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Mafna advocates customised manufacturing approach in the GCC region

CEO says the onus is on manufacturers to provide tailor-made HVAC solutions; highlights geo-thermal air conditioning equipment, developed for Saudi Aramco

| | Oct 11, 2017 | 4:23 pm
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Mafna Air Technologies Canada announced that it is bringing its customised engineering and manufacturing approach in the design of tailor-made HVAC equipment to the GCC region, during its official launch on October 2, in Dubai. Salman Akhtar, CEO, spoke on the limited solutions being offered in the industry, emphasising that manufacturers must provide tailor-made solutions to address the unique and particular needs of the client. Akhtar conducted a technical seminar, presenting project references and highlighting the geo-thermal air conditioning solution the company provided to Saudi Aramco.

Akhtar said that initially, Mafna was a little hesitant about entering the market, owing to prevailing mind-sets. However, Akhtar said, compared to the United States, which favours the standard model, he found that the nature of progress in the UAE is, in fact, one that cultivates diversity. “The people do demand what they need,” he said. “The problem is when it comes to engineering and technical products – their hands are tied, because manufacturers are saying ‘no’.”

This encouraged Akhtar to bring the solutions the company has been developing in the United States and Canada to the region. Since entering the market a year and a half ago, Akhtar said, Mafna has found a strong reception in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. “We are getting a lot of response,” he said. “As you can see, Aramco, one of the frontrunner oil companies in the industry, immediately grabbed us, because they had problems they were living with for many years.”

Talking about the unique nature of the project, Akhtar explained that Mafna had to deal with issues of corrosion, refrigerant leaks, the high-ambient temperature in the country as well as the high-risk environment of the refinery. Mafna, he said, took these into account and provided geo-thermal air conditioning, which became operational earlier this year. Akhtar said that the results were positive and helped them secure a number of projects with the company.

Broadly speaking on the importance of such an approach in the industry, Akhtar said that it was time to do away with the widely prevalent copy-paste culture, which he added, was owing to the fact that in most projects a lot of the responsibility lies with the engineering team, which is not able to demand the specifications it needs. In cases where it is able to do so, the manufacturers cannot or will not adapt to the demand. “So, when we approach them, they certainly wake up,” he said. “It’s a fresh thought that some manufacturers are willing to listen.”

In addressing this demand, Akhtar emphasised that there is a lot of creativity in what Mafna does and that each design is one of a kind. “We are actually known in the industry as equipment architect.” he said. Like an architect, Akhtar said, no two buildings are the same, as each owner will have a different demand. Similarly, as an architect does not know what the next design will be until the next project, Mafna is also adapting to the demand of each new client that comes with a set of problems. “We don’t know when the next equipment will have some similar features,” he said, adding that it is for this reason Mafna is always innovating, especially in terms of geometry and architecture.


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