Dec 19, 2017 | By Tess

DNV GL, a Norway-based business assurance company, has published and released a “classification guideline” for adopting and using 3D printing technologies in the maritime and oil & gas industries.

The document, which is reportedly the first of its kind, will enable manufacturers, materials suppliers, and other businesses within the maritime and oil & gas to exploit additive manufacturing while maintaining quality assurance for 3D printed parts.

Within the two industries, additive manufacturing technologies—especially metal-based 3D printing—have gained importance in recent years, as manufacturers have begun to leverage the benefits of being able to manufacture bespoke parts and replacement parts on demand and even on the spot.

In the maritime industry, for example, being able to manufacture replacement parts on board a ship could offer some ecological advantages, such as cutting back on fuel for the ship because of less cargo (3D printing could eliminate the need to store various replacement parts) and less transport fuel (because helicopters and transport vessels would not have to deliver replacement parts).

As Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, the CEO of DNV GL Maritime, explained: “Additive manufacturing means products and components can be printed according to local needs, or even on board ships and offshore installations. This equates to less lead time, less cost, less labour, less logistics, and less need to keep stocks of spare parts.”

“AM can also be used for maintenance and repair, simply adding layers of material to worn components, thus negating the need to replace them,” he added.

Still, and as is the case in many industries, certification of 3D printed parts within the maritime and oil and gas sectors has remained a significant hurdle. Until now, perhaps.

“We have been investigating the potential of 3D printing for the maritime and oil & gas sectors since 2014,” said Marit Norheim, Vice President, Material Specialist, Hull, Materials & Machinery at DNV GL Maritime. “With the introduction of the class guideline DNVGL-CG-0197, DNV GL is now ready to certify and support our customers and industry stakeholders to take advantage of this rapidly maturing technology. It will give end users confidence in the products and allow suppliers to offer their technologies and products for use in vessels and offshore installations.”

DNV GL’s newly published guideline seeks to establish certain certification processes for the industry which can ensure that 3D printed parts are up to industry standards. These steps are not limited to end use parts but are meant to certify materials, 3D printing technologies, data transfer processes, printing, post processing, and more.

“AM parts that perform the same functions as those produced in traditional manufacturing environments must offer the same levels of quality assurance,” added Norheim. “Similarly, the companies that have designed the parts must protect their intellectual property, so that customers can be sure they are receiving genuine products that are guaranteed fit for purpose. This is why this guideline is so important to all industry stakeholders.”

DNV GL is also part of a collaboration between Danish 3D printing company Create it REAL and maritime consortium Green Ship of the Future, which is aimed at testing and exploring the potentials of 3D printing aboard ships. The initiative—a pilot project of sorts—consists of installing 3D printers aboard ships to determine the ecological benefits of on board manufacturing.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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