Jubail & Yanbu Review

The new AFI super sucker

The new AFI super sucker

Alaa inaugurates super sucker unit

Although its initial focus was on the manufacturing of seals and the transportation industry, AFI soon expanded by establishing international partnerships

ALAA for Industry (AFI) has officially opened its super sucker factory in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. It was inaugurated by the chairman and owner of AFI Ibrahim Ali Al Rashoodi along with the CEO Brian O’Sullivan, executive director Youseff Ibrahim Ali AlRashoodi, finance director Hussain AlRaee, general manager for Supply Chain Imad Haidar and other officials and dignitaries from other companies.

The new facility has a total area of 1,134 sqm that was designed for mobile equipment assembly for super sucker (industrial vacuum loader). According to Amjad Ali Khan, factory manager: “We have adopted lean manufacturing process in this new facility. We have divided the facility into nine bays; it has a process map of assembly in which each bay has its designated activity lined-up to the last bay.”

With lean process it will improve product quality, reduce lead time and speed up productivity. In addition, the new facility will enable AFI to produce at least 30 units of Super Suckers per annum.

Moreover, AFI’s revenue has increased by 14 per cent in 2013 as compared to its 2012 performance. Its overseas branches (Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait) have contributed 17 per cent of company’s total revenue. The company’s transportation products have 45 per cent share on the total revenue. According to O’Sullivan: “Our strategy in the next two years will focus on transportation business, maintenance solutions and onsite services”. This is one of the reasons why the company has expanded its facilities.

“In addition, we have added a complete line of SKF Bearings and Ingersol Rand Hoist and Winches to further improve and strengthen our maintenance and onsite services. We are also conducting a best practices in maintenance seminar in three regions including Eastern, Central and Western Regions of Saudi Arabia. The seminar features talks from AFI’s world leading partners including SKF, Parker, Enerpac and Alup Compressors.

“At present, the company has a total of 18 branches, 14 branches in Saudi Arabia, and four overseas branches. We have over 1,200 employees, we provide a wide range of products including, hydraulics, pneumatics, hoses and fittings, transportation equipment, sealing solutions, foundation equipment, weighing and lifting and industrial equipment.

“AFI has designated product managers for every product it represents overseeing commercial and technical aspects for their area. Product managers conduct onsite trainings and provide technical support to our valued customers. Our aim here is to make sure that each product that we represent is properly managed.

“We will continue to support and provide total solutions to the industry. We are committed to develop new products and improve our services to support the increasing market demand in the kingdom and overseas,” he adds.

Having commenced business in 1984 in Dammam, AFI recently celebrated a quarter century of operations. AFI as a group expanded its operations with eight companies and 16 Branches over the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

It started as a small repair shop for hydraulic components, with only three of four people. Today, it has more than 2,500 people; so a lot changes in couple of decades.

Although the company’s initial focus was on the manufacturing of seals, and the transportation industry, AFI soon expanded into related business by establishing international partnerships with leading industrial brands.

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