Microfactory Brings Futuristic Manufacturing to UAE’s Economic Diversification
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, today witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the opening ceremony of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) in Abu Dhabi by His Excellency Mohamed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the Federal Government of the UAE and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Mubadala, and Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE. GMIS is a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and is co-hosted with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. GE is a founding partner of the Summit.
You don’t get more cutting edge than additive manufacturing. This futuristic technology, also known as 3D printing, uses lasers and electron beams to melt metal, polymer or plastics powders in a layer-by-layer manner to create almost any shape. GE is helping bring an additive manufacturing plant to the UAE.
The Microfactory will help accelerate revolutionary additive design, customer innovation and digital manufacturing technologies within the UAE. Mubadala Investment Company, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi, and the Dubai Future Foundation are teaming up with GE to establish the facility in Abu Dhabi, which could be operational as soon as next year. Plans for a Dubai based factory are also underway.
Members of GE Additive’s engineering team will work with regional companies operating in a range of industries to see how they can use additive manufacturing to design and manufacture components.
The Microfactory also will provide a digital online crowdsourcing platform for attracting and retaining a global community of subject-matter experts who will work to solve key engineering challenges.
“The ability to partner with both Mubadala and the Dubai Future Foundation – two entities which enjoy have an amazing track record in advancing emerging technologies and levelling up innovation platforms within the region – is truly exceptional,” said Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE. “We share a significant history of working toward projects that advance the region, and these Microfactories continue that rich tradition. It will support the growth of entrepreneurs and SMEs in the digital industrial space, building a local ecosystem and community of suppliers across the key industries. GE is thrilled to partner once again in accelerating the use of this game-changing technology.”
The technology, which uses digital designs created using computer aided design (CAD) software, dramatically expands the practical possibilities for engineers by freeing them from traditional manufacturing restrictions. Additive components are typically lighter and more durable than traditional forged parts because they require less welding and machining, and they generate far less scrap material.
As the world’s digital industrial company, GE is sharing its expertise at the event through a range of presentations today and tomorrow. Tomorrow, Beth Comstock will give a keynote address focusing on the endless possibilities presented by digitization: “Faster, Weirder, Better: The Future of Work in The Emergent Era,” while on Wednesday Mohamed Ehteshami, Vice President of GE Additive, will speak on the panel: “On the Edge of Technological Convergence.”
Also tomorrow, Reid Pacquin, Industry Solutions Director for F&B CPG at GE Digital, participated in a panel discussion addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the global food and beverage industry.
The Summit is welcoming delegates, including heads of state, government leaders, ministers, policy makers and senior executives from Global 2000 companies.