Comacchio SRL will be exhibiting its latest products at The Big 5 Heavy in Dubai this November. We spoke to Antonio D’Ambrosio, the Territory Sales Manager for the Middle East; here's what he told us as he prepares to participate to the the largest exhibition dedicated to the infrastructure and heavy construction industry in the Middle East.
What are the major opportunities you spot in the GCC construction industry?
We think that the outlook for the GCC construction industry is improving. After a challenging period that has seen a decline in contract awards and a contraction in the construction industry with companies downsizing their operation, we believe that the pickup of oil prices can bring to a cautious recovery. We are particularly positive about infrastructure projects: projects to improve and upgrade rail, airport, port and other transport-related infrastructural facilities are involving various parts of the region; this will create procurement opportunities and have an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth. We are also expecting positive developments in the water and utilities industry.
What are the major growth drivers for the construction industry in the UAE or Dubai?
Demographic demand and government support are driving the growth of new residential areas. The country’s strategy aimed to increase tourism numbers as part of a long-term vision focused on economic diversification is stimulating the construction of hotels and leisure related projects. These include developments for the upcoming Expo 2020. Industrialization, diversification and privatization are important growth opportunities outlined in the UAE Vision 2021/Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to reduce the country’s dependency on the oil and gas sector and we are closely monitoring these developments hoping that they will support the growth of the construction industry in the next years.
According to you, what are today’s top 3 trends in the construction industry?
The construction industry is moving towards more sustainable solutions and practices. This is a global trend and we see that eco-friendly building practices are increasingly adopted in the GCC as well. Implementation of better safety practices is also a significant trend in the last years. These trends are involving us as machinery manufacturers as they having a direct impact on the design and manufacturing of construction equipment. The equipment we offer is a result of research and development investments aimed at incorporating enhanced safety features and reducing harmful emissions. Prefabricated and modular construction is also a rising trend; it attracts contractors as a cost-effective and less time-consuming alternative to on-site construction.
How do you think the construction industry will evolve in the next years?
The construction industry is rapidly moving away from the traditional model to one driven by digital engineering, offsite manufacturing and component assembly. We expect that technological advancements like virtual engineering and integration of mobile and cloud applications will change the way people work on construction sites and will therefore require an increased integration of such technologies in construction equipment as well.
What strategy are you adopting in the market this year and why?
Our main goal for this year is that of setting up a dedicated sales organization with capillary presence throughout the region: we want to create a solid basis that will enable us to participate successfully to the opportunities that the GCC market is offering. The Comacchio sales network worldwide is built on strong relationships with well-established and trusted local partners. We are adopting this same strategy in the GCC. We are about to start a selection process for agents and dealers that can meet our requirements and I look forward to put my skills and long-term expertise in the region at the service of this development. We will take the opportunity of The Big 5 Heavy to further explore these opportunities.
Are there any innovative Products/Solutions your company has developed? Please provide details
In its 30 years of history Comacchio has established itself as a reference point in the microdrilling sector, with a comprehensive line-up of almost 80 drill rig models designed for small and medium diameter drilling and covering a broad spectrum of ground engineering and geotechnical applications. No other manufacturer can provide the same range of solutions. 2015 has marked a turning point for Comacchio with the launch of a new product line dedicated to large diameter drilling. During the past three years, we have made a huge investment to develop our range of piling equipment: we have currently three models already available and a fourth model in the final design phase. Each model offers multiple configurations supporting a great variety of drilling technologies: the CH 450 was the first model launched and it now has at least 10 different configurations developed for Kelly system, CFA, DP (Displacement pile) and Soil Mixing, including two "low headroom" versions for operations where there are headroom constraints.
Why are they innovative?
All Comacchio machines are the result of a constant and accurate process of product development and improvement. It could not be any other way for our large diameter piling rigs. Since the launch of the CH 450 we have therefore tried to optimize some construction details, in terms of engineering and technology, improving critical aspects, such as noise emissions, energy efficiency, rig-up stability and maintenance. We have invested a lot in efficiency improvement: the cooling of the engine is managed by an intelligent heat dissipation system, able to control the rotation speed of the fan according to the actual operating requirements of the machine, thus optimizing performance, reducing noise and engine emissions as well as fuel consumption. The rotary head adapts to various drilling technologies and allows for the use of Kelly bars of various diameters with minor changes on the rotary assembly. The design of the rotary head was also focused on maintenance-related aspects: we have introduced some innovative solutions for the replacement of the rotary head wear parts. We take special pride in the cabin design that offers unmatched levels of safety: it’s the only one in the segment that boasts a TOPS and FOPS-1 certification issued by an independent laboratory. These is only a short list of the innovative features we have introduced. They may seem as small details, but a trained eye is able to appreciate the great advantages offered by all these improvements, which ultimately translates into increased productivity, efficiency and return on investment.
What products will you present at The Big 5 Heavy this year?
Our presence at the show will be focused on the presentation of the full range of solutions we can offer. This includes both soil investigation drill rigs and foundation equipment covering any ground engineering and geotechnical application. Our anchoring and micropiling rigs remain our flagship product, but we will take the opportunity of The Big 5 Heavy this year to place the focal point on our new CH range of large diameter piling rigs. With the introduction of this lineup, we are now ready to take on new challenges and I’m particularly keen to introduce our local clients to this type of equipment and show them the innovative design features and benefits we can offer. In a wider perspective, The Big 5 Heavy is the first step of a long-term strategy aimed to reshape our business in the Gulf region.