By Susan Gonzalez

At CAMX 2022 in California, experts investigate how materials transition contributes to climate mitigation.

CAMX: Nonmetallics Strategy Reaching Beyond Oil and Gas Sector
Aramco Americas Technical Services, Specialized Engineering Unit, team members (left) Brian Binoy and Amaro Bustamante Jr. coordinated exhibit booth presentations and answered questions from attendees eager to learn about Aramco’s use of nonmetallics beyond the oil and gas sector.

Aramco’s exhibit presence at North America’s most comprehensive composites and advanced materials event, CAMX 2022, was an attention grabber for attendees interested in an energy company’s vision and strategy for the use of nonmetallics beyond the oil and gas sector. 

As the materials transition contributes to climate mitigation by extending emissions reduction efforts into products and applications, Aramco’s message was clear that it is acting on multiple fronts in every industrial sector to maximize deployment of polymers and composites. 

CAMX is the largest annual event of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) featuring more than 100 technical sessions and live demos of manufacturing processes in different market segments such as aerospace, marine, renewables, and automotive parts. Aramco is a member of the trade group that last year recognized the company’s innovative work in deploying nonmetallics with its Pioneer Award to Ahmad A. Al-Sa’adi, senior vice president, Technical Services, Aramco. 

CAMX: Nonmetallics Strategy Reaching Beyond Oil and Gas Sector
Aramco representatives meet with members of the American Composites Manufacturers Association leadership during this year’s CAMX 2022 as the company expands its nonmetallics reach into new business sectors. (From left to right, front row: Fred Sanford, ACMA Board chairman; Waleed L. Al-Otaibi, Nonmetallic Project Management Office leader, Aramco; Cindy Squires, president & CEO of ACMA; Riyadh Shiban, Division head, Civil & Structural Engineering, Consulting Services, Aramco; (back row) John P. Busel, vice president, Composite Growth Initiative, ACMA; John Baird, supervisor, Specialized Engineering Unit, Technical Services, Aramco Americas; and Gusai AlAithan, ACI/Aramco Liaison.)

Advancing Nonmetallic in Many Ways

For some, Aramco’s ambitions into other sectors came as a surprise with initiatives in building and construction, automotive, packaging, and renewables. Our nonmetallics strategy is advancing at a rapid pace on several fronts, including: 

  • Deployment
  • Investment
  • Research and development
  • Advocacy
  • Localization 

Dozens of ongoing research projects through nonmetallic innovation centers in the U.K., the U.S., and China, in addition to King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, are taking place. More than 30 plants have been established in the Kingdom for various nonmetallic products such as reinforced thermoplastic pipe, glass fiber reinforced polymer rebars, and many others. In addition, investments have been made across sectors through the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva), NAMAAT, Wa’ed, and Aramco Ventures.

“We look forward to more collaboration with ACMA and key partners across the supply chain as we expand our work in nonmetallics,” said Waleed L. Al-Otaibi, nonmetallic project management office (PMO) leader, Consulting Services, Aramco, who was on-site at the CAMX meeting with manufacturers, suppliers, and academia to explore and build new relationships. 

CAMX: Nonmetallics Strategy Reaching Beyond Oil and Gas Sector
Raising visibility for Aramco’s nonmetallics strategy during North America’s largest composites and advanced materials event, CAMX.

Sustainability in a Time of Technological Convergence

CAMX this year focused on addressing supply chain issues given the current environment as well as incorporating new technologies to improve sustainability. Calling it a time of “convergence of technologies” keynote speaker Michael Steep, executive director of Stanford Engineering School’s Center for Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities, noted that so many markets are going forward with composites — transportation, aerospace, construction, and energy. 

For example, he pointed to a project where the integration of sensors on a commercial aircraft could detect damage and flaws on the wing much sooner than nondestructive testing or an inspection that would take it offline. 

Aramco’s heightened visibility during CAMX this year raised interest, questions, and made inroads for our nonmetallics business strategy. 

— The Arabian Sun: November 22, 2022