The Dubal ideas group with Kalban and other Dubal senior officials

The Dubal ideas group with Kalban and other Dubal senior officials

Dubal wins innovation awards

01 June 2013

THE spirit of innovation and continuous improvement at Dubai Aluminium – the world’s largest primary aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology – has again been recognised by an independent, peer-based jury, this time in the Ideas.Arabia Idea of the Year Competition 2013.

Three Dubal submissions won awards in two categories, bringing the total number of awards garnered by Dubal since the inception of the Ideas.Arabia contest to 21.

The award ceremony was integral to the Eighth Ideas.Arabia International Conference, which was held at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, on April 22 and 23 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates Group.

Dubal received the three awards for 2013 in the following categories:

The award was granted for the suggestion entitled “Modify bus bar moulds mounting instead of buying new tundishes”, which was submitted by T Imran, E Flores and R Dayrit of Casthouse Services. This idea, which entailed modifying the mould-mountings, allowed new moulds to be fixed onto existing tundishes for use in casting bigger-sized bus bars, thereby saving on costs and improving working conditions. The idea has also overcome the prior time delay in waiting for new tundishes.

Health and Safety (1)
The winning idea was submitted as “Improve start-up dam system on DC 1 and 2 tables” by M Fayaz, M Asi and M Hussain. By introducing a semi-automated and semi-manual dam-lifting system, mould-filling in the DC casting area can be managed by a single operator instead of two, as was previously the case. This ensures uniformity in the casting process, thus improving billet quality; and the margin of error is reduced such that performing the task is also safer both for the operator and in terms of plant operational security.

Health and Safety Award (2)
The award was granted for “Pot shell and collector bar cooling system” submitted by A Safar and P Thiyagarajan. When the pot temperature increases excessively (such as in high voltage conditions), the pot needs to be cooled to prevent any tap out or bath leakage from the shell. Previously, an employee would have to enter the pot trench for this purpose, putting him in danger of serious and even fatal burn injury should the pot begin to leak. By designing and fabricating a cooling blower system for side shell and collector bar cooling, the pots can now be cooled effectively and safely (under abnormal operations).

The list of awards won by Dubal over the eight years of the Ideas.Arabia competition is shown within a box in this report.

Commenting on Dubal’s repeated award-winning performances at Ideas.Arabia, Abdulla Kalban, president and CEO, said, “The independent recognition of Dubal’s efforts in innovation highlights both the level of creativity within our organisation and the inherent value of inviting employees to engage with our company. It also proves that Dubal has immense potential for the future and confirms what we have always believed, namely that our employees are our greatest asset.”

Dubal is widely regarded as the UAE’s industrial flagship. It is also considered by many to be a role model in every aspect of its business. For example, it is a regional pioneer of employee involvement programmes through its award-winning suggestion scheme. Established in May 1981, the Dubal Suggestion Scheme celebrates its 32nd anniversary this year. Its success has been remarkable: cumulative savings arising from implemented suggestions have exceeded Dh152 million ($41.3 million). The scheme in 2012 achieved 100 per cent participation from eligible employees, for the seventh year in a row. Moreover, a large number of organisations, both locally and internationally, have used the scheme as a model for developing similar programmes.

Sultan Al Sabri, vice president, human resources and organisational effectiveness, adds that a culture of innovation is encouraged through the Dubal Suggestion Scheme and underlines its role as a pioneer of the employee involvement movement. Confirming the value placed by Dubal on innovation-based continuous improvement, the company was the main sponsor of the eighth Ideas.Arabia International Conference 2013. Previously, it was the main sponsor of the event for the first three years and in 2012, and the platinum sponsor for the sixth event.

An entirely state-owned enterprise, Dubal owns and operates a primary aluminium smelter of annual capacity of 1 million tonnes at Jebel Ali, Dubai.

Dubal owns 50 per cent of Emirates Aluminium in Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi. The company also has investments in upstream development alumina/bauxite joint venture projects in Brazil, Cameroon and the Republic of Guinea, and in a calcined petroleum coke joint venture development project in China.

Link for the Ideas.Arabia Awards:

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