Once the world’s longest driverless transit rail network (until 2016 when it was surpassed by the Vancouver SkyTrain) the Dubai Metro transports over 160 million passengers each year.
To keep trains running, and passengers happy, the city’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an MOU with the Middle Eastern branch of award-winning automation conglomerate Siemens.
The agreement will enhance the RTA’s existing 3D printed spare parts initiative, contributing to the endeavor to become “the world’s smartest city” by the year 2020.
When talking about exciting new advancements that are coming to the supply chain, the discussion will always usually end up focused around 3D printing. Rightly so, as the 3D printer has opened up new opportunities never before possible in the supply chain. Rather than having to wait for a specialized part, companies can now print the part they need right on site. This can be a huge time and cost saver for companies involved in projects, but when looking at the overall supply chain worldwide, 3D printing is a pretty niche example. Even with 3D printers popping up everywhere, changing the way companies rely on the supply chain, there will always be limitations.
Sure, 3D printers might be able to print space habitats on Mars, but they can’t print everything and there will always be a need to transport an item(s) from one destination to another. 3D printing is revolutionary, but there is another absolute game changer about to deploy in the supply side that is an evolution; self-driving trucks. When looking at the amount of freight moved just in America alone, there was 9.2 billion tons (primary shipment only) moved by truck representing 67% of the total tonnage moved in 2011.