DNV GL to lead 3D printing research

JIP participants JIP participants during the kick-off meeting and workshop at the DNV GL AM technology centre of excellence. Credit: DNV GL

Germany headquartered classification society DNV GL has been appointed as the lead researcher of the first phase of a new Singapore-based programme to study the feasibility of additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, in the maritime industry.

In a Joint Industry Program (JIP) initiated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) DNV GL will team up with ten member companies of the Singapore Ship Association (SSA) to examine how spare parts produced by 3D printers can help the capital-intensive industry to cut costs and downtime. The goal of the JIP is to establish a list of commonly-ordered parts that are highly feasible for 3D printing with or without certification respectively not feasible for 3D printing.

“Additive manufacturing holds great opportunities for the maritime industry,” said Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, regional manager South East Asia, Pacific & India, DNV GL - Maritime. “As the world’s leading classification society our aim is to explore this technology in a way that customers can have the same confidence in AM products as they have in any other approved by class.”

Spare parts supply

The findings aim to encourage more maritime players to adopt AM to optimise their spare parts supply, and overall to strengthen Singapore’s value proposition as a one-stop shop with port services supporting a diverse ecosystem of shipping lines and maritime companies.

To date, the challenges of marine parts inventory include not only inventory costs, low utilisation rates and parts obsolescence, but also complex supply chains and accompanying logistics costs. AM technology has the potential to revolutionise the way marine spare parts are designed, manufactured, and distributed to end users. In addition, onsite manufacturing for maintenance becomes an important application of AM.

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