Saudi-based Aarico, maker of sophisticated pressure and temperature instruments with technical support from US manufacturer Ashcroft, reports it has witnessed a gradual increase in exports over the past few years with overseas sales limited to Bahrain and Kuwait.
Aarico (Ashcroft Al Rushaid Instrument Company Ltd), the joint venture between Ashcroft Inc and the Saudi based Al Rushaid Petroleum Investment Company, has a plant in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Eastern Province. Aarico instruments are found in water treatment facilities, biotech and pharmaceutical labs, semiconductor facilities, refineries, power generation plants, chemical and food processing factories and pulp and paper mills, among other facilities.
“Exports amount to 11.0 per cent of total sales and are gradually and steadily increasing,” said the company’s general manager DR Pai.
For the moment the company does not plan to penetrate new markets outside the GCC region, he added. The company assembles Ashcroft pressure gauges, thermometers, thermowells and switches with pressure gauges selling fastest – 25,000 in 2013 against nearly 17,000 in the previous year.
Major overseas customers are Kuwait’s KNPC, KOC, Equate and Chevron and Bahrain’s Tatweer Petroleum, Bapco and Banagas. Most of the items supplied to those parties were shipped as material replacement orders. The company distributes its products in both markets through agents.
The Aarico plant is certified for ISO 29001:2010 and ISO 9001:2008 and its products are certified according to SASO and UL standards.
Ashcroft Inc products are considered a benchmark in pressure and temperature measurement and include gauges, thermometers, switches, transducers, transmitters, instrument isolators and diaphragm seals and control and calibration equipment.
Among the new products Aarico manufactured in the last two years were gauges with DIN standards delivered in a stainless steel case. The local manufacturing of the new products made Aarico’s price very competitive in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
NAGANO KEIKI LINK
Ashcroft pressure and temperature instruments have been manufactured in Saudi Arabia since 1983 and supplied through Darvico but in 2006, with the realignment of the Ashcroft business worldwide, the company became part of Nagano Keiki of Japan, renowned as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of pressure and temperature gauges, sensors and transmitters, among other things. Aarico is the only company which represents both Ashcroft and Nagano Keiki products in Saudi Arabia, but while the Saudi firm assembles Ashcroft products it only distributes Nagano Keiki products and Pai said there were no plans to graduate from distribution to manufacturing in the latter case.
“The integration of both US and Japanese technology helped Aarico to stabilise a hot seat in the Middle East market,” Pai said in past comments.
Aarico’s production facilities are spread across 1,200 sq m and are fully air conditioned and dust-proof. Pai highlights that strict conformance to Ashcroft manufacturing and quality assurance procedures ensures that all products made by Aarico have the same field performance as those in Ashcroft plants in the US and worldwide.
The facility has trained and certified manpower to perform assembly work, testing and calibration conforming to national and international standards. The plant is equipped with modern manufacturing and assembly and test stands and holds sufficient inventory parts for producing more than 30,000 pressure gauges and 3,000 temperature gauges and pressure switches per year.
The continuous support from Ashcroft USA and Ashcroft Europe helps the Aarico sales team to provide superior technical support and engineering solutions to their clients for major projects such as those in the oil and gas sectors.
The company renders calibration services for pressure and temperature instruments of any brands as per ANSI standards.
Among Aarico’s achievements are a stocking programme for fast-moving items with the integrated software (AIMS) and long-term agreements with major oil and petrochemical companies Saudi Aramco and Sabic.
The company has done business with all the leading EPC contractors including Bechtel, Technip, Snamprogetti, Technicas Reunidas, Fluor, Foster Wheeler, Hyundai and SNC Lavalin.
In the home market, Aarico products have been used in Saudi Aramco’s Khursaniyah gas plant, Rabigh development project, Khurais gas project, Hawiyah gas plant, Shaybah central processing facilities, Juymah gas plant expansions and the Aramco OC BV Khursaniyah production facility, among other projects.
Sabic projects using Aarico products include the Sharq third expansion for ethylene and the Yansab high density polyethylene project.