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Saudi 3D Printing Service Immensa to Invest $6M in AI-Driven Digital Inventory

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Immensa, the additive manufacturing (AM) service bureau headquartered in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), will invest more than $6 million into its newly launched, Digital Inventory Solution Real Time (DIS-RT) software. The AI-enabled software is specifically designed to facilitate digitalization of oil and gas supply chains.

In April 2021, Immensa became the first company to receive AM license approval from KSA’s Ministry of Investments, and in June 2023, the company opened a $15 million facility in Dammam, the nation’s first wholly privately-owned AM operation. According to Immensa, DIS-RT has already been used to analyze over a million parts for multinationals, and has identified thousands of parts that are viable candidates for on-demand manufacturing in the Gulf region.

The grand opening of Immensa’s Dammam facility

In a press release about Immensa’s planned $6 million-plus investment in its DIS-RT software, Fahmi Al-Shawwa, CEO of Immensa, said, “The DIS-RT software helps energy companies to harness the power of additive and advanced manufacturing in their supply chains. …We are enabling oil and gas companies to build modern, future-proof supply chains that can help them to operate massive infrastructure portfolios more effectively and reliably at a time when global trade and traditional manufacturing output are under stress. Oil and gas companies are increasingly embracing digital supply chain adoption and Immensa is on track for rapid expansion and service enhancement, which began in Q4 2023. Our enhanced software facilitates the entire digital asset lifecycle from assessment to ordering and production without the need to send data or files outside the single platform.”

Significantly, Immensa is placing a particular emphasis on its software’s potential for carbon emission reduction. The company has conducted a study that claims that incorporating AM into supply chains for spare parts could lower emissions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for instance, by 3.62 percent.

Although for obvious reasons, the aims of the oil and gas sector and the goal to decarbonize are seen as diametric opposites, global oil and gas stakeholders in both the public and private sectors seem to have shifted gears of late. They’re becoming increasingly vocal about acknowledging the need for interests in the oil and gas sector to diversify their energy portfolios, while simultaneously remaining insistent that the energy transition’s success will still demand massive new investment into fossil fuels.

As much as that argument may be driven by self-interest, it also has a basis in reality, and much more of a basis in reality than the idea that the world is already on the brink of painlessly trading in fossil power for renewables. The truth is that the pain involved in transitioning away from hydrocarbons is just barely getting started, and humanity’s best chance to minimize the fallout is to approach the societal transformation as methodically as possible. The transition may have been happening too slowly up until these past couple of years, but that doesn’t mean the correct solution will be found simply by doing the exact reverse and trying to go too quickly.

While it may not take the form of an attention-grabbing moonshot that everyone has been hoping for, AI-driven supply chain management could represent the happy medium that allows for the harmony between oil and gas and clean energy necessary to make the energy transition successful. The more that oil and gas supply chains can be both decarbonized and automated, the better partners oil and gas interests can be to their counterparts in renewable energy industries.

Images courtesy of Immensa

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