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Of factories and TV dinners

If, like me you are spending your free time in the unbearable summer months watching the TV, you may have seen a show called 'How it's Made'.

COMMENT, PMV

If, like me you are spending your free time in the unbearable summer months watching the TV, you may have seen a show called 'How it's Made'.

In case you haven't, a camera crew goes to a number of factories and workshops to film a number of objects being manufactured, while a chirpy voice over artist explains the process. A typical episode might feature items as diverse as kayaks, safety boots, electronic signs and cereals.

The reason I mention it is because this month we did our own 'How it's Made' as we went to see two PMV-related factories in action.

First, we headed out to plant in Spain to watch heavy trucks being bolted together, while a couple of weeks later and much closer to home, we visited an industrial unit over in Jebel Ali to watch the bodies to go on trucks, possibly the same ones we saw in the factory being fashioned out of rolled steel and beams.

Both factories had reasonably high levels of automation, with robotic welding machines and gantry cranes on hand to take the strain out of the particularly difficult, hot and heavy work.

In addition, both were manufacturing for export... and this filled me with joy. Why? Well, for months I have been banging on about how processes in the region must get itself into the modern age, and here was a local plant making things using tools and methods directly comparable to one in Europe, with goods the rest of the world would want to buy. It isn't alone either. All over the UAE and the wider region, new factories are being built to the latest ISO standards.

If only this drive for modernity would transfer over the rest of the construction industry...

Greg Whitaker is the editor of Plant Machinery Vehicles Middle East.

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