DUBAL Suggestion Scheme celebrates another successful year

Employee innovation delivers AED 22.39 million in audited savings during 2013

The tradition of value-adding innovation continues apace at Dubai Aluminium PJSC (“DUBAL”), which is set to become an operating subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium (“EGA”) – the jointly owned, UAE-based aluminium conglomerate being formed by Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi and Investment Corporation of Dubai. This has been confirmed by the sustained value-add to the business of the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme, which again notched up a successful year in 2013. Established in May 1981, the scheme this year celebrates its 33rd year and the level of employee involvement shows no sign of abating. To the contrary, DUBAL employees at non-supervisory level submitted 20,210 ideas to the scheme during 2013, of which 16,167 were implemented and awarded.

The total number of implemented and awarded ideas since the Suggestion Scheme’s inception is now 172,090. Moreover, the audited savings potential of the ideas implemented in 2013 amounted to AED 22.39 million, which raised the total savings achieved by the Suggestion Scheme over the years to more than AED 175 million. Also, the overall employee participation rate reached the 100 per cent mark for the eighth consecutive year, which means that at least one suggestion was implemented and awarded per eligible employee during 2013 – statistically speaking, there were 6.1 awarded suggestions per eligible employee. These figures highlight the sustained success of the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme, which currently numbers among very few such schemes to have endured for as many years.

Speaking at the annual Suggestions Scheme Awards ceremony, held at Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday 26 March 2014, Saeed Al Mazrooei (designate CEO: UAE Operations at EGA) explained the role of ideas as the starting point of all great innovations and developments; and encouraged all employees to continue supporting the programme as it contributes substantially to DUBAL’s success. Employees also heard from special guest speaker, Badr S Al-Olama (Chief Executive Officer - Strata Manufacturing PJSC - a wholly-owned advanced composite aero structures manufacturing facility based in Al Ain). Several honorary guests from Dubai government departments and local industry who have harnessed DUBAL’s experience in the suggestion scheme field also attended the event..

As in prior years, all DUBAL employees were invited to attend the Suggestion Scheme Awards ceremony, along with executive management. More than 1,000 people were in attendance. The primary aim of the event was to honour those employees whose suggestions won the five different Suggestion Scheme Award categories. The Gold Award in each category was presented, to the winning suggestors, as follows:

Energy-Saving category

  • Gold — “Power saving by setting equalisation valve in 7B dryer”, submitted by P R Rao and B K Kareem of MC1. This suggestion has led to increased efficiency, lower power consumption and reduced noise pollution.

Environmental category

  • Gold — “Eliminate AlF3 leakage on RAM stations”, submitted by J E Hills and F O Boyles of 0330emissions and loss of material, avoided leakage of aluminium fluoride and reduced employee exposure to this hazard.

Plant Operational Security

  • Gold — “Innovative way of finding Dense Phase System (DPS) pipeline blockage”, submitted by S Gopindran and B R Mistry of Potroom Maintenance. By establishing a method to use an ultrasonic device to identify the location of any blockages in the alumina pipelines has reduced trouble-shooting time, facilitated smoother potline operations, prevented environmental pollution, and reduced costs.


  • Gold — “Hopper lip repair”, submitted by M E Martonito, M J Kho and R N Sotaso of Potroom Maintenance. By making an access window and using a customised tool to repair damages, this suggestion has minimised maintenance personnel’s exposure to hot and hazardous conditions while substantially reducing safety risks.

Best Suggestion category

  • Gold — “Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) test rig”, submitted by S Malacaste, J Seraspe, C J Daroy and A Thomas of MC1. The suggestors designed a PLC test rig in-house, using recycled materials, that is customisable to DUBAL’s control technologies and facilitates skills training as technologies advance. The resulting hands-on experience of technicians during training has improved employee confidence and achieved substantial savings on external training costs.

“As DUBAL has demonstrated over the years, an organization’s continued success is driven by its employees being involved and engaged in the business,” says Al Mazrooei. “This is because people who are empowered enjoy an enriched work experience and consistently give of their best — which in turn leads to improvements in quality, safety, cost, environment, through-put and customer service. Indeed, the DUBAL Suggestion Scheme plays a key role in positioning the company as a leader in every aspect of its operations and helps us maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.”