Industry Insights

INTERVIEW: 3D printing for maritime maintenance and repair with DNV GL

This week NAMIC’s 5th additive manufacturing summit will address the use of industrial 3D printing for the maritime and energy sectors.

Joining the event is DNV GL, an accredited registrar and classification society headquartered near Oslo, Norway.

DNV GL provides services for 13,175 vessels and mobile offshore units (MOUs) giving the enterprise a global market share of 21%. In addition, technical consultancy services are provided to sectors including renewable energy and the oil & gas industry. DNV GL’s technical standards inform the design and installation of 65% of the world’s offshore pipelines.

As previously reported, DNV GL recently established a Global Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence. The CoE will conduct work looking at the technical standards and guidelines for qualifying and certifying AM equipment, processes, products, materials and personnel. With this project DNV GL intends to increase adoption of additive manufacturing in the oil & gas and offshore & marine sectors.

I caught up with Sastry Kandukuri, Global AM Lead at DNV GL AM Technology Centre of Excellence (AM CoE), and Brice le Gallo, Regional Manager and director of AM CoE, to learn more.

Sastry Kandukuri, Global AM Lead at DNV GL AM Technology Centre of Excellence (AM CoE)
Sastry Kandukuri, Global AM Lead at DNV GL AM Technology Centre of Excellence (AM CoE)

3D Printing Industry: How is DNV GL currently working with industrial 3D printing?

Sastry Kandukuri/Brice le Gallo: With our long track record in R&D and strong position in developing industry technical standards, DNV GL aims to enable the adoption of this new technology in the O&M sector by providing the industry with technical standards and guidelines for qualifying and certifying AM equipment, processes, products, materials and personnel.

The newly established DNV GL Global Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence is intended to be an incubator and testbed for 3D printing technology, as well as serving as DNV GL’s global competence and service delivery centre for assurance and advisory services. We will make use of our materials integrity testing and functional testing facilities available in our lab facilities for endorsing /certifying AM technology of our clients.

Brice le Gallo, Regional Manager and director of DNV GL's AM CoE
Brice le Gallo, Regional Manager and director of DNV GL’s AM CoE

3D Printing Industry: What applications of 3D printing at DNV GL do you see becoming possible in the next 5 years?

SK/BLG: DNV GL is a global quality assurance and risk management company. As a classification society and technical advisor, we bring a broader view to complex business and technology risks in global and local markets. Providing a neutral ground for industry cooperation, we create and share knowledge with our customers, setting standards for technology development and implementation. From project initiation to decommissioning, our independent experts enable companies to make the right choices.

DNV GL believes that additive manufacturing together with digitalization as another potential game changer in the M&O industry. Not only could AM result in new designs for more efficient components, it could also allow spare parts to be produced locally around the world. The 3D printing technology could allow organizations to access an archive of digital designs for immediate on-site printing rather than maintaining physical inventories of spare parts and/or waiting for them to be made and transported to a platform or vessel.

This would equate to less lead time, less cost, less logistics, and less need to keep stocks of spare parts This would shorten the time required for repairs and contribute to more efficient ship operations. AM could also be used for maintenance and repair, simply adding layers of material to worn components, thus negating the need to replace them.

3D Printing Industry: What are some of the challenges of using 3D printing in the Maritime sector, how do you see these being overcome?

SK/BLG: Some of the challenges to overcome before 3D printing is made possible

  •        High initial capital and consumable costs
  •        Lack of cost effective qualification and certification services
  •        Unclear IP, legal and regulatory issues
  •        Global traceability challenges with make-on-demand parts
  •        Data protection, counterfeiting & product sabotage issues
  •        Inadequate statistical material property data

Despite considerable research efforts that have been devoted to understand material integrity issues there are still many questions that need to be addressed before additive manufacturing can be utilized in a regular production mode for critical, load bearing applications. A solution to this problem will only be found through joint industry efforts to examine the relationships between the powder-process-properties performance, and explore the design and manufacture of a complex, integrated systems for structural applications.

3D Printing Industry: How would you characterise the importance of 3D printing for DNV GL?

SK/BLG: As digitalization is upon us all it’s no surprise that 3D printing is also top of the agenda for DNV GL. Ultimately, this is a group-wide initiative in alternative manufacturing. DNV GL will use our global network of experts with deep domain experience, and our laboratories and test sites to address applications in all business areas of relevance to us and our customers. It is an amazing opportunity to impact on the future and to be involved in the future management of a young talent pool that embraces new disruptive technologies.

Read more about 3D printing for maritime in our interview with Vincent Wegener of RAMLAB and Simon Kuik from Sembcorp Marine. Further details about the NAMIC’s 5th additive manufacturing summit can be found online.

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