The Fireclay Factory LLC team brings their know-how and clients from across the globe to Fujairah, leading the way for world class manufacturing operations in the Emirate.
It was over a decade ago that Fujairah residents first began to see businesses closing in the old industrial area of the city; slowly but surely these companies started to trickle through to the new Al Hayl Industrial Area on the outside of the city. This new project promised to give new infrastructure support to businesses, factories, and workshops from all fields to be able to set up and take advantage of Fujairah’s favorable business climate.
While many factories in this area are well known to Fujairah residents, The Fire Clay Factory LLC is more of an international success. Ceramics has long been a key industry for the United Arab Emirates, with a number of companies doing good domestic (and some good international) trade.
The Fire Clay Factory, however, has managed to triple their sales over the initial forecast in the first 8 months of production- with 99.9% being sold outside of the UAE.
Peter Shilling, Managing Director and Owner, along with Tony Wood (Chairman and Owner, Niko Group UK) are the founders of the operation, bringing industry management expertise of over forty years with a hope to invest in the emerging manufacturing hub of Fujairah.
The Fireclay Factory (TFF) is named so for its key focus, “Fine Fireclay” ceramics. Much of the ceramics industry in the UAE focuses on mass production using vitreous china where TFF dedicate their whole operation to fine fireclay meaning the best production and quality control systems are in place, making theirs a superior product in its niche.
After lengthy designing of the specialist factory, sourcing and testing compatibility of the best raw materials they could find, TFF was first operational in November of 2014 and commercial production was declared in March 2015.
In addition to the experience of Peter Shilling, all staff members on the production line have been chosen for their expertise: a mandatory requirement of three years experience within their scope of work at a high-end ceramics manufacturer. All line supervisors have a minimum of 10 years experience in the industry, and the 20 years experience of factory manager Timy Samuel in ceramics has brought a solid foundation to the entire team.
TFF also have their own modeling team in house, which means they’re able to design a product that meets the customers requirement- in addition to designing all their product lines in the house. Doing this allows them total control over the quality of their output. They test the shapes and dimensions of everything they produce for flaws in design, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a durable, high-quality finished product.
All products are hand finished by craftsmen then inspected at four points of the process prior to the firing of the wares, and a further two points following the firing.
In addition to all products going through quality control measures during processing, equally tight measures are applied to the finished product. All pieces are placed in a mockup of the furniture it will be placed in, meaning that customers will never receive an incorrectly sized piece. Customers all get walked through the quality control process so there are no doubts about the finished product they will receive.
Peter Shilling and Tony Wood agree: “…it’s been fantastic to create such a wow factor in an industry that everyone thought that everything had already been achieved-there is always room for improvement!”
Initially the factory was set up to manufacture approximately 30,000 pieces per annum as phase one of the business development, and has currently grown to 100,000 pieces annually, depending on models & designs. Increased demand for products has meant that TFF have recently announced plans to further expand this facility and its production capacity.
TFF are partnered with one of Britain’s largest bathroom and kitchen distributors- “Ultra Finishing”, part of the Niko Group who have brought their marketing and distribution expertise and been a major part of the factory’s rapid growth and development.
Two key product lines are being manufactured; the Fire Clay Factory’s own branded products and a special line of “Downton Abbey” branded sanitary ware inspired by the hit BBC television series and officially licensed to the factory by Universal Studios.
The success of the show around the world has meant increased interest in Edwardian influenced products, and TFF are able to manufacture a niche product line right here in Fujairah, to a standard that has elevated it to a global success.
TFF Management also praised the various government entities they worked with: “Thanks to the assistance we received from the local government departments we were able to set up a superb facility”. They also expressed special thanks for the invaluable support of Mr. Ghafour Behroozian (Chairman, Fujairah Trade Center).
With infrastructure and support for local businesses improving all the time, we hope for The Fireclay Factory’s continued success. It’s always interesting to hear of hits on our doorstep, and an increasingly diverse business community being a catalyst for growth in the Emirate of Fujairah.