Wilhelmsen and Thyssenkrupp to work on 3D printing for maritime sector
A 3D printing joint venture targeting the maritime industry is being set up by the Norwegian maritime company "Wilhelmsen" and the German industrial and technology conglomerate "thyssenkrupp".
A joint venture letter of intent (LOI) was signed by Wilhelmsen 's Marine Products division and thyssenkrupp on 28 September in an attempt to re-examine and improve the manufacturing and distribution process of 3D printed spare parts to meet the unique demands of the maritime industry.
As explained, in addition to Wilhelmsen 's maritime service and supply know-how, the use of thyssenkrupp 's expertise in additive manufacturing, the maritime company's recent experience from its 3DP Early Adopter Program will be an essential move for the new venture.
Wilhemsen 's Marine Goods division unveiled the program in December 2019, where consumers have exclusive access to additive manufacturing on demand.
“We are very excited to enter the next phase of our 3D printing journey, hand in hand with thyssenkrupp. With this joint venture we believe we will take the lead as the de-facto supplier of 3D printed maritime spare parts, continuing to bring the benefits of AM technology to shipping companies by reducing the cost of spare parts, lead times and environmental footprint,” Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture of Wilhelmsen stated.
A new ore carrier operated by Berge Bulk earned the world's first commercial delivery of 3D printed scupper plugs two months later.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, disrupts the status quo of expensive and time-consuming replacement parts, as necessary components are produced in a matter of weeks, even days, near the vessel site.
“We are already seeing a very positive response from our maritime customers on the additive manufacturing adoption. They are realising the benefits from faster lead times, reduced costs and having more resilience in their spare parts supply chain. This is going to be a true gamechanger for the maritime industry and we are proud to offer it alongside Wilhelmsen," Abhinav Singhal, Director of thyssenkrupp Innovations, said.
Maritime Business World