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ABS Approves 3D-Printed Spare Parts After Successful Testing on an Oil Tanker

ABS, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers, Sembcorp Marine, and 3D Metalforge complete landmark “additive manufacturing” project

(Singapore, November 24, 2021) ABS, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers, Sembcorp Marine Ltd, and 3D Metalforge have taken a significant and tangible step to make additive manufacturing (AM) – also known as 3D printing – a reality in the marine industry through a joint development project. Parts fabricated by AM and installed on an oil tanker by Sembcorp Marine six months ago have been validated to be in good working condition.

This pioneering AM project started in February 2021 with the fabrication and lab-testing of functional additive manufactured parts, which were then installed onboard the oil tanker Polar Endeavour. After six months in operation, all parts have since been retrieved and inspected by the vessel’s crew, followed by a remote survey by ABS.

Speaker: Patrick Ryan, ABS | Smart Industry Base Camp
 Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology, said, “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.

Additive Manufacturing or 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 specialized and complex parts, introducing new efficiencies driven by design innovation, reduced manufacturing time, and improvements in parts availability

Traditional parts used in shipbuilding and repair are manufactured via casting or forging techniques. For this project, the consortium utilized AM to fabricate three types of parts that meet or may even exceed conventionally manufactured products in terms of quality. ABS has now approved these additive manufactured spare parts after successful onboard testing on an oil tanker.

The three parts were:

  • Gear set and gear shaft for boiler fuel supply pump: The gear set comprises a drive gear that rotates the idle gear connected to the pump which creates a suction force to fill the void with fluid. The shaft connects the impeller to the motor/engine, which is the power source.
  • Flexible coupling for marine sanitation devices pumps: The flexible coupling connects a driver shaft to a driven shaft for power transmission.  The two shafts include metal components for two coupling sleeves and non-metallic components for coupling spider which permit misalignment adjustments.
  • An ejector nozzle for a freshwater generator increases the fluid velocity to transform high static pressure into velocity pressure.

Robert Noyer, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers Engineering Superintendent, said: “The superior performance of these parts in service is a testament to the rigorous engineering, manufacturing and post-production testing put in place by the team involved with this venture. We look forward to future opportunities to support our vessels with this technology.”

Reflections with Simon Kuik – Advisory

Sembcorp Marine Head of Research & Development, Simon Kuik, said: “The success of this project augurs well for the adoption of AM in the marine industry. Through AM, Sembcorp Marine is able to customize 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.”

3D Metalforge Pte Ltd - Matthew Waterhouse

Matthew Waterhouse, 3D Metalforge Managing Director, added: “We are proud to work as a trusted partner, with companies like ABS, Sembcorp Marine, and ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers to provide greater value through new and innovative manufacturing solutions, and to help meet changing component manufacturing, supply chain, and sustainability challenges. The inspection and validation of these additively manufactured components support our belief in this technology and its application. This exposure to Additive Manufacturing’s capabilities will broaden its commercial applications and acceptance in the future.”

ABS has been supporting the industry with the introduction of AM since 2017. In 2021, the ABS Guide for Additive Manufacturing was published, focusing on two main categories of metal AM processes: Powder Bed Fusion and Directed Energy Deposition. The Guide defines the ABS approval and certification process for AM facilities and AM parts by providing standards for AM design, feedstock material, pre-build, build and post-build processes, inspection and testing. The Guide includes a strong focus on the quality of the materials and of the manufacturing process, both of which are key elements of the ABS process. Download a copy of the Guide here.

About ABS

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ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design and construction. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop accurate and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets. For more information, please visit https://ww2.eagle.org/en.html

About Polar Tankers

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Polar Tankers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, is located in Houston, Texas. The vessels operated by Polar Tankers utilize fully redundant operating and navigation systems as well as twin-engine rooms – each capable of propelling the vessel at full capacity. The double hull design was engineered to exceed OPA 90 requirements for safe and efficient oil transportation in the environments in which they operate. For more information, please visit https://polartankers.conocophillips.com/

About Sembcorp Marine

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(Company Registration Number: 196300098Z)

Sembcorp Marine provides innovative engineering solutions to the global offshore, marine, and energy industries. Headquartered in Singapore, we have close to 60 years of track record in the design and construction of rigs, floaters, offshore platforms, and specialized vessels, as well as in the repair, upgrading, and conversion of different ships types. Our solutions focus on the following areas: Gas Value Chain; Renewable Energy; Process; Advanced Drilling Rigs; Ocean Living; and Maritime Security.

Our customers include major energy companies, owners of floating production units, shipping companies, and cruise and ferry operators. They are supported by four commercial units: Rigs & Floaters; Repairs & Upgrades; Offshore Platforms; and Specialised Shipbuilding.

Sembcorp Marine operates shipyards and other facilities strategically located in Singapore, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Brazil. Discover more at https://www.sembmarine.com/

About 3D Metalforge

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3D Metalforge (3DMF), a leading global Additive Manufacturing (AM) company, supports cutting-edge companies with their global production printing requirements. 3D Metalforge’s Hi-Tech facility and engineering teams are based in the global cities of Singapore and Houston, Texas, USA. Housing one of the most advanced range of printing equipment including Multi Jet Fusion, Powder Bed Fusion, and Directed Energy Deposition. 3DMF’s range of AM services includes consultancy (covering site and opportunity assessment and diagnostics), engineering and design optimization, printing for production as well as post-production services. Key industries we support include maritime, oil & gas, precision engineering as well as manufacturing. For more information, please visit https://3dmetalforge.com/en/

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