High-quality filters and a customer-centric approach have seen Saudi Filters Industry Company make giant strides and gain a solid reputation in markets
Saudi Filters Industry Company (SFICO) has come a long way since being established in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Rashed Abdul Rahman Al Rashed & Sons Group, a leading trading and industrial conglomerate in the kingdom.
Beginning its operations back then as a manufacturer of filters at its new facility in Dammam’s Second Industrial City under licence from the US firm Purolator Products Company, Saudi Arabia was witnessing growing demand for car, truck and heavy equipment fillers. Decades since its entry into filter manufacturing, the company is known for its stature as one of the country’s top industrial filters and product distributors and its unswerving commitment to the kingdom’s economic development.
Over the years, SFICO has built a distinguished reputation among both industrial customers and consumers for its high quality filters and for the customer-centric services it delivers which set it apart from the competition – whether that is ensuring its customers are supplied with the right products precisely when they are needed, the provision of technical training tailored to customers’ businesses, or refresher courses to update customers’ employees on SFICO’s products and applications.
Today, SFICO can reflect on a rich pedigree of manufacturing and supplying oil, air, fuel, hydraulic transmission and coolant filters for cars, light and heavy trucks, off-road and industrial applications for both original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and replacement parts markets.
Although the licensing agreement with Purolator expired in 2011, SFICO’s legacy of excellence lives on. This is especially true with its own Purex filter brand, developed and manufactured entirely in-house with SFICO’s resources and knowhow and launched in 2001.
One of the most recognised brands in Saudi Arabia, its popularity has since expanded to the Middle East region and Europe, making SFICO a truly international company.
The fully equipped manufacturing complex in Dammam’s Second Industrial City has the capacity to produce six million filters annually on three manufacturing lines. Line two manufactures trucks and heavy equipment filters while the third is a joint venture between SFICO and global filters manufacturer Donaldson.
SFICO’s manufacturing capabilities ensure it is a reliable and prolific supplier of filters to the local and regional automotive aftermarkets, which account for about 80 per cent of its output. The remaining 20 per cent are sold under the Purex brand to OEMs in Europe, according to the company.
Among other renowned international brands represented by SFICO in Saudi Arabia are Hilliard Corporation, USA (a world leader in motion control and filtration technology since 1905), Mueller Steam Specialty (the world’s largest supplier of strainers and the number one provider of speciality products serving the valve industry) and Switch Filtration and American Filtration Technology, USA (which specialises in replacement filter elements that precisely fit and perform to OEM efficiency standards).
The company’s broad geographical reach is facilitated by a network of offices in Saudi Arabia (Dammam head office plus offices in Riyadh, Buraydah-Qassim, Jeddah and Tabuk) as well as agent distributors in other key international markets, which in the Middle East include Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan. Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Libya and Sudan.
SFICO leaves no stone unturned in its quest for quality performance, and believes this is a vital factor in sharpening competitive edges, cultivating good customer relations and guaranteeing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In this context, the company says it achieves this by adopting strict production and process control at every stage of operation.
An in-house laboratory in Dammam, for example, tests filters to international specifications such as SAE HS806 and SAEJ726, JIS etc. The company is also certified to ISO9001: 2008 by TUV Germany. Furthermore, SFICO invites renowned institutes, including Southwest Research Association (SWRI) USA, Motor Institute Research Association (MIRA) UK and the Egyptian Lab to test its filters.
With such a rigorous procedure, SFICO guarantees that all Purex products are free of technical defect, making them a highly competitive and cost effective alternative to OEMs.
Reflecting on almost three decades in the business and with an international reputation for excellence, SFICO can rightfully look ahead with optimism in the oil and gas space. The outlook for the Saudi domestic market remains overwhelmingly positive given the burgeoning requirements for filters in industrial applications.
Statistics suggest that local manufacturers meet only about one fifth of Saudi Arabia’s nationwide filters demand, with the balance imported.
That represents a major opportunity for the company in its ongoing efforts to support the Saudi economy.