Traditionally, parts used on tankers are manufactured via casting or forging techniques but ABS, Sembcorp Marine, 3D Metalforge and ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers have successfully fabricated, tested, and installed functional 3D-printed manufactured parts on board the Suezmax tanker Polar Endeavour
For this 3D-printing project, the consortium aimed to utilise 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) to fabricate three types of parts that surpass conventionally manufactured products in terms of quality. These 3D-printed parts have passed rigorous approval, reliability and safety tests.
The project successfully 3D printed a viable gear set with shaft for a centrifugal pump, a nozzle for a combined brine/air injector, and a fully flexible coupling for an effluent pump.
ABS senior vice president, global engineering and technology Patrick Ryan said, “ABS is proud to support this practical project, which produced and implemented additive-manufactured parts on a Polar vessel.”
“It’s a key development in a technology that certainly has a significant role to play in the future of the industry. ABS is committed to ensuring these types of parts are introduced without compromising safety,” he said.
Sembcorp Marine head of research & development Simon Kuik said “The collaboration with ABS and 3D Metalforge is a continuation of Sembcorp Marine’s drive to innovate and improve our production capacities and capabilities. This development enables Sembcorp Marine to further refine our products and deliver customised solutions safely and more efficiently.”
“3D Metalforge is extremely pleased to be supporting this programme and it builds on our aim of working with leading global companies to widen and deepen the adoption of additive-manufactured (AM) parts in the globally critical maritime sector,” said 3D Metalforge founder and chief executive officer Matthew Waterhouse.
3D printing is the fabrication of parts by adding material layer by layer. It means products and components can be fabricated locally or potentially on board ships and offshore assets, shrinking the supply chain and lead times for specialised and complex parts, introducing new efficiencies driven by design innovation, reduced manufacturing time, and improvements in parts availability.
ABS has been supporting the industry with the introduction of AM since 2017, when it published an Advisory that provides an overview of metal AM technologies, technical challenges and tradeoffs, changes to the design process, quality and reliability. In 2018, ABS released new Guidance Notes that establish a consistent approach for qualifying AM systems and facilities to produce parts for the marine and offshore markets.
This is the latest 3D-printing initiative involving ABS. In 2020, ABS joined an additive manufacturing joint industry partnership after securing backing from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
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