twitteryou tubefacebookacp


Marco Fahd

Versatile International has announced the establishment of a new company to manufacture lighting technologies in Saudi Arabia.

Asheil Versatile Lighting Technologies is an end-to-end lighting manufacturer that also provides consultancy and planning services for large scale lighting installations. Asheil will serve destination-scale projects, including the Saudi giga-projects, and the local wholesale market. The company’s operating model is designed to increase supply chain transparency, decrease risk and provide access to a comprehensive range of locally manufactured lighting products.

“Asheil aims to kindle a new lighting technology sector in Saudi Arabia and establish the Kingdom as a producer of world-class lighting technologies,” said Marco Fahd, group chairman and CEO of the Versatile Group and co-founder of Asheil.

“Asheil combines the project governance expertise of Versatile International with the manufacturing capabilities of our partner, Haneco. The company’s unique service offer is designed to address disparity in the market, insulate Saudi Arabia from global supply chain challenges, and support the Kingdom’s signature development projects in delivering against Vision 2030.”

Saudi Arabia, a leader in manufacturing in the GCC

In its first phase, Asheil is building a 5,000 sqm manufacturing facility in Sudair City for Industry and Businesses, 120 km northwest of Riyadh. Ultimately the company plans to have 20,000 sqm of factory space, manufacturing bespoke lighting installations tailored to the specific needs of Saudi Arabia’s biggest development projects.

Asheil’s component portfolio will feature more than 1,000 fully compatible lighting products, each backed by a comprehensive guarantee for maximum transparency and accountability.

Saudi Arabia’s LED lighting market was valued at US$923mn in 2022 and is projected to reach US$1,858mn by 2030. The Kingdom currently imports around SAR 5.25 billion (US$ 1.4bn) in lighting equipment per year, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity. Around 85% of imports come from China, amounting to 3.8% of the Kingdom’s total imports from China.

“Saudi Arabia represents an enormous opportunity for lighting manufacturers willing to invest in the Kingdom’s future,” said Marco Fahd.

“Asheil’s end-to-end lighting technology service, comprising consultancy and design planning, in-market manufacturing and service warranty to Saudi customers, will help large-scale projects develop and procure Made in Saudi lighting solutions with complete transparency and on-the-ground service.”

The study showed that 54% of manufacturers in Europe (61% globally) expect AI to drive growth by 2029. (Image source: Canva)

Zebra Technologies Corporation, a digital solution provider enabling businesses to intelligently connect data, assets, and people, today announced the findings of its 2024 Manufacturing Vision Study.

The study showed that 54% of manufacturers in Europe (61% globally) expect AI to drive growth by 2029, up from 37% (41% globally) in 2024. This surge in AI adoption, combined with 92% of survey respondents prioritising digital transformation, underscores manufacturers’ intent to improve data management and leverage new technologies that enhance visibility and quality throughout the manufacturing process.

While digital transformation is a priority for manufacturers, achieving it is fraught with obstacles, including the cost and availability of labour, scaling technology solutions, and the convergence of information technology and operational technology (IT/OT). Visibility is the first step to transformation and the adoption of AI and other new technologies enables manufacturers to leverage data more effectively to identify, react and prioritise problems and projects so they can deliver incremental efficiencies across the manufacturing process that can net the greatest impact upfront.

“Manufacturers struggle with using their data effectively so they recognise they must adopt AI and other digital technology solutions to create an agile, efficient manufacturing environment,” said Enrique Herrera, industry principal for manufacturing, Zebra Technologies. “Zebra helps manufacturers work with technology in new ways to automate and augment workflows to achieve a well-connected plant floor where people and technology collaborate at scale.”

Concentrating on bridging visibility gaps

Even while manufacturers claim that digital transformation is a top priority, creating a fully integrated factory is still a challenging task. Merely 15% of manufacturing executives in Europe and 16% worldwide state that they have work-in-progress (WIP) monitoring in real-time across the whole manufacturing process.

While 57% of global manufacturing leaders (as opposed to 49% in Europe) anticipate more visibility throughout the supply chain and across production by 2029, a third of them state that a major obstacle to digital transformation is getting IT and OT to agree on where to invest. To compound these challenges, 84% of manufacturing leaders in Europe and 86% worldwide concur that they are finding it difficult to keep up with the rate of technological innovation and to safely integrate devices, sensors, and technologies across their supply chains and facilities.

Key regional findings

Asia Pacific: While only 30% of manufacturing leaders use machine vision across the plant floor in APAC, 67% are implementing or planning to deploy this technology within the next five years.

Europe: In Europe, reskilling labour to enhance data and technology usage skills is the top ranked workforce strategy for manufacturing leaders to drive growth today (46%) and in five years (71%).

Latin America: While only 24% of manufacturing leaders rely on track and trace technology in LATAM, 74% are implementing or plan to implement the technology in the next five years.

North America: In North America, 68% of manufacturing leaders rank deploying workforce development programmes as their most important labour initiative.

Jörg de la Motte and Dr. Michael Löbig. (Image source: HIMA Group)

The HIMA Group, a family-owned business and a provider of safety-related automation solutions, has marked a successful financial year in its history with the conclusion of the 2023 fiscal year. The company plans to further expand its global presence and solution portfolio for the process industry and railway technology.

In 2023, HIMA achieved sales of 151.4 million euros, reflecting an organic growth of 12%. The acquisition of Sella Controls in February 2023 contributed to an overall sales increase of 20%.

Expanding global presence and reach

The HIMA Group is steadily advancing its international expansion. Building on last year's acquisition of Sella Controls in the UK, the HIMA Group further extended its reach by acquiring Norwegian technology company Origo Solutions in February 2024.

HIMA has received a significant order from the Norwegian energy company Equinor to supply equipment for both onshore and offshore plants. The development of the SCADA+ system by Origo Solutions has broadened HIMA's expertise into renewable energy.

The company's presence has grown with new locations in Saudi Arabia and expanded operations in Slovakia and the Middle East. A new subsidiary in India is set to open by the end of this year. In regions where HIMA lacks a direct presence, the company is expanding its partner program to enhance engineering and support capabilities through qualified partners.

Advanced solutions

HIMA has seen success in various sectors, including new rail projects in the UK, Italy, and India. The railway industry, alongside the process industry, remains a key market for HIMA. Thanks to Sella Controls, the company's product and solution portfolio has grown, leading to new projects such as an overspeed prevention system in the UK, which automatically reduces rail vehicle speed and enables driver monitoring. Additionally, HIMA's safety controllers are securing the earthing system in Italy's high-speed train tunnel "Galleria Ceraino," operating fully automatically and remotely in compliance with SIL 4 standards. A partnership has been established with an Indian company to develop the Automatic Train Protection System ("Kavach").

"Our growth strategy, which is based on the digitalisation of functional safety with added value in parallel with international expansion, paid off in 2023," says Jörg de la Motte, CEO of the HIMA Group. 

"HIMA continued to grow profitably in 2023 – for our shareholders this is a good basis for further investments," adds Dr. Michael Löbig, CFO of the HIMA Group. By region, Europe dominates the business of the HIMA Group with a 55% share of sales. This is followed by Asia (20%) and the Middle East (17%). The Americas account for 8% of sales.

Global demand for aluminium is expected to grow by 50% to 80% by 2050. (Image source: EGA)

EGA has published its Green Finance Framework to support decarbonisation projects and initiatives that contribute to a low-carbon economy. The company also announced that its recent acquisition of the European specialty foundry Leichtmetall was fully financed through EGA’s first green loan facility.

The Green Finance Framework outlines eligibility and governance mechanisms for financing from third-party institutions and funds that prioritise sustainability in their capital allocation, among other sources.

By publishing this framework, EGA advances its sustainability goals by accessing a broader range of funding options for loans and bonds. This can potentially lower borrowing costs and ensure greater transparency.

Citi and ING served as the lead sustainability structuring banks, while First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) acted as the sustainability structuring bank to assist EGA in developing the framework.

EGA has publicly committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, aligning with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.

Global demand for aluminium is expected to grow by 50% to 80% by 2050. Recycled and low-carbon primary aluminium are anticipated to account for about 60% of supply growth between now and 2030, and approximately 70% between 2030 and 2040.

EGA completed the acquisition of Leichtmetall in May. Leichtmetall uses renewable energy to produce up to 30,000 tonnes of aluminium billets annually at its German plant, with secondary aluminium comprising about 80% of the input material.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, said, “The aluminium EGA produces plays an essential role in the development of a more sustainable society. It is also important how sustainably it is produced. This is both an enormous opportunity and a significant challenge for EGA and our wider industry. Our Green Finance Framework enables us to access a deeper pool of liquidity to finance projects and initiatives that advance our decarbonisation goals. Our use of green financing for our recent acquisition of Leichtmetall is another first for EGA in our sustainability journey.”

The plant site in Kuwait. (Image source: ASCO)

Wet processing experts CDE and Kuwaiti construction company Associated Construction Company (ASCO) are collaborating on their fourth project.

The investment by ASCO, in its fourth CDE solution, a new M-Series modular sand washing plant, comes as its first, an M2500 commissioned back in 2013, records an impressive over 54,000 operating hours – equivalent to over six years of uninterrupted operation.

ASCO sand division manager, Khaled Nasr said, “Over a decade on and our original investment remains a vital part of our operation. Its efficiency and reliability has remained totally consistent and we’re running the same volume of material in 2024 as we were in 2013. The plant has exceeded all of our expectations and created the backdrop for what has become a really important partnership with the team at CDE.”

Over the coming weeks, CDE will commission its fourth M-Series wash plant for ASCO, a new M4500 with a processing capacity of up to 180 tonnes per hour.

When commissioned, it will complement three generations of CDE M-Series wash plants, including an M2500, M3500, and M4500, all of which were commissioned between 2013 and 2021.

Running in parallel with one another, the three pre-existing CDE plants produce an estimated three million tonnes of sand and aggregates for concrete production every year, a figure which is expected to rise to over four million tonnes when ASCO’s second M4500 plant is fully operational.

CDE’s CustomCare Manager, Sena Biswas, said, “To chart the history of this longstanding partnership is to also chart the evolution of our equipment. We’re wholeheartedly committed to ensuring our customers keep pace with the demands of the market. The relationship we have with ASCO is testament to that, as through it we can demonstrate how our responsive aftercare service helps to get the most out of a plant and how we are continually innovating our washing solutions to build capacity and integrate the latest technology.”

More Articles …