The spirit of innovation and continuous improvement at Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL), the world’s largest primary aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology, has again been recognised by an independent, peer-based jury: the company received two category awards in the 2012 Ideas.Arabia Idea of the Year competition. The award ceremony was integral to the 7th Ideas.Arabia International Conference (Ideas.Arabia 2012), held under the patronage of H H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group), and which took place at Al Bustan Hotel, Dubai, on 22 and 23 April.
The two awards accorded to DUBAL were:
2012 Ideas.Arabia Health & Safety Award — This went to “Loading and unloading jig for anode butts”, submitted by J Iqbal, B Mohiuddin and M Wazir. To overcome the former unsafe practice of standing on anode rods while latching/unlatching anodes/butts in the Rodding Room, this suggestion entailed the construction of a secure jig with a separate load back rest and fork guides, thus facilitating a safe platform for operators to perform the task. The solution is reliable and effective. Not only have the potential risks during loading/unloading been eliminated, but also the new jig is also convenient and safe to use.
2012 Ideas.Arabia Productivity Award — This went to the suggestion entitled “Optimise swarf collection on HDC casting machines”, which was submitted by D Kumar, C M Hugos, P Kadirvelu and M M Mendoza. This idea – which involved modifying the suction ducting system so as to suck the swarf produced inside the saw cabin directly from the chip channel and blade hood – has ensured smooth casting operations (fewer cast aborts), reduced the workload of operators, increased machine availability, and enhanced the safety of working conditions inside the saw cabin.
Commenting on DUBAL’s repeated award-winning performance at Ideas.Arabia, Abdulla Kalban (President & CEO) said, “This independent recognition highlights both the level of creativity within our organization and the inherent potential of inviting employees to engage with our company. It also proves that DUBAL has immense potential for the future and confirms that which we have always believed, namely that our employees are our greatest asset.”
Widely regarded as the UAE’s industrial flagship, DUBAL is considered by many to be a role model in every aspect of its business. For example, DUBAL is a regional pioneer of employee involvement programmes through its award-winning Suggestion Scheme. Established in May 1981, the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme celebrates its 31st anniversary in 2012. The success of the scheme since its inception has been remarkable: the cumulative savings arising from implemented suggestions has exceeded AED 133 million over this period. The scheme in 2011 achieved 100 per cent participation from eligible employees, for the sixth year in a row. Moreover, a large number of organisations, both locally and internationally, have used the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme as a model for developing similar programmes.