Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine), ABS, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers and 3D Metalforge have made additive manufacturing (AM) a reality in the marine industry through a joint development project.

Parts fabricated by AM were installed on an oil tanker by SembMarine six months ago, and have been validated to be in good working condition.

AM, which is also known as 3D printing, is the fabrication of parts by adding material layer by layer. This means products and components can be fabricated locally or on board ships and offshore assets.

Traditional parts used in shipbuilding and repair are manufactured via casting or forging techniques. For this project, the consortium utilised AM to fabricate three types of parts that meet or may even exceed conventionally manufactured products in terms of quality.

The parts have now been approved by ABS after the successful onboard testing on an oil tanker.

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The pioneering project began in February with the fabrication and lab-testing of functional additive manufacturing parts. The parts were then installed on board the oil tanker Polar Endeavour.

All parts have been retrieved and inspected by the vessel’s crew, followed by a remote survey by ABS.

ABS is a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services in the marine and offshore industries.

Patrick Ryan, senior vice president, global engineering and technology at ABS says, “We are delighted with the performance of the parts and the successful completion of the project. It’s an important step forward for a technology that certainly has a significant role to play in the future of the marine industry. ABS is committed to ensuring these types of parts are introduced without compromising safety.”

Sembcorp Marine Head of Research & Development, Simon Kuik, adds, “The success of this project augurs well for the adoption of AM in the marine industry. Through AM, Sembcorp Marine is able to customise parts for our customers and reduce material wastage and remove supply chain inefficiencies. This augments our value proposition as a one-stop innovative solutions provider for the offshore, marine and energy industries and affirms our sustainability ethos.”

As at 4.50pm, shares in SembMarine are trading 0.1 cent lower or 1.18% down at 8.4 cents.

Photo: SembMarine