Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PSA Corporation Limited (PSA), a leading global port group, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and 3D MetalForge Pte Ltd. The agreement, signed at the 6th Global AM Summit at the Changi Exposition Centre, initiates a joint effort to establish the world’s first on-site additive manufacturing production facility specifically for port applications.
Bringing AM to the port
The AM production facility will be located at the Pasir Panjang Terminal, where the PSA is currently testing port technologies for existing and future terminals it might establish. The center will be equipped with a slew of state-of-the-art 3D printers, all of which will be dedicated to producing parts for port equipment.
The partnership marks a significant step ahead for the adoption of 3D printing technologies in the port and maritime industry. It is not surprising that Singapore, which has been a huge proponent for additive manufacturing across many of its industries, is the place to see the first on-site AM facility for port applications become a reality.
The new facility is strategically located in order to leverage PSA’s part supplier base and facility operations. One of the key roles of the AM center will be to transition the port to a digital inventory, meaning that spare parts will not have to be pre-manufactured and stored in warehouses as they can be made on-demand more easily. This is expected to reduce storage costs and to reduce turnaround times for spare parts that are obsolete or no longer in inventory.
“In close collaboration with EDB, we have learnt that the era of Additive Manufacturing is showing pervasive importance in industry transformation,” commented Ong Kim Pong, Regional CEO Southeast Asia of PSA International. “Within our maritime sector, we foresee widespread adoption within the immediate horizon. I am heartened that PSA, alongside MPA, NAMIC and 3D MetalForge can be pioneers in developing this technology for use in our industry. Co-creating new innovations including digitising inventories will create opportunities to raise maritime productivity to the next level.”
The AM facility will also operate using a specialized maritime digital cloud systems supported by Blockchain technology for secure file transfers. Once the AM center is up and running, PSA will also begin to investigate other AM services for the broader maritime industry, such as ship owners.
3D printing maritime parts
The Global AM Summit also saw Singapore’s MPA sign a second MoU with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and NAMIC to launch an AM Joint Industry Programme (JIP) for marine parts. The project will be centered on advancing the commercial viability, technical feasibility and regulatory compliance of marine parts produced with AM.
MPA, SSA and NAMIC will together establish a “comprehensive ecosystem of partners” from across the value chain with the ultimate goal of solidifying and strengthening Singapore’s role as a leader for ship supplies and providing an example of how AM can be incorporated into the marine industry.
Dr. Ho Chaw Sing, NAMIC Managing Director, commented on the MoU, saying: “From a historical trading stop to a world-class global hub port and maritime centre, Singapore has not rested on its laurels. Digitalisation with on-demand manufacturing will continue to accelerate. Leveraging on Singapore’s innovation eco-system in 3D printing, robotics and blockchain technology, NAMIC is delighted to partner with MPA, PSA and SSA on the next wave of transformation to bring our world-leading global hub port to the next level.”
Earlier this year, NAMIC signed an MoU with the MPA for a JIP to develop maritime applications related to digitalization and advanced manufacturing.