Issue 39

DSA Architects

Middle East TransformationOn the back of a disruptive 2020, Tim Goodall, Partner at DSA Architects, discusses the challenge of navigating today’s dynamic Middle Eastern market Writer: Sean Galea-Pace  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  Opportunity. It’s everywhere in the Middle East. The region’s market is currently undergoing a period of significant transformation - one which has demonstrated the importance of adopting an agile and lean approach in order to respond to the latest trends quickly and at scale. It’s a region that Tim Goodall, Partner at DSA Architects, believes is dynamic and exciting. “The Middle Eastern market continues to provide an abundance of opportunities,” explains Goodall.  “As in all regions and industries, we have seen economic cycles of greater and lesser demand, however what is uniquely interesting about this part of the world is that, as one country or area experiences a dip, others will tend to go the opposite way simultaneously. “We appear to be rebounding with many new projects after COVID-19 created nervousness.” Having begun his own project management consultancy at the beginning of the Dubai boom period, Goodall first became involved with DSA Architects in 2005 in establishing a Lead Consultancy aspect to DSA, which subsequently led to him becoming a partner a few years later in 2008.  “Coming from both a contractor and a client side, I was able to influence our lead consultancy role to be more inclusive and appreciative of all key stakeholders’ requirements, whilst implementing a disciplined quality management approach to delivery,” he says.“What I saw was many of our lead Design Architects being involved in a lot of

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray

UTIL Group

Automotive AdaptationWe spoke to automotive parts manufacturer UTIL Group about the shift in supply and demand in the automotive industry in Europe and beyond  Writer: Marcus Kääpä  | Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  The European manufacturing industry has faced incredible challenges as a result of a shocking 2020.  With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and causing disruption to logistics and services within almost every sector, Italian automotive manufacturing was not saved the brunt of the impact. For the industry, the pandemic spelt problems with transport as well as sales. However, the human capacity for endurance and adaptation is truly admirable. COVID-19 spurred forward the necessity for maximised digital communication - a element of work that companies embodied and ensured. The restrictions on travel and person-to-person proximity, as well as the requirement for high standards of safety, were met by most with immediate importance, with a focus on tackling this challenge for the best of their employees.  But it isn’t just the pandemic that has changed the industry.  In recent years there has been shift of an ideological nature. The growth and movement of automotive manufacturers to invest in the research, design, and production of electrical or hybrid vehicles has risen tremendously, as a result of both the demand and necessity of greater environmental efforts.  Many automotive parts manufacturers have followed suit to provide automotive companies with the various bits and pieces to bring about the production of such electric vehicles – it is these parts manufacturers, adapting to the rise in demand to supply electric vehicles, that keep the industry’s wheels turning. Fernando Bertoni

dpa lighting consultants : Light in Design

We spoke to Richard Bolt, Partner at dpa lighting consultants, about the company at the centre of the lighting design industry.

Marcus Kääpä Ryan Gray By Marcus Kääpä Ryan Gray


Versatility and DurabilityFor over a century, Teknikum has been at the forefront of the rubber industry, manufacturing quality products with a commitment to sustainability  Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  The first recorded use of rubber – the natural latex that comes from the gum of the Hevea tree – was by indigenous South American cultures, who made rubber balls used in a ceremonial Aztec game, ollama, as well as footwear and bottles. Christopher Columbus and other European explorers became fascinated by the process – in the 18th century, Charles-Marie de La Condamine, first sent samples back to Europe.  Initially a subject of scientific curiosity, it wasn’t long before chemists and inventors discovered the useful properties of the compound, including its ability to rub out pencil marks (hence its popular name, ‘rubber’) and its ability to function as a waterproofing agent for clothes when combined with naptha. Fast forward to the present day and rubber compounds – which can be manufactured synthetically – are used in a vast array of products, from car tyres to firehoses, gloves to parts to radio sets. “The European general rubber goods market (GRG) is an interesting playing field,” explains Jani Hämäläinen, Group CEO at Teknikum. “There are more than 6,000 small and medium-sized players on the market, in addition to a few large ones.  “The GRG market continues to grow, and rubber is an excellent material to supply quality and durable products. Today, due to its versatile properties, it is used in all walks of life from households to space rockets.”Made in FinlandTeknikum is

Nicholas Kernan By Nicholas Kernan

Bateel International : Authentic Culinary Temptations

Ata Atmar, CEO at Bateel, discusses his organisation’s innovative approach in the Middle Eastern gourmet food market.

Editorial Team Editor By Editorial Team Editor

Te & Kaffi : Passionate about Coffee

In a country that is crazy about coffee, we chat with Gudmundur Halldorsson, CEO at Te & Kaffi, to examine what drives his organisation forward.

Editorial Team Josh Hyland By Editorial Team Josh Hyland

Al Taiseer Aluminium Company : Advanced Aluminium Production

The Middle East’s metal industry is substantial, we spoke to Suliman Al Oufi, CEO of Al Taiseer Aluminium Company, about the latest in Saudi Arabian metal production.

Profi : Diversify and Thrive 

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Romanian retailer Profi continues to diversify and grow its business to the benefit of consumers.

Editorial Team Editor By Editorial Team Editor


Sweden’s Manufacturing DriveJan Marstorp, CEO of Plockmatic International Group, discusses the evolution of manufacturing in Sweden  Writer: Sean Galea-Pace  |  Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  “In Sweden, we’re quite traditional,” affirms Jan Marstorp, CEO of Plockmatic Group. “Although, like many other countries, we underwent a trend in the late 1990s and early 2000s where operations were outsourced. However, in the last few years, we’re beginning to see a new trend of operations beginning to come back to Sweden. Generally, Swedish people are highly-educated so people are very familiar with the culture of manufacturing.” Sweden operates with a robust manufacturing sector, which accounts for around 20 percent of the country’s total GDP. Overall, manufacturing consists of approximately 70 percent of Swedish exports and creates more than one million jobs. Swedish manufacturers were among the first to leverage 3D printing techniques into operations. Both component and tool manufacturers have been introduced to test new manufacturing methods and materials, in addition to traditional tooling and Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machining.  Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Plockmatic is a global supplier of finishing solutions for the print and mailing industry. Possessing more than 40 years of experience, Plockmatic has become renowned for being efficient and flexible, with its technologies connecting inline to a digital printing system or process applications offline. The firm operates under both the Plockmatic and Morgana brand name and is now active in over 50 countries. Marstorp has been CEO of Plockmatic since 2005. In this role, he is responsible for leading the organisation through three business areas as well as contract manufacturing. During his

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Ouneva Group

Finland’s Dynamic Manufacturing SectorExecutives from Ouneva Group discuss the organisation’s transformation journey and its position in Finland’s manufacturing industry today   Writer: Sean Galea-Pace  |  Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  “The manufacturing industry in Finland is in an exciting phase right now, we are witnessing a new era of interesting technologies and the amount of new tech start-ups is unforeseen.”Those are the words of Mika Kosunen, Chief Marketing Officer at Ouneva Group. Having worked in manufacturing his whole adult life, Kosunen has witnessed the evolution the sector has undergone, particularly as digital transformation has come to the fore in the last decade.  “My interest towards technology began very early, as I was surrounded by figures and companies who were creating amazing and interesting products and projects. Technology and manufacturing have been the joys of my life, so for that reason I have always gravitated towards tasks and companies which operate in that field.” Kosunen has served in his current role at Ouneva Group as its CMO since January 2020. As an international contract manufacturer and R&D partner in a number of industries, Ouneva Group operates with a wide technology portfolio that covers the entire manufacturing process of metal, plastic, electronics, and plating in contract manufacturing. Indeed, the company’s journey is interesting. Having initially been founded as Ouneva Oy by Heikki Nevalainen in 1972, the organisation was born with a mindset of developing high-quality connectors for the fast-growing electrical industry of that period. In the years that followed, the Group has grown exponentially as a result of rising demand for its products.  Today, Ouneva Group

Nicholas Kernan By Nicholas Kernan

Moravia Cans

Setting the StandardWe take a dive into Moravia Cans and explore the role it plays as a key component in the Czech Republic’s manufacturing space   Writer: Sean Galea-Pace |  Project Manager: Thomas Arnold  The manufacturing sector in the Czech Republic is unparalleled. Despite not being the cheapest country to supply the manufacturing industry, it is regarded as the most robust in Europe due to its high level of security, relative political stability, and its possession of economic and corporate strength. As the Czech Republic’s most important industry, manufacturing plays an influential role not only within the nation but also in Europe too. Over half of all Czech exports are automotive products, with the largest producer of automotive in the region being Volkswagen Group, the Toyota/PSA joint venture, and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech. And when it comes to the manufacture of aluminum aerosol cans, Moravia Cans set the standard. Having consistently grown over the past 25 years, Moravia Cans is renowned as a major player in the development and supply of the highest quality and most innovative, lightweight, shaped aerosol cans. Today, the organisation holds 15 percent of the world aluminum aerosol can market share, with around 98 percent of production exported outside of Czech Republic. Throughout the years, the company has continually invested in best-in-class equipment, systems, processes, and people. This has allowed Moravia Cans to improve efficiency of operations, reduce costs, waste, and scale customers’ competitiveness. The company has a dedicated research and development group that is responsible for the leading customer focused innovations in the industry. The firm leads

Thomas Arnold By Thomas Arnold

Mista SpA

Italian Manufacturing InnovationWe spoke to Luigi Costa, CEO of Mista spa, about the opportunities and obstacles presented to the firm in the wake of the past year, and its goals set for 2021   Writer: Marcus Kääpä  |  Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  The Italian automotive industry is home to some of the largest and most renowned companies in the world. From those that produce cars for the international market, such as Fiat and Alfa Romeo, to the more specialist and luxury brands such as Maserati, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, Italy boasts a multitude of companies that are key players in the automotive market.  But a closer look under the bonnet of the industry reveals a long and rich history of family-run companies and SMEs that form the backbone of the automotive sector. Production and assembly lines bring together the best of Italian automotive innovation utilising a wide array of parts mainly supplied by third-party businesses. Mista SpA is one such firm with headquarters and manufacturing in Piedmont, as well as a further manufacturing plant in Tunisia. In the last decade Mista has consistently sought to improve and expand their Italian based research and development department (including an analysis laboratory), injection moulding and metal stamping facilities, and assembly and automatic lines.  Mista’s primary services include stamping and welding of small metal parts, the injection moulding and finishing of thermoplastics, insert moulding, and the qualification and production of complex electromechanical assemblies. For Luigi Costa, CEO of the company, the manufacturing of automotive parts for the wider industry is a privilege. He followed in his father’s

Nicholas Kernan By Nicholas Kernan

Melecs Group

Manufacturing MelecsBernhard Pulferer, CEO at Melecs Group, discusses the introduction of new technology to harness efficiency at his organisation   Writer: Sean Galea-Pace  |  Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here.  And with it comes technological innovation like never before. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotics are being leveraged by manufacturers across the world in a bid to scale up efficiency previously unseen.  “The manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly exciting, especially with all the recent trends coming up, such as automation, robot technologies, and digitalisation,” says Bernhard Pulferer, CEO at Melecs Group.  “From my perspective, this industry is an important sector of every modern, successful economy – in emerging countries as well as in highly developed countries. Looking at 2020 and the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturing industry was standing strong and remained a pillar of the economy despite the circumstances.” Indeed, the pandemic has largely accelerated digital transformation journeys for some companies. Almost overnight, organisations had to rethink day-to-day operations and find safer, COVID-secure ways of working. This was only amplified in a recent McKinsey survey which found that 93 percent of manufacturing and supply chain professionals plan to focus on resilience of their supply chain, with 90 percent planning to invest in talent for digitalisation.  Today, manufacturers can deploy digital solutions beyond the manufacturing plant that can reach across the end-to-end value chain to address planning challenges related to disruptions at suppliers, production plants, operational challenges in managing workplace health risks, and delivery challenges posed at transportation modes or in warehouses. For Pulferer, he

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Championing Environmental ChangeAs the inventor of the technology behind pre-insulated pipes, LOGSTOR’s inspired energy-efficient heating solutions are helping to turn the tide on climate change  Project Manager: Nicolas Kernan  Our global climate is changing. For millennia, atmospheric carbon dioxide had remained below 300 parts per million, yet today that key indicator exceeds 400. And it is rising. The affects are plain to see. Greenland lost 279 billion tonnes of ice a year between 1993 and 2019; global sea levels have risen eight inches in the past 100 years; the average surface temperature of the earth has increased by 1.14 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century; and the six warmest years on record have taken place since 2014. Scientists claim that climate change could be irreversible by 2030, meaning companies and countries alike must act now. And, indeed, they are. From a political perspective, the European Union set tougher emission reduction targets at the end of 2020, outlined in a new 2030 Climate Target Plan.  EU heads of states agreed on a 55 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – an ambition that calls for drastic change across the continent. In the corporate world, many companies like Danish energy solutions from LOGSTOR are similarly aligning their own efforts with these goals. An organisation specialising in district heating solutions, LOGSTOR has helped to revolutionise the energy sector globally with its transformational, cutting-edge, energy-efficient pre-insulated pipe systems. “The continuous and growing pan-European expansion of pre-insulted pipes for district heating has its origins in the European Union’s climate goals – reduce climate gases, increase the share of

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Lafarge Iraq

Building a Brighter Future Lafarge Iraq is driving diversification for both a more sustainable national economy and to improve the lives of local people   Project Manager: Joshua Mann     Iraq, like many nations, faced unprecedented challenges in 2020.   Not only was the country confronted with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, of which we are globally familiar, but pre-existing conditions such as an economic dependency on oil have posed an alternative yet simultaneous challenge.   According to OPEC, Iraq has the fifth largest pool of proven oil reserves in the world, estimated to be roughly 140 billion barrels. With such copious resources, it is natural that such a dependency would materialise. But as the oil industry has boomed, others have faltered – a status quo that now, more than ever, needs revising.   Indeed, promoting private sector diversification to improve fiscal stability, economic governance and the country’s business environment are all highlighted by the World Bank as critical to Iraq achieving sustainable growth and stability.   In doing so, the country can turn hardship in to opportunity.   Enter Lafarge. A global enterprise that first arrived here in 2008, it has since established itself as one of Iraq’s largest non-oil investors and a key contributor to national economic diversification efforts.   Heading up the operation in Iraq is Adham ElSharkawy, Country CEO, who jumped at the opportunity to move his career across borders from the UAE when it presented itself back in 2019.   “Iraq is a larger market than the UAE,

Editorial Team Joshua Mann By Editorial Team Joshua Mann

Korozo Group

Sustainability at the ForeFilip Lens, CEO at Korozo Group, discusses the importance of harnessing a greener approach in  day-to-day operations as well as in the product design  Writer: Sean Galea-Pace  |  Project Manager: Matthew Taylor  Turkey is a truly unique country. Acting as a bridge between Asia and Europe, its geographic location has led to close ties with both continents. “There is a strong entrepreneurial culture in Turkey and companies are prepared to take risks and invest. There are many well educated and ambitious people in Turkey and as we know, people always make the difference.”  ‘People always make the difference’. Those are the words of Filip Lens, CEO at Korozo Group. Korozo has become one of Turkey’s most renowned industrial organisations, exporting flexible packaging and film products to 88 countries globally. Headquartered in Istanbul, there are over 2,700 people working across the entire company. As a result of its investments in research and development, new technology and infrastructure, Korozo is the largest flexible packaging producer in Turkey, and one of the largest packaging manufacturers in Europe with an annual production capacity exceeding 123,000 tonnes. Operating out of nine factories in Turkey and one in Belgium, the organisation strives to expand and has become a world recognised brand with sales and distribution offices in the UK, Germany and France, as well as in Russia. Lens himself has a strong background in Flexible Packaging with prior roles in sales and marketing, operations, research and development, procurement, finance and people management. He is well acquainted with the Turkish packaging industry, having observed it first-hand

Nicholas Kernan By Nicholas Kernan

Itema Group

Italian Industry LeadersWe spoke to Ugo Ghilardi, Principal CEO of Itema Group, about the textile machinery manufacturing industry, and how the company stays ahead of its competition amid the repercussions of COVID-19  Writer: Marcus Kääpä  |  Project Manager: Thomas Arnold  “The manufacturing industry has been both a personal interest and passion that has accompanied me throughout my entire life.” For Ugo Ghilardi, Principal CEO of the Italian-based textiles company Itema Group, and author of the opening statement, manufacturing was always on the table.  With family roots in the industry, Ghilardi was introduced to Itema at an early age through his father – a production manager of the company for over 30 years. The machinery and workplace became a key source of interest to the young Ghilardi, and would lead him to following in, and surpassing, the footsteps of his father.  “From a personal perspective, I have always been interested in technology, automation, precision mechanics and digitisation, and I guess being born and raised around the company has something to do with it,” Ghilardi tells us, and adds positively. “I look back and like to define it as a kind of ante-litteram form of school-work alternation.”Ghilardi graduated his Organisation and Management course at the University of Trento, to soon after dive into the manufacturing industry. Across his career, Ghilardi has worked for machinery production companies in capacities ranging from Sales Engineering Manager, Managing Director, CEO, COO, and Divisional Board Member. It would be March of 2020 when Ghilardi joined Itema Group as CEO.  “I saw this as a sort of natural evolution of my

Gulf Extrusions

Aluminium EverywhereGulf Extrusions has enacted a number of projects which are delivering a competitive advantage to the benefit of its customers, from state-of-the-art die simulation to several environmentally beneficial initiatives  Writer: Marcus Kääpä  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray  Aluminium is everywhere. Lightweight and silvery-white in appearance, it is the most abundant metallic element found in the earth’s crust and the most widely used nonferrous metal in the world. The name can be credited to British chemist Sir Humphry Davy, who in 1809 created an iron-aluminium alloy by electrolysing fused aluminium oxide before crude aluminium (1825) and aluminium powder (1827) were discovered respectively in Denmark and Germany. Required in all shapes and sizes, the production of aluminium is more complex than one may initially think.  Christian Witsch is the CEO of Dubai-based aluminium extrusion company Gulf Extrusions, an Emeriti mainstay since its foundation all the way back in 1976.  “I gradually got more involved in machine building and architectural solutions and was becoming a part of the solution,” Witsch recalls. “From thinking at the beginning that it was a simple, routine process, my viewpoint changed completely and drastically – you learn a lot from aluminium extrusion. “You master complex shapes and complex requirements. For example, you have to manage between decorative requirements to make the products look beautiful and at the same time accomplish tighter tolerance. It is a huge field full of learning, optimising and engagement, and you are developing thousands of new solutions per year.” Today, Witsch leads a dynamic and increasingly extensive series of aluminium extrusion operations.  For instance, Gulf Extrusions recently acquired

Ryan Gray By Ryan Gray