Nigeria’s energy sector gets an upgrade with AM partnership

3D printing software developer 3YOURMIND has partnered with RusselSmith to optimize operations within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

In doing so, this initiative will focus on refining the identification, digitization, and AM processes for essential parts used in upstream activities within Nigeria’s energy sector. Headquartered in Lagos and endorsed by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), RusselSmith is the sole entity authorized to implement industrial non-metallic additive manufacturing solutions within the Nigerian oil and gas domain. This partnership marks a notable development for Nigeria’s energy landscape, particularly amidst challenges associated with aging infrastructure and the procurement of legacy components, says the company.

“There is significant potential for improving operational efficiency in the oil and gas industry through the additive manufacturing of legacy parts, and it all starts from being able to identify viable parts across the industry and determine the most efficient ways to manufacture such parts additively,” says Kayode Adeleke, CEO of RusselSmith.

This partnership will address challenges and unlock potential of oil and gas sector. Image via RusselSmith.
This partnership will address challenges and unlock potential of oil and gas sector. Image via RusselSmith.

Targeting parts shortages in Nigeria’s oil & gas industry

As Africa’s largest economy and a significant player in the global energy market, Nigeria faces ongoing challenges in maintaining its oil and gas infrastructure amidst evolving technological demands. The scarcity of essential components often leads to operational disruptions and increased costs for industry players.

By leveraging 3YOURMIND’s part identification software, RusselSmith aims to systematically identify and prioritize additive manufacturing applications tailored to the specific needs of the oil and gas industry. This approach facilitates the seamless integration of additive manufacturing technologies into the existing supply chain, addressing the demand for localized production solutions.

“This partnership with RusselSmith aligns with 3YOURMIND’s vision to serve the needs of the energy sector by making it easier to identify and produce critical components to sustain equipment,” says Jos Burger, Executive Chairman at 3YOURMIND. “RusselSmith provides astounding expertise in additive manufacturing and oil and gas, and we’re very pleased to enter the region with such a strong local partner.”

RusselSmith’s expertise in design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) will play a crucial role in optimizing the production process, ensuring that manufactured parts meet technical specifications while maintaining economic viability. The integration of these optimized parts into 3YOURMIND’s digital inventory interface is expected to streamline pricing, delivery, and order management for clients, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

3D printed component. Photo via RusselSmith.
3D printed component. Photo via RusselSmith.

AM’s growing roots in oil & gas

As observed previously, additive manufacturing is increasingly utilized in the oil and gas sector for its ability to produce customized components rapidly and cost-effectively. This technology enables the creation of complex geometries, reduces lead times for prototyping and spare parts production, and enhances safety through the integration of built-in features. Its localized production capability and environmental benefits further contribute to its appeal in optimizing operations and mitigating challenges in the industry.

Last year, Skarv–Aker BP, Biesterfeld Norge As, and Roboze partnered to produce critical components and spare parts on-site aboard FPSO SKARV using Roboze Plus Pro 3D printer. This addresses industry challenges of spare parts availability during maintenance, crucial in offshore operations. Roboze’s 3D printing enables on-demand production, reducing reliance on pre-stocked parts, enhancing operational efficiency, and mitigating environmental impact, notably in combating corrosion in oil and gas installations.

Two months before this, KOSO Kent Introl (Kent Introl) partnered with Renishaw by installing the RenAM 500Q Flex and becoming the first valve parts manufacturer to adopt AM in the UK oil and gas industry. The system’s laser powder bed fusion technology efficiently produced complex components, reducing build time and boosting productivity. Kent Introl aimed to address industry demands for solutions, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction. Both companies sought to explore AM for part design optimization, on-demand services, and rapid production diversification to meet customer needs swiftly.

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Featured image shows 3D printed component. Photo via RusselSmith.

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