Machines Now Talk : Saudi Software Drives Kingdom’s Transformation Forward
In the Arab world, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE are known as software and technology hubs. Now Saudi Arabia, with support from GE, is looking to add its name to the list.
Already a regional manufacturing powerhouse, Saudi Arabia is going to bring its local industry to the next level by implementing powerful digital industrial analytics and software that will drive further advancements in manufacturing excellence, efficiency and operations.
Building on previous work to support the Kingdom’s economic development, to help realize Saudi Vision 2030, and to create high-value jobs for Saudi nationals, GE is partnering with leading Saudi companies on a range of digital and software driven initiatives. These partners include Ministry of Health, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), and Saudi Telecom Company (STC).
The agreements were announced during Minds + Machines Saudi Arabia, which was held today in Dammam. The event was attended by senior Saudi government officials, corporate CEOs in the Kingdom, GE business partners, academics, startups and software developers. Jeffrey Immelt, GE Chairman & CEO, led a senior team from GE.
The heart of GE’s Industrial Internet program to drive this digital transformation of industry is the GE Saudi Technology & Innovation Center (GE STIC) in Dhahran Techno Valley.
The center will allow Saudi customers and partners to work collaboratively with GE developers to design and develop digital solutions that will become apps running on Predix – the world’s first and only cloud-based operating system built exclusively for industry.
The center also will help develop Saudi software designers, engineers and developers through training programs focusing on start-ups and tech entrepreneurs operating in the digital industrial space.
A state-of-the-art Data Visualization Lab at the center provides a space for GE and its partners to analyze and visualize large quantities of Big Data in order to develop insights used to improve productivity across industrial assets.
The expanded GE STIC expands on its existing R&D and innovation capabilities focused on the power, oil & gas, aviation and water sectors.
“Earlier this year, we announced a range of strategic partnerships and initiatives in the Kingdom that focused on economic and industrial diversification supporting the ambitious growth goals outlined by the Saudi leadership,” said GE’s President & CEO for Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, Hisham Al Bahkali.
“We are now accelerating this journey through the introduction of our digital industrial technologies – heralding a new era in GE’s long-term presence in the Kingdom,” he added.
The digital industrial partnerships announced by GE include:
- GE is partnering with the Saudi Ministry of Health on Big Data, Simulation, Digital Twin, and Virtual Hospital Visualization: Supporting the goals of the Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH) to drive digitization to achieve measurable improvements in quality of patient care and cost, MoH looks forward to working with GE Digital to build the MoH Digital Capability. GE Digital is also considering to deploy Software as a Service (SaaS) to MoH hospitals and PHCs in a manner that may cover patient experience, asset management, command center, and dose management, among others. The two entities intend to assess opportunities to collaborate on big data management as well as data visualization and modelling through virtual hospitals.
- With Saudi Aramco, GE is offering its reliability and integrity management solution for Saudi Aramco’s Jazan Complex. GE Oil & Gas Digital is introducing its first Asset Performance Management (APM) solution to reside on Saudi Aramco’s business network for the Aramco Jazan Complex Integrated Manufacturing Operations Management System (IMOMS). To be deployed on industrial assets, APM will support reliability and integrity of the assets and provide tools for analysis and strategy development, assuring greater operational excellence. The solution will enhance reliability and integrity to drive business and financial key performance indicators for the Jazan Complex and detailed refinery and IGCC operations.
- SEC has selected GE as its solutions provider to drive a nationwide digital transformation of electricity in Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, SEC and GE have established a Generation & Optimization Center (GOC), a state-of-the-art center equipped with hardware and software to monitor 16 SEC power plants. The data will be turned into insights using GE’s advanced industrial software, to predict component failures in advance and to recommend optimal power plant operations, allowing the generation team to plan preventive maintenance, enhance plant availability, avoid service degradation to customers and reduce costs.
- The local partnerships also include GE Digital and STC Solutions forming a partnership around GE’s Industrial Internet technologies. The goal is to drive accelerated growth for both companies in Saudi Arabia by providing services such as initial discovery, strategic management consulting, IoT project delivery and training.
- TAQNIA and GE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help develop digital industrial applications to support the Kingdom’s industrial base and establish Saudi Arabia as the region’s largest marketplace for specialized industry apps. The collaboration will help foster a homegrown innovation ecosystem for talented Saudi youth. One area of collaboration for GE and TAQNIA will be to develop cutting-edge cyber security solutions for Saudi industry, by drawing on the expertise of GE’s Wurldtech, a cybersecurity provider delivering solutions to industrial facilities and critical infrastructure.
GE also has made one of its Saudi facilities an early adopter of its “Brilliant Factory” solution. Using digital software, big data and data analysis running on Predix, the GE Manufacturing & Technology Center (GEMTEC) in Dammam will gain real-time visibility and insights into its operations, enabling real-time monitoring and optimization.
GE has been a partner to the Kingdom for more than eight decades and is committed to supporting innovation in the Saudi economy in support of Saudi Vision 2030. It has more than 2,000 employees in the Kingdom, with 50% of staff in highly skilled engineering and technology roles, and a Saudization rate of 70%.
Through its local investment in Saudi Arabia, GE has built a local supplier base of over 300 firms, including 150 Saudi SMEs, and its Saudi facilities export parts and services to more than 70 customers in nearly 40 countries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America.