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The Baidas Touch

Climate Control Middle East visits the newly opened Gulf Airconditioning Manufacturing Industries (GAMI) factory, which produces FCUs, AHUs and chillers. Story: Vikas Roy | With inputs from B Surendar

| | Nov 30, 2011 | 7:18 pm
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Climate Control Middle East visits the newly opened Gulf Airconditioning Manufacturing Industries (GAMI) factory, which produces FCUs, AHUs and chillers. Story: Vikas Roy | With inputs from B Surendar

GIBCA is a company that claims to have a global presence but has kept a low profile. Established in 1979, the company has 8,000 employees. Amin I. Baidas, Executive Director, Gulf Airconditioning Manufacturing Industries (GAMI), took over in January 2000. “The company is one of the leaders in HVAC. It has a maintenance division, a contracts division. We are very selective in taking up contracting assignments and don’t go for any assignment,” he points out.

Detailing his company’s operations, Baidas says: “We represent Hitachi equipment and are sole agent for Hitachi’s commercial equipment, package unit, ducted split units, free-standing units and chillers. Plus, we have established our own brand, Coolwave.”

While on the subject of Coolwave, Mohammed Amin Baidas, Abu Dhabi Area Manager, Gibca Air Conditioning Division, points out, “We have from window type to 5TR in the Coolwave line, and above 5 TR up to 400 HP in the Hitachi line. And so the two brands complement each other.”

Tracing the company’s recent history, Amin Baidas says, “A few years ago, the idea of establishing a manufacturing facility in the UAE came about. We had been working on this project to establish a facility for a few years. In May 2011, the facility (factory) was ready, and we started production. The factory is called GAMI.” He explains that the products coming out of the facility are FCUs, AHUs and chillers, adding, “We have a technical collaboration with Hitachi to produce the chillers.”

Besides the Baidas’, a key person at the factory is Eugene Papaioannou, the GM of the factory. “Our FCUs are for standard and district cooling applications and are in the range 9,000 BTU to 60,000 BTU, both high static and low static,” Papaioannou tells us.

Mohammed Baidas, the Abu Dhabi Area Manager, adds, “We are looking to be specified by Tabreed for the FCUs. They have known the Coolwave brand for long, but as I said, since May 2011, we have been manufacturing them here at GAMI.”

Papaioannou provides us details about the range of products. “Our AHUs range from six tonnes to 60 tonnes. We can manufacture AHUs with heat recovery feature and heat pipes, and to provide 100% fresh air,” he says. “Our AHUs are special. The thermal blade profile in the AHUs makes them operate in high humidity areas without condensation. The eliminator can be removed, so it can be cleaned and the coil can be cleaned. Filters can also be removed. Our AHUs are modular in nature. For instance, we can incorporate UV lamps, if we wish to,” he explains.

The factory general manager adds that the company is concentrating on manufacturing high quality products at regional prices. Soon, we will be testing our AHUs for air flow and capacity, he says.

Mohammed Baidas points out that this manufacturing facility is 14,000 square metres. Of that, the factory space alone is 10,500 square metres; the rest is office space, he informs us.

Interestingly, “this factory is the only air conditioned factory in the UAE,” the Abu Dhabi Area Manager points out. “The temperature in the factory is kept below 35ºC even when the outside temperature is 46ºC. It is a good working climate for our people.”

The factory is about raw materials leading to assembly, Papaioannou stresses. “We have two manufacturing sections: sheet metal production section and a coil production section.”

He adds: “We use AMADA machinery, which is among the best for sheet metal production. We paint the sheet metal for very high quality. There are seven stages of pre-treatment involved and 75 microns of powder coating involved.”

Elaborating on the process, Papaioannou say that after the painting is over, the sheet metal is tested for 1,000 hours in a salt-spray chamber. This is essential, because the UAE has a corrosive air, so good protection is needed, he explains.

“In the coil production section in GAMI, we design and make the coil ourselves using Tridan machinery. All the coils are rigorously tested for quality – they are tested at 35 bar,” Papaioannou says. “The process here in the factory also includes a system to remove the moisture from the coil, so the coils are totally dry.”

In similar vein, he adds: “For now, the GAMI factory is manufacturing the Coolwave brand of AHUs, FCUs and chillers. For manufacturing Coolwave, we took all the drawings and technical support from Hitachi.” The factory manager goes on to inform that at some point in time in the future, there is a possibility of Hitachi allowing GAMI to make their products here under the Hitachi brand name, once the factory has gone through a learning curve in the production of the Coolwave brand of products. “Every factory has to pass through a learning curve,” he says.

Getting into details, Mohammed Baidas points out that until now, the company has delivered over 60 AHUs, over 35 chillers and over 3,000 FCUs. We have a number of customers, including the Ministry of Public Works, he says.

“The chillers that we manufacture here range from 75 HP to 400 HP. We use only high-efficiency Hitachi screw compressors for the chillers. This compressor is much more expensive when compared to other types but is highly efficient,” the Abu Dhabi Area Manager informs.

Papaioannou says that for the chillers that are manufactured in the factory, there is a commercial testing chamber, where the factory tests the products for actual high-ambient conditions. “The chillers are designed to operate at 46ºC, and we verify the performance of each chiller in the chamber,” he adds. “In reality, though, the chillers can operate up to 52ºC, due to their unique control systems. We test for full load and part load by controlling the load through the AHUs, the factory general manager adds.”

Mohammed Baidas reveals that the commercial testing chamber was designed by Papaioannou. “And the people here at GAMI made it based on the design. They made the doors and AHUs and controls. The whole chamber is a GAMI design and manufacturing accomplishment. Even Hitachi was jealous of the chamber!” he says, laughing.

Papaioannou adds that the testing chamber is used for commercial testing and for performance testing. The testing chamber is customised specifically to test the chillers, up to the capacity of our chillers.


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One comment on “The Baidas Touch”

  1. Gowthaman.S.S. says:

    Read the documentary… excellent set up for HVAC product manufacturing facility..

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