R&D centre on the drawing board

Technology key to company development, according to Yaseen Jaffer, CEO of Proclad.
R&D centre on the drawing board
By Administrator
Wed 12 Sep 2007 04:00 AM

Proclad Group, which provides CRA cladding, oil tools and other services to the oil and gas industry, will add a dedicated research and development company to its portfolio next year.

"We are going to form a company to host R&D activity, that's the plan for 2008," said Yaseen Jaffer, CEO of Proclad Group.

"We have some major multinational companies who are encouraging us and want to participate."

The new company will be wholly owned by Proclad and is expected to form around the second quarter of next year.

"Our last two project bids were won based on our advanced technology," said Jaffer. "Customers see the benefit of this technology in the lead-time for delivery, cost and quality improvement."

Proclad currently has three people working full time in R&D, but engineers from all of its sites contribute to the pool of ideas the company draws on.

"We expect to introduce two or three more new techniques to customers at the end of this year," said Jaffer.

"We have a dedicated team of engineers who have been in the industry for a very long time, most based in Scotland, where our R&D centre is," said Jaffer.

"Proclad is always looking for a technology edge, we're a technology driven company. We have a think-tank process and we take suggestions from our shop floor. You always need to be ahead of your competition and continue to improve your processes.

"R&D is a trial process, every year we invest more than our initial budget. We used US $1.7 million last year, after budgeting US $1 million."

Proclad Group also has other plans for expansion, which include a new facility in Kuwait in October of this year, Dubai in the first quarter next year, and further plans for North Africa and Saudi Arabia. It has five major projects ongoing at the moment, spread through Southeast Asia, the Gulf region and some of the former Soviet republics. It is expecting US $200 million turn over this year.

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