The Marine Products division of global maritime industry group Wilhelmsen has launched a program to supply 3D printed spare parts on demand to ships and other vessels. Part of an ongoing collaboration with advanced and additive manufacturing service bureau Ivaldi Group, the service is exclusively open to a group of six early-adopters.
Advantages promoted by the program include the elimination of physical inventory, streamlining complex distribution, and a reduction of associated costs. “The savings from reduced cost, time and environmental footprint provided by 3D printing, digital inventory and on-demand localized manufacturing of maritime spare parts is a tremendous opportunity for our valued subscribers to be ahead of their rivals,” comments Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture, 3D Printing at Wilhelmsen, adding:
“We believe on-demand manufacturing technologies are going to completely reshape the maritime supply chain.”
The first strategic partners of 3D printed part supply
Formally launched September 2018, Ivaldi Group is a specialist spare parts supplier for maritime. It has production and shipping facilities strategically located around the globe in Norway, Mexico and Singapore. Collaborating with Wilhelmsen, the company gained the logistical means of connecting each of these facilities to potential beneficiaries.
Considered as part of an early adopter program (EAP), the first customers of the joint Ivaldi/Wilhelmsen part supply service are: Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Berge Bulk, Executive Ship Management and Wilhelmsen Ship Management. Between them, these companies operate a vast fleet of ships, global cruise and dry bulk vessels all around the world.
“Carnival operates over 100 cruise ships with various itineraries worldwide,” comments Sebastian Sala, Head of Innovation and Energy Management at EAP member Carnival Maritime, “Adding 3D printed parts with fast delivery to our portfolio, will be the first steps towards an exciting future for global logistics in the cruise industry.”
Two EAP members, Wilhelmsen Ship Management and Berge Bulk have already been using the service for over a year and both say that they are “excited” about its possibilities. Steen Lund, CCO and Group CDO of Executive Ship Management, another EAP member, says that the company will be starting the program with parts that don’t require the approval of classification societies, adding that, “Executive Ship Management believes in the value of Wilhelmsen’s initiative to the global maritime industry.”
Reshaping the maritime supply chain
The 3D printing EAP was launched by Wilhelmsen and Ivaldi in Singapore with the support of the local Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), DNV GL and The Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore, Anita Nergaard. It was termed by Lund as a “natural extension of the joint industry program” run by the MPA, Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and the Singapore Ship Association (SSA), contributing to the nation’s growing expertise in 3D printing for maritime.
Closing comments on the launch Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the MPA, said, “MPA is very encouraged by Wilhelmsen driving the 3D printing early adopters program, together with her partners.
“Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is an emerging technology, which has the potential to be a game changer for maritime sector. There is much opportunity for the maritime enterprises to seize the potential of 3D printing technology and build up their capabilities in this area.”
Featured image shows a Wilhelmsen logistics carrier ship. Photo by Bahnfrend/CC