Lloyd’s Register Energy (LR) and TWI launched a joint industry project (JIP) inviting companies from across the world to tackle the current and future issues faced by manufacturers supplying the energy industry – this latest JIP focuses on additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.
The event, ‘Certification of laser powder additive manufactured components for industrial adoption in the energy and offshore sectors’, attracted considerable interest from companies worldwide, and included Shell UK Ltd, FMC Technologies, Scottish Power - Generation Division, Tru-Marine pce Ltd, SPRING Singapore and Technip UK Ltd.
“The success of the recent event in Birmingham, UK, is testament to companies recognising the true value that can be gained from collaboration, and joining an initiative that will deliver innovative and ground breaking solutions in digital manufacturing,” said Chris Chung, Head of Strategic Research at Lloyd's Register Energy Technology.
Sponsors of this JIP will be able to gain early adoption of ‘approved’ additive manufacturing practices for their products – a competitive advantage in today’s price sensitive market. Longer-term benefits to companies include reduced manufacturing and maintenance costs; faster lead times on complex components, component life extension and increased durability.
According to LR, global trends in 3D printing indicate that the market is set to grow by 390% in the next 7 years, with Lloyd’s Register Energy's recent Technology Radar survey suggesting that additive manufacturing will have a major impact in the oil and gas industry in the next 5 years.
“Challenges have existed because there has been no standardised way of proving to manufacturers and regulators that printed products are safe,” added Chung. “There have been risks associated with consistency and quality control, long term performance, data integrity, intellectual property, and in both software and hardware used in high precision manufacturing. The JIP will overcome these issues faced by manufacturers through working together.”
Edited from press release by Angharad Lock