DEWA harnessing 3D printing for productivity and efficiency
In a recent announcement made by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the organisation - via its research and development centre - has developed advanced infrastructure and specialist software for 3D printing.
DEWA has reported that it is the first organisation - in the GCC - to deploy Markforged Metalx 3D printing based on wire/filament. The highly accurate technology deployed by the company, reduces time and cost, as well as improves efficiency and productivity, and drives innovation.
“The 3D printing programme at DEWA has been selected as one of the Dubai 10X initiative projects. The initiative was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which mandates the Government of Dubai to be a global leader that is 10 years ahead of all other cities. The programme also supports the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, which is a unique global initiative to use technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a global hub for 3D printing technology, by 2030. Our use of the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and world-class standards aligns with our continuous efforts to improve efficiency in the production, transmission and distribution of energy and water, develop future services and projects that enhance DEWA’s position as one of the best utilities in the world, and enhance Dubai’s leading position globally,” commented HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
DEWA uses 3D printing technology to produce prototypes and spare parts for its generation, transmission, and distribution divisions, as well as supporting the digitisation of its inventory.
The development of its 3D printing solutions took place at its research and development Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The park also provides technical solutions, training, knowledge sharing, mechanical testing, techno-economic analysis, and research and development in additive manufacturing. The Centre also includes DEWA’s Robotics & Drone laboratory, the first building in the UAE to be fully printed onsite.
“We work on innovating and developing new 3D printing facilities across DEWA’s divisions and draft quality procedure protocols. DEWA’s R&D Centre supports 3D printing of components that can endure high temperatures and harsh weather conditions. It includes the latest 3D printing technologies, such as reinforced plastic printers using a mixture of carbon fibre or fibreglass; CYBE printers; and Markforged Metalx metal printers. The Centre strengthens DEWA staff’s capabilities in 3D printing, through workshops and training sessions. Besides, it develops the experiences of its engineers and researchers and consolidates their knowledge of additive manufacturing, which supports national capabilities. The number of Emirati researchers at the Centre has reached 70%, including 40 male and female researchers. 20 of whom are PhD and master’s degree holders,” concluded Al Tayer.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”