market share, production processes that will provide competitive advantage will be studied at the R&D Centre and applied to production.

 he 800 is one of crawler type underground drill rigs produced by arkom designed for use in mines where methane gas explosion is a risk The BDU800EXC is one of crawler type underground drill rigs produced by Barkom designed for use in mines where methane gas explosion is a risk


The demand for ATEX certified drilling rigs, which have become mandatory for use in potentially explosive environments, is increasing day by day. In Turkey, there are no other drill rig manufacturers that comply with ATEX standards and this makes for a very high demand not just domestically but globally.

Designed originally for use in coal mines in Turkey (where methane gas explosion is a risk), Barkom managed to produce explosion-proof (ATEX certified) drilling rigs and then won international validation of the right to receive ATEX certification. That first rig design is now being analysed by the R&D Centre, with experimental activities, to improve its design and to produce new ex-proof drilling rigs or rig parts in line with customer demands.

Within the R&D Centre, the development of product groups already in production by Barkom will be carried out, as will new product design and product realisation activities through the use of laboratory analysis, design analysis, analysis of the data from previous studies, literature research and field research.

Research such as finite element analysis, stability analysis, assembly integrity analysis, friction tests analysis, electromag­netic compatibility tests, noise values analysis, dynamic analysis, vibration analysis, welding tests, energy efficiency analysis and material analysis will be within the scope of the R&D Centre.

The target of Barkom's R&D activities is to develop new products or to provide a scientific infrastructure for their development. Design development, which is the first stage of these develop­ment activities will be shaped with four SOLIDWORKS 3D software programmes available to engineers and preliminary analysis will be carried out with the simulation module. 

R&D design strategies

Today, the rational use of available resources has become imperative. The discovery, production and use of underground resources both effectively and economically provides positive added value to the national economy in many contexts.

As in many fields, developments in science and technology directly affect the drilling industry with new applications and methods.

Determining the location of under­ground resources; determining the amount of underground resources within the limits of acceptability; efficient use of resources and bringing them to the country's economy are among the prerequisites for the strong characterisa­tion of the economy. The determination of the places where the underground resources are located is carried out as a result of collecting and analysing a lot of information. From the perspective of determining resources and bringing them to the economy, it is clear that drilling works have an extremely important and indispensable place in this framework.

Although many techniques are used to investigate the depth of the earth, core drilling is essentially the most important, accurate and reliable method to provide reliable data.

Within the scope of this activity, domestic production of drilling rigs and equipment has strategic importance in terms of both domestic and foreign markets.

The main purposes of Barkom Group are to nationalise today's technologies; to research the drilling and drilling requirements; to produce imported engineering, reverse engineering applica­tions and existing product development methods; and to design and develop new products.

The idea of design is formed primarily during the search for a solution to problems encountered. Different ideas are collected in a pool and evaluated as a process, and the strategy of making a reality is realised by consider­ing the manufactur­ability of the idea, which is designed to become a design that can be realised in the shortest possible time. In this context, studies are carried out to develop technical knowledge, update, improve and use and disseminate existing information. 

Innovation is the realisation of a new or significantly improved product (goods or services) or process, a new marketing method or a new organisa­tional method for in-house applications, business organisation or external relations (supplier management and customer relations).

Product innovation is the introduction of new or significantly improved goods or service based on current features or intended uses. It provides user convenience in technical features, components and materials and signifi­cant improvements in other functional features.

Within the scope of the R&D strategy, Barkom develops products by undertaking research to produce new projects with designs that have not been done before and to develop new products and equipment, in order to reach the best in all of the design and production processes of drilling rigs and drilling equipment in the long term. Thus, the company will reach the position of the leading drilling rig manufacturer, making a name for itself with the innovations it has created both in the local market and in the global market.

To achieve these aims, R&D studies of the current product design development processes is of great importance before new product design is undertaken. This work is generally carried out in three stages and a road map is prepared accordingly: basic research, applied research, and exper­imental development.

Barkom carries out innovative studies to design and produce products suitable for its domestic market and targeted interna­tional markets by closely monitoring them and evaluating innovations. Achieving those targets, ensuring product diversity and being successful in the market is all based on active R&D study. It is a part of Barkom's strategy to obtain fast, accurate products thanks to its experienced R&D personnel. Accordingly, continuous studies are carried out in the R&D department to increase quality.