Industrialization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed a steady development over the past couple of years. These are attributed to the importance of the industrial sector, which would facilitate achieving some of the relevant industrial milestones set in the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision. The efforts exerted by the government to support industrial development covered several basic areas during the early years of development of the country including implementation of required infrastructure, construction of the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu, construction of industrial cities in various regions of the Kingdom, and continued provision of other industrial support and incentives. The response and cooperation of the private sector with the government plans and efforts have an effective impact on the actualization of the industrial development achievements.
In today’s highly competitive environment, customers are demanding increasingly shorter lead-times at competitive rates. In addition to shortening lead-times, customers expect flexibility and real-time tracking possibilities for their orders, which makes it more difficult when spare parts are sourced from overseas. This puts huge pressures on the companies to create fast reactive supply-chains with improved chain visibility for imported spare parts as the current market in the Kingdom cannot cater to the industrial needs of the Kingdom. Many companies are still facing great difficulties in managing their supply-chains due to unsynchronized demand by key stakeholders in the Kingdom. This can result from companies focusing too much on developing separate functions of the manufacturing supply-chain, instead of looking to supply-chain as a whole process starting and ending with a customer. Not managing the supply-chain process in manufacturing as a complete process flow and failing to recognize the underlying causes behind the challenges, will result in fluctuating delivery times and constant issues in the organization’s supply-chain process; especially that no one manufacturing facility can address most customer needs.
Therefore, the silver-lining behind the success of local manufacturers lies to leveraging an integrated supply-chain process, where various manufacturers and suppliers alike complement each other. The spare part business has additional requirements for an organization’s supply chain, where the delivery times must be kept relatively short and the organization must be capable of answering flexibly to fluctuating demand of parts. In other words, the customer must be able to rely on that they can get the needed part fast enough in order to stay operative. As a result of the dynamic nature of the spare part business, creating a stable and reliable supply-chain is crucial for maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction for key stakeholders in the Kingdom.
Currently, the Kingdom excels in machining operations, such as machining, turning, milling, boring, facing, drilling, and grinding in addition to maintenance and overhauling of industrial equipment. Additionally, conventional sand casting is another area that manufacturing foundries in the Kingdom can support in spare part needs. Furthermore, the following list of manufacturing operations are examples of current manufacturing services that are available in the Kingdom:
• Precision CNC Turning and Milling Lathes (4, 5, and 6-axis CNC).
• Horizontal Machining Centers.
• Wire EDM machining.
• Surface grinding machines.
• Multi-axis Machining Centers with 5-Axis control.
• Tooling Management Systems.
• Jigs manufacturing and fixtures.
• Steel Shaft Cold-Finishing.
• Porcelain Enameling for Iron parts.
• Pipe, Tube, and Shaft threading.
• Plasma and Oxy-Fuel cutting machine for steel fabrication.
• Pattern design and patternmaking for sand-casting.
• Ferrous and Non-ferrous sand-casting foundries.
• Continuous-Casting of bronze bars.
• Vertical Contact Measuring Machine (CMM).
• QC laboratories for mechanical, chemical and dimensional inspection.
Digital manufacturing is an integrated approach to manufacturing that is centred around a CAD file. The transition to digital manufacturing has become more popular with the rise in the quantity and quality of computer systems in manufacturing. As more automated tools have become used in manufacturing; it has become necessary to model, simulate, and analyze all of the machines, tooling, and input materials in order to optimize the manufacturing process. Overall, digital manufacturing can be seen sharing the same goals as computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), flexible manufacturing, lean manufacturing, and design for manufacturability (DFM). The main difference is that digital manufacturing was evolved for use in the computerized world.
Overall, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is well equipped in the conventional subtractive manufacturing processes with much more room for improvement and development.