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AFI’s super sucker line is the company’s fastest selling manufactured product

AFI’s super sucker line is the company’s fastest selling manufactured product



AFI restructuring production base

With three decades of expertise as an industrial products supplier, the company is making strides in manufacturing even as it excels as an agent of global brands

May 2015

One of the Eastern Province’s prominent industrial establishments plans to restructure its production facilities to include the design and manufacturing of ADR units, aluminum tankers, dry bulk tankers, transit mixers and other transportation equipment-related products.

AFI (Alaa for Industry), which has two production facilities in Dammam, plans to expand its R&D and engineering departments to include the design and production of specialised project-driven hydraulic and pneumatic systems and components and to extend its state-of-the-art cylinder chrome plating and manufacturing facilities in Dammam and Jubail, chief executive officer Stuart Hind said.

“We are building a state-of-the-art new facility which will be operational in a few months in Jubail,” he added.

One of its existing plants produces highly engineered complex super suckers, ADR units, high-pressure vessels, vacuum tankers, jetting tankers and truck-mounted products for the oil and gas, petrochemical, processing and service industries.

The other facility is involved in the design and production of technical rubber parts, rollers and other engineered rubber items for a wide range of industries in Saudi Arabia and overseas.

Although the company is well known for its manufactured products, it is predominantly a very well-known wholesaler and retailer with over 18 branches and still expanding, importing more than 200 top international brands to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

“Our best-selling AFI-manufactured product is our line of super suckers and combination units where we currently control over 90 per cent of the Saudi market. We are the only well-known Saudi company manufacturing super suckers and are competing with foreign producers with quality that meets international standards,” said Hind. Super suckers are highly-engineered vacuum tankers for wet and dry applications and are used in a variety of industries to transport liquids and dry bulk materials from oil and gas plants as well as general high-tech service industries.

The company’s technicians examining a Hyva crane

The company’s technicians examining a Hyva crane


“Our next-best performers are combination and jetting tankers; our advantage over the competition is the simple yet innovative design of our units. Our engineering department and R&D are working round the clock to bring innovative solutions and introduce highly engineered products to the market that exceed international standards and are especially tailored to our market and our customers’ needs,” said Hind.

The home market of Saudi Arabia accounts for some 90 per cent of all the company’s manufactured products. The GCC market is served through the company’s branches in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

“We have plans to expand to other GCC markets this year as well as to Iraq and Africa,” said Hind. Exports have increased in recent years and expectations are that they will grow 15 per cent thanks to new supply contracts the company has won outside the GCC area. The company has 18 branches across the region with more in the pipeline for this year. The focus is on areas where major oil and gas and petrochemical projects are located. “We are supporting the growth of all main industry sectors within the kingdom and the GCC and will continue to do so,” remarked Hind.

“We are already forecasting growth in 2015 of our manufactured products as our footprint is increasing within the kingdom and the GCC.”

The official said the company enjoyed constant growth since 2009 and the trend would continue as its network of branches was helping it capture business locally and abroad.

“We are very optimistic when it comes to growth as we are introducing new products based on current demand. We are working on identifying demand within our region; our engineering and R&D teams are consulting with our existing customers and potentially new potential customers on a regular basis to better understand their needs and anticipations.”

AFI has a vibrant trading sector relating to goods manufactured abroad that it markets as an agent. The company represents over 200 leading suppliers in the fields of transportation equipment, oil and gas supplies, hydraulic and pneumatic supplies, power transmission supplies and capital and foundation equipment.

Some of the best-selling imported brands are the HYVA range of tipping cylinders, cranes, skip loaders and hook loaders.

30-YEAR RIDE

Founded in 1984, AFI is registered under the Ibrahim Ali Al Rashoodi & Partners Holding Company (LLC). It started as a showroom and workshop in Dammam. It was a distributor for hydraulic components and seals at the time.

In 1993, it opened its first overseas branch in Bahrain. By then it had started manufacturing hydraulic cylinders, with a complete facility to perform hydraulic repair jobs. Later it acquired Dhahran Gasket Factory that eventually became AFI Rubber Factory. In 2003, it commissioned its chroming facility.

The company has two firsts to its credit. It was the first in the Middle East to manufacture industrial vacuum loaders and industrial flushing units. The company has the largest hydraulic repair facility in the Middle East and is a joint patent holder with Aramco for the BOP transfer platform.

Warranty and service are provided for all manufactured and supplied products. The company performs preventive maintenance and inspection, annual maintenance and calibration of weigh bridges, repairs and replacements of hoses, repairs of hydraulic pumps and motors, and oil flushing and filtration.




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