DUBAI: Three weeks ago Fahmi Al-Shawwa’s 3D printing workshop in Dubai was making parts for the Gulf oil and gas industry, now his machines churn out thousands of face visors to help the UAE battle coronavirus.
With flights grounded, workforces depleted and countries limiting exports, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted global trade and forced countries to look closer to home for things such as face masks and sanitising products.
The rapidly configurable 3D printers of Immensa, of which Shawwa is CEO, are also making spare parts for industries unable to source them abroad because of supply chain disruptions.
“As soon as we get out of this crisis we are going to see a lot more local manufacturing. A lot of companies have been looking at localising their supply chain and this is a trigger,” said Shawwa.
Having seen shortages appear in virus hotspots such as Italy, Immensa decided to change its output and now makes 15,000-20,000 plastic face shields a week and has spoken to UAE
authorities about what else the firm could assist with.
In the emirate of Ajman, a former work uniform factory is now making reusable cloth face masks for Fine Hygienic Holding.