Leading classification society DNV GL has been selected to head up a Singapore-based research programme that will study the applications of additive manufacturing (AM) for the maritime sector.
As part of the initiative, which was launched by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), DNV GL will cooperate with ten member companies of the Singapore Ship Association (SSA) to determine whether the 3D printing of spare parts can help shippers and ports reduce costs.
Organizations collaborating for the joint industry programme (JIP) are planning to establish a list of commonly-ordered parts that could be 3D printed, a move that is expected to encourage more companies in the maritime industry to optimize their spare parts supply with AM.
A recent Port Technology technical paper looked at the future of Singapore's next-generation port
Currently, the marine parts inventory around the world faces challenges such as high inventory costs, low utilization rates and parts obsolescence, as well the increasing complexity of supply chains.
According to a statement, AM technology could drastically change the way spare parts are designed, manufactured and distributed.
Other potential uses for AM include manufacturing for maintenance purposes, a development that may help shippers and ports prevent severe delays in the event of equipment breaking down.
JIP participants during the kick-off workshop at the DNV GL AM Technology Centre of Excellence (Credit: DNV GL)
Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, Regional Manager of South East Asia, Pacific & India for DNV GL – Maritime, said: “Additive manufacturing holds great opportunities for the maritime industry.
“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.”
Using an online connection or streaming link, the remote survey enables a team of surveyors to provide support anywhere in the world… @dnvgl_maritime #PTIDaily #Shipping #Inspection #Digitization https://t.co/33PE0AlHca
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Steen Brodsgaard Lund, Chairman of the SSA Technical Committee, added: “This technology can help not only to reduce costs of producing spare parts for vessels, but also to radically reinvent the production and logistics including using completely new and more suitable materials.”
Kenneth Lim, Director, Research & Technology and Industry Development Transformation at MPA, also commented: “We believe that the best way forward in the development of AM is collaboration across the ecosystem.
“As Singapore seeks to be the global maritime hub for connectivity, innovation and talent, we are excited to see that multiple stakeholders are together exploring the potential of how additive manufacturing can be applied in the maritime industry to create greater value.”