UAE-founded Immensa uses additive manufacturing technology to manufacture spare parts for the global oil and gas industry. This is a vast market, and Immensa is the leading company in the space.
What is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing is industrial 3-D printing. Technology creates objects by building them up, layer by layer. Unlike traditional manufacturing processes, additive manufacturing can create objects on demand without requiring a large production run and without the problems caused by supply chain complexities and delays.
The Problem of Spare Parts in the Oil and Gas Industry
In the oil and gas industry, when equipment breaks down, it has to be fixed as soon as possible to avoid expensive delays in production. This has led companies to stockpile a huge range of spare parts at considerable cost. Production delays still take a toll on companies amounting to billions of dollars annually.
How Immensa Solves the Spare Parts Problem Using Additive Manufacturing
Because additive manufacturing creates needed parts on demand, oil and gas companies can reduce their physical stockpiles of spare parts. This saves them the costs of warehousing the slow-moving inventory and managing a complicated supply chain.
The companies can also get their equipment back online more quickly, reducing the costs of production delays. Companies can select their parts digitally and create them locally using the nearest additive manufacturing printer.
Why Immensa Launched in Dubai
When Fahmi Al Shawwa founded Immensa in 2016, he and his team considered both the UAE and the U.S. as potential sites to set up their base. They decided to locate in Dubai, which has served them well. Starting a company in the UAE has many advantages:
- It makes it easier to serve both regional and global markets.
- The government promotes technological innovation and has an entrepreneurial spirit.
- Dubai provides infrastructure, mentorship, and other support for start-ups.
- Major international companies are there.
- The legal environment is easy to navigate.
A disadvantage is that the demand for Immensa’s services within Dubai is small. However, Immensa uses Dubai as a hub for its services throughout the Gulf and Middle East regions, Europe, and Central Asia.
Immensa’s Growth and Plans for the Future
Immensa started development in 2017 and pilot testing in 2019. They are already the leading provider of additive manufacturing for the oil and gas industry. In 2020, their top line grew by 300%, and they expect the rapid growth to continue. During the COVID pandemic, the company also began producing face shields for healthcare and food industry workers.
They opened a second UAE facility, partnering with the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, bringing the first industrial metal additive manufacturing operation to the area. Immensa also acquired two companies in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Immensa now has offices in Kuwait, Jordan, and Houston. It is the only additive manufacturing company worldwide with the petroleum industry’s IS029001 certification.
The company’s goals for the future are to make every part that the global oil and gas industry uses and to continue expanding in the vast untapped market that needs Immensa’s services. This market, Al Shawwa estimates, is worth $165 billion.