Olympus celebrates centenary and growth in Middle East region

Aircraft inspection equipment manufacturer celebrates 100th year and explains how the opening of a regional centre in Dubai has helped it get closer to customers in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey

Olympus Corporation has been celebrating 100 years of manufacturing advanced digital and precision technology and equipment this year.

The company’s portfolio operates across a number of sectors – from the famous Olympus camera in the consumer market to medical, scientific solutions, life sciences through to industry and aerospace inspection equipment. Olympus’ solutions borrow ideas based on research and development from across its different operating sectors including medical. Its products and services anticipate the evolving needs and high expectations of professionals from different industry segments.

Within aerospace, Olympus manufactures equipment which helps inspectors keep aircraft operating safely. This includes inspection of critical components for aircraft manufacture and maintenance. Equipment is used for checking the integrity of an aircraft’s aluminium skin with eddy current flaw detectors to using phased array technology for full volumetric inspection of complex composite parts. Remote visual inspection videoscopes help inspectors gain a more detailed look inside jet engines to check for cracks and other flaws. 

The 2,000 sq m Olympus MEA Regional Headquarters is located in Dubai Science Park, it covers a territory stretching from the western shores of the African continent across the Levant and the Middle East to Iran and Turkey. The Dubai RHQ, reports in to Hamburg-based Olympus Europa, which acts as the regional centre for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

The Olympus RHQ has one of the most advanced Repair & Service Centre to conduct major repairs within the region. It also has a Training Centre to train partners and clients on its high-technology instrumentations, as well as stock critical equipment to supply replacements to clients while their items are being serviced.

Closer to our customers

Albert Altjerman General Manager, Middle East, Africa and Turkey explained more about the decision behind the opening of the new facility: “This was a strategic decision the company took three years ago to open a headquarters in Dubai to support and be closer to companies in Middle East, Turkey and Africa.”

“This is supported by a Repair and Maintenance centre, fully equipped and highly sophisticated. I can proudly say its one of the best, if not the best, repair centre we have out of Tokyo, Japan.”

“Together with the repair centre we have a local training and development centre. We moved colleagues - highly trained engineers and technicians - from other hubs in Europe,here to Dubai and we are now we seeing the benefit.”

The new headquarters has enabled Olympus to achieve faster turnaround and greater customer satisfaction. Altjerman added: “We see the customer satisfaction, we see the feedback from customers. Instead of waiting a month or two to get our product inspected or referred in Europe and sent back here, we can turn it around in a couple of days.” 

Listening to its customers is a key part of Olympus’ business strategy and attendance at events such as the Dubai Airshow enables the company to gather feedback on its products. “As a company strategy we want to be closer to the customer,” explains Altjerman. “We want to meet, learn, listen, work and cooperate with them.”

He explained how listening to customers had helped the company to refine and improve its products. “One of our best products this year was that we have introduced a new software which allows the technician to see the result of the inspection in a 3D module.”

“This feedback, or this request which we got from someone from the region, was sent all the way up to our R&D and headquarters in Tokyo and we came back with a new upgrade of our product.”

Aerospace solutions benefit from medical R&D expertise

Aerospace solutions benefit from Olympus’ expertise in other sectors. Much of the technology used within aerospace inspection is borrowed from the biggest sector in its portfolio - medical.

Altjerman explained: “Our R&D in remote visual inspection is shared with our medical R&D in Toyko. Our colleagues in medical hold more than 70 per cent of the worldwide market share in flexible endoscopy. At the end of the day, its the same R&D, the same technologies.”

“We use their advancement, we use their innovative technologies, we use their knowledge and leverage it within out products.”

While Olympus may be celebrating 100 years, it is looking forward to the next centenary by growing new markets and establishing new partnerships. The new facility has also helped them to be closer to existing partners such as Emirates Etihad and Egypt Air, helping to reduce airline downtime.

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