Opening New Opportunities
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Ben Weaver
Approaching capacity at its four facilities across the MENA region, Emirates Metallic Industries Company Ltd (EMIC) is once again poised to reinvest in a new facility and two new production lines via its latest expansion strategy which will be rolled-out over the next few years. Having continuously diversified its range of general and food packaging solutions to stay ahead of growing competition from the Asian continent, the Company has now taken the top spot as the leading supplier of 73 mm easy-open ends (EOE) and tuna cans in the UAE and GCC.
“Evolving from a small manufacturing unit when we first established ourselves in the region in 1989 – supplying metal cans and pails for the paint and chemical industries – EMIC identified a gap in the local market for sophisticated food packaging and now has a full range of printed metal cans and drums of all shapes and sizes in its product portfolio which are exported to the MENA and Southeast Asia regions,” explains Ala Alami, the Company’s Sales and Marketing Manager.
“Experiencing organic growth over the years, thanks to longstanding and trustworthy relationships with our customers, we have focused our attentions on horizontal expansion to capitalise on upcoming regional growth opportunities; complementing our existing services with value-add in-house services along the way, such as coil slitting, coil cutting, sheet coating, sheet lacquering and printing designs at our facilities.”
Through a continuous improvement strategy comprising pillars of safety, quality, manpower development, market awareness and R&D, EMIC is solidifying its existing business with further investment to support its aggressive growth trajectory.
At the centre of EMIC’s product range is the EOE and tuna can, both of which have the properties to hold other types of food products in the future. Manufacturing a variety of food grade end-sizes – including the popular 99, 83 and 73 diameter cans ends with a range of lids including easy-open lids – the high quality finish of the product helps it stand out from both overseas and local competitors.
“Adhering to a philosophy of total quality, our products are made of prime tinplate and other raw materials sourced from Europe, Japan, Korea and China to guarantee the high quality stamp on our products while remaining cost-effective for the customer.
“We invested in the production of tuna cans to supply regional tuna fillers as we are a much closer neighbour and subsequently a more attractive supplier than the closest competition in Asia. With us in your backyard – and with customs duty exemption on finished goods in the region – choosing EMIC is a no-brainer from a cost perspective,” says Alami.
This attractive value proposition is further compounded in EMIC’s production figures; manufacturing around 100 million of the 99 and 83 easy-open ends annually, and an impressive 300 million of the 73 easy-open end variety. Sourcing its raw tinplate from well-respected international names in the tinplate manufacturing industry across Europe, the Company is currently one of only two manufacturers in the UAE capable of producing easy-open ends; an intelligent can end solution.
“As a two-piece can – and not three piece like most conventional cans – our product requires incredibly sophisticated machinery to make and a team of technical staff to operate. Further, with demand for canned food on the rise thanks to its low cost and long shelf-life, we need to make sure that our facilities can cope with the marked increase in demand and these changes in consumer spending and packaging trends,” highlights Alami.
It was with this in mind that EMIC introduced the twist-off cap in a selection of sizes in 2013, primarily used to contain popular condiments such as jam, honey, mayonnaise and tomato paste.
Building on EMIC’s gradual diversification and expansion in recent years, the Company is now preparing to consolidate its two existing facilities in the UAE into one, larger, state-of-the-art facility. Strategically located in the centre of the Sharjah industrial region, EMIC has now finalised the design of the proposed AED 150 million production facility, due to commence operations in 2018.
“In 2012, we acquired a plot of land measuring 1.1 million square feet which will house our expanded plant and also provide plenty of additional space to cater for future growth. The average size of our existing four production facilities is 80,000 square feet; so this will be a big step-up for us,” confirms Alami.
“As production must continue throughout the move, we will keep our existing production facilities operational before instigating a gradual move to the new site over the next two years.”
While awaiting the green light from local authorities on the new facility, EMIC is refining its in-house printing technologies and other internal processes to bring them in line with the Company’s unwavering commitment to excellence throughout the entire value chain, while also taking into account modern compliance to energy-saving and environmentally-friendly manufacturing methodologies.
“With all of these new projects on the way, we have invested in a new ERP system that is capable of integrating all systems across our operations; which will ultimately streamline internal processes and bolster our reputation for reliability and added-value,” Alami emphasises.
He concludes: “In the meantime, we will be pressing-on with two new production lines in 2017, as well as conducting market research in new locations, in order to meet our target to increase Company turnover by 20 percent in five years time.”