The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), a statutory body under the Ministry of Transport of Singapore Government, has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) relating the country’s application of additive manufacturing in maritime.
The first MoU is signed with Port Singapore Authority International Pte Ltd (PSA), one of the largest port operators in the world, Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), and metal additive specialist 3D MetalForge Pte Ltd.
In the second MoU, the MPA enters into an agreement with NAMIC and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA).
Realizing the potential of 3D printing in the maritime industry, Ong Kim Pong, PSA’s Regional CEO Southeast Asia, said, “I am heartened that PSA, alongside MPA, NAMIC and 3D MetalForge can be pioneers in developing this technology for use in our industry,”
“In close collaboration with EDB [Economic Development Board], we have learnt that the era of Additive Manufacturing is showing pervasive importance in industry transformation. Within our maritime sector, we foresee widespread adoption within the immediate horizon.”
The agreements were signed at the ongoing 6th Global AM Summit held at the Changi Exposition Centre in Singapore.
Digitalization in maritime
Earlier in 2018, the MPA signed another MoU with NAMIC agreeing to digitalize 3D printing manufacturing in the marine sector.
Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the MPA, explained this trend, “as a leading maritime hub, Singapore firmly believes that the maritime industry should embrace new technologies such as additive manufacturing. The digitalization of the maritime sector in all its aspects is not a matter of how but when.”
Continuing progress to make Singapore the center of sea-fairing 3D printed spare parts the MPA’s first MoU with PSA, NAMIC, and 3D MetalForge, will focus on establishing a new 3D printing facility at Pasir Panjang Terminal, the most advanced terminal of the PSA.
A cutting edge 3D printing facility for Singapore maritime
MoU signatory 3D MetalForge is one of the leading AM companies in Singapore. It is responsible for opening Singapore’s first end-to-end metal 3D printing facility, the Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) and already services the marine, and oil and gas industries.
Additionally, this project will fully employ a digital manufacturing framework. In this respect, PSA will develop a just-in-time inventory of 3D printed part which will eliminate the need for warehousing.
Pong adds, “Co-creating new innovations including digitizing inventories will create opportunities to raise maritime productivity to the next level.”
The MPA, NAMIC and the SSA
The second MoU between MPA, NAMIC and the SSA is a Joint Industry Program. It is aimed at making Singapore a worldwide leader of 3D printed ship supplies. The project will fully exploit the 3D printing ecosystem set up by NAMIC to examine commercial aspects of the technology and its technical feasibility. It will also be responsible for drawing up regulatory guidelines for future use of 3D printing in the marine industry.
Since 2017, NAMIC has been in a partnership with the Singapore-based shipbuilder, Sembcorp Marine, global quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL, A*Star’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech). Together these entities are working to 3D print large scale structures for shipping vessels.
Most recently, NAMIC partner DNV GL announced a collaboration with Spare Parts 3D to introduce guidelines for 3D printed spare parts in the marine, and oil & gas industry.
Such strategic partnerships are likely to play an important role in the development of MPA’s new agreements.
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Featured image shows the Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore. Image via Port Singapore Authority