For the past 20 years, Emirates Glass has been implementing continuous improvement strategies for glass products and coating, pushing the business to be more effective, more streamlined and more profitable
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Matt Cole-Wilkin
Celebrating its 20th year of development amid the evident and significant rise of UAE infrastructure, Emirates Glass LLC is optimising capacities and innovation in order to ride the crest of a wave.
The subsidiary of Glass LLC - which is itself a Holding Company set up by Dubai Investments PJSC - was established in 1998 in Dubai in response to the rapid growth of the local construction industry and it has never looked back; subsequently evolving to a position of market leader in the production of processed architectural flat glass in the Middle East.
“At the heart of the Emirates Glass operation is the manufacture of MSVD sputter-coated high performance glass under the EmiCool® range of solar control, multi-functional Low-E and Standard Low-E glass, designed to minimise solar heat gain into air-conditioned buildings in the Gulf environment,” explains the Company’s Executive President, Rizwanulla Khan. “Starting from Leybold (Germany) 6-cathode coating line with a loading-bed of 2440mm x 3600mm and an annual coating capacity of 750,000 square metres of MSVD sputter-coated glass; Emirates Glass has now progressed to a 20 cathode line from Messrs Applied Materials GmbH (formerly Leybold, Germany), a loading bed of 3300x7000mm and an annual capacity of 3.5 million square metres of MSVD sputter-coated glass.
“This addition enabled Emirates Glass to enter a new and extensive market of post-temperable stock sheets from downstream processing into finished architectural glass products by our customers themselves.”
The aforementioned EmiCool® range accounts for Single Silver, Solar Low-E, Solar Control, and Double Silver offerings; each comprising unique specifications, characteristics, capacities and functionality to edge Emirates Glass nearer and nearer to flexible turnkey status.
As the newest addition to the remit, the latter Double Silver product epitomises this ethos aptly, while also demonstrating the Company’s scope from an innovation and technical specialty perspective.
“The Solite is a spectrally selective glass having a wide light transmittance range from 34 percent to 71 percent. A U value of 1.1 W/m2K can be easily achieved with 16mm air gap and argon gas and a g/SHGC value of as low as 15,” Khan details. “[Additionally], the acquisition of the new Terra-G coater has facilitated the swift development and production of the innovative new range of Solite Double Silver, Elite Solar-Low-E coating on clear and classic ST range of solar control colour coating on clear.”
Effective, streamlined, profitable
Emirates Glass boasts a truly worldwide presence to which it can showcase its market-leading portfolio, with its name now synonymous with high-efficient glass products on an intercontinental scale. For the past 20 years, the Company has capitalised on its local Middle East successes to become involved in the construction of iconic structures in, South Africa, the UK, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Asia Including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Emirates Glass is one of the first founding members of the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) which is affiliate to the World Green Building Council. Through the technical committee of the EGBC, Emirates Glass has been involved in the creation of the first draft LEED standard for building in the UAE taking into account the UAE’s special environment problems.
Khan notes: “Emirates Glass is also a member of the Glass and Glazing Federation. The membership represents a powerful voice within the glazing sector of the construction industry and contribution made by the Company through the provision of energy-efficient glazing glass.”
Other aspects of continuous improvement embrace areas of research & development and teamwork in order to compound the Company’s already high levels of quality, consistency, comfort, efficiency and health & safety.
And in getting these internal parameters and values cemented, a more stable platform is in place for its product offering and innovations to flourish.
“Since the Company’s inception in 1999, it has been implementing continuous improvement strategies for glass products and coating, which pushes the business to be more effective, more streamlined and ultimately, more profitable,” Khan adds.
Lately this philosophy has transpired in the form of an acquisition of machinery which enables Emirates Glass to process jumbo-size IG units and to optimise the production process in order to obtain maximum benefits from its production facilities.
Similarly, within the Company’s tempering line activities, the Company leads the market once again in terms of scale and volume, while also turning its attentions towards the introduction of a Cermaic Frit Machine in the months to come; once again to reaffirm its position on top of the glass processing sector in the Middle East.
Arguably the most significant facilitator of the business’s growth, however, is its people, as Khan enthuses: “The hiring process at Emirates Glass is the most important strategic aspect of the Company as this is directly related to the performance of the Company. Every new employee will either improve the organisation or lower it, so the managers seek and hire employees who enable the Company to grow and to become more profitable. It is well worth the investment indeed!”
As Khan elaborates, the same internal significance is then placed on supply chain management too: “A supply chain strategy is a living thing at Emirates Glass as we believe that until and unless the strategic imperatives are not correctly defined and if the tactics and operations do not fit these imperatives, then the Company will end up wasting money on actions that do not make a relevant contribution to the bottom line.
“Emirates Glass’ supply chain strategy is clear and precise, yet adaptable to meet evolving business and customer needs. It is flexible enough to drive optimal tactical and operational decisions.”
Ahead of the curve
This supply chain management strategy has helped Emirates Glass achieve and maintain a competitive edge, by empowering the Company to streamline and enhance its most important operations at every stage of the value chain.
“Staying up-to-date in an industry that’s constantly shifting isn’t easy, but being aware of changes as they’re happening keeps Emirates Glass ahead of the curve,” Khan states. “To help stay on the ball with industry challenges, opportunities and trends, Emirates Glass first observes the competitors, notices clients and prospects by asking specific questions, and then directly speaks to the customers for their growing needs and demands.
Establishing and maintaining any sort of differentiator in the modern climate is pivotal, but Emirates Glass is renowned in the region and in the wider global market for numerous competitive advantages; ranging from its turnkey capabilities, to its resourceful customer service channels, its passion and vision, its anticipation of trends, its marketing influence, and - of course - its longevity and footprint in the industry.
“Given the Company’s emphasis on keeping up-to-date with customer needs and the technological advancements that take place within the glass industry, we plan to update the plant with new high-efficient machines that will increase production at a reduced cost in the future,” Khan looks ahead. “The Company’s personnel are also expected to be equipped with highly professional technical knowledge thus playing their part in decision making.