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Starting and Living Digital Age

21 April 20216 min reading

“In the light of all these developments, cooling and air conditioning technologies in our industry will exist together with the need for food safety as long as humans exist. Our industry will advance according to the developing conditions. But now I am repeating the situation which is real and we should be aware of; dear industry stakeholders and humanity; one era has ended and another era has officially begun. The name of this new age is the age of digitalization and advanced technology.”

Turgay Karakuş Association of Refrigeration Industry Business People (SOSIAD) Chairman

Dear industry stakeholders, as you know, we are in a situation that has broke out with a pandemic and surrounds the world with a scenario like in science fiction movies. This situation proved its seriousness with the deaths of millions of people. We are very sad and concerned about this. Our greatest desire is for the Covid-19 virus to end as soon as possible and the normalization of the world. We hope this situation will end before it takes more lives.

There are some social, economic, strategic and technological events triggered by this situation. These events occur in different ways in different countries. Well, what is the situation in our country, what are the preparations, in which level we are, we also question this as a sector and in this case, we express the importance of our sector at every opportunity.

In the first place, social life came to standstill during this process, and what a person needed first to survive came to the fore. This need is food. The access to food has become difficult, high cost of living, unemployment and economic hardships put people into difficult position. Without food, man can’t live and cope with the virus. This need is such that it will lead to the 3rd or 4th world wars that may occur in the future, and maybe humanity will bring the end of the world because of this. Is this why mankind has been searching lately for other worlds to live in the space? This should be questioned.

With the development of the vaccine, the cooling sector made its importance felt in another dimension and responded to concerns. Especially in some vaccines developed, people were alarmed that it required storing and transportation at minus 80 °C. We said that we were working on this as a sector and that this is possible. I had previously said that “cooling the vaccine is not as difficult as finding it”. Necessary studies and statements have been made by the sector and by our stakeholders. Studies are currently being carried out. There is no need to worry about this. Our sector infrastructure is suitable for this. But the point to be worried is that the virus is mutating. The more the mankind cares about the measures, the faster we will get out of this situation. I think this reality will be overcome by paying more price and time. The rapid progress of vaccination process in our country is also our desire as a sector.

With this current incident, the public also faced changes. These changes shaped the society with compulsory circumstances. Today, people of all ages started to live with the internet, entering the virtual world. Everyone has touch-screen devices in their hands and they all started doing their job this way. Meetings started to be held in digital environments and virtual platforms in all sectors and communities, including our industry. Virtual fairs started to be organized. Distance education model has been systematized. Virtual digital sales and business life commenced. With the model called home-office, working life from home with the internet started. So much so that some private companies announced that this virtual, home-office system will continue in their organizations permanently, even though the pandemic is over.

Some 4-5 years ago, we were talking about Industry 4.0 and “smart factories”, smart facilities. We were trying to instill digitalization to our employees. We were trying to establish robotic systems, fully automated systems in our factories. We were aiming to control these systems remotely from the internet, even without humans. We thought that this would take a long time, and that when this process would speed up and what investments we had to make. Sometimes we were discussing on different platforms with those who said that our thoughts were distant. As a matter of fact, although what we said about remote control of the systems and their monitoring via internet in cold chain projects we made 15-20 years ago, its investment and budget was hardly accepted by the investors, we have now the experience that it has been overcome in time. Nowadays, we were making plans for automation in the industry and for robots to work and their control over the internet. While telling about smart industries; we were saying that there is no touch, no people, no light. We were describing it like this and making plans to accelerate it, and we said that digitalization will begin, it should begin.

Then, what happened was, with the pandemic, digitalization started. But we did not imagine it to begin like this, as an industry, we fell in the middle of it. On one hand, food, on the other hand people, and cooling and air conditioning technology is necessary for both. We have to adapt, we have to respond quickly. As a sector, we are aware of this and bear the responsibility.

That’s why I say, our valuable stakeholders in the sector and humanity; one era has ended and another era has officially begun. The name of this new age is the age of digitalization and advanced technology. The upcoming process will move on quickly and there will be many things that will affect the world deeply and it will be very fast. The thing that will affect the most and pose the greatest danger is “artificial intelligence”. If artificial intelligence is not taken under control, if it develops on different platforms, it may pose a danger to humanity and the world. Now there are flying cars in China, flying taxi model has started to be seen in many countries, and most recently it was opened to service with a stop in London. Drone technology will develop and the model developed by the US in F35 jets will be used in many aircraft. Along with all these, the space age will accelerate and countries will take up different investments. As a country, I think we will take the first step by wanting to send the first astronaut to the Moon and launch Moon travel efforts.

In the light of all these developments, cooling and air conditioning technologies in our industry will exist together with the need for food safety as long as humans exist. Our industry will advance according to the developing conditions. But now I am repeating the situation which is real and we should be aware of; dear industry stakeholders and humanity; one era has ended and another era has officially begun. The name of this new age is the age of digitalization and advanced technology.

On behalf of our association, SOSIAD, I wish everyone get well soon and call on everyone to be sensitive to overcome this pandemic process in a healthy way.

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