Global maritime company Wilhelmsen has launched an early adopter program for 3D printing marine spare parts and has already enlisted a number of partners, including Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Berge Bulk, Executive Ship Management and Wilhelmsen Ship Management. The six early adopters will begin using on-demand additive manufacturing through Wilhelmsen’s Marine Products division, enabling them to reduce reliance on physical inventory, avoid high logistics costs and more.
The EAP initiative, part of Wilhelmsen’s ongoing partnership with Ivaldi Group, will see the global maritime company produce spare vessel parts on-demand and supply them to the EAP’s six members. The on-demand nature of production, as well as a unique digitization and certification process, will lead to time and cost savings related to storage, shipping, customs and receiving.
“The savings from reduced cost, time and environmental footprint provided by 3D printing, digital inventory and on-demand localized manufacturing of maritime spare parts is a tremendous opportunity for our valued subscribers to be ahead of their rivals,” said Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture of 3D Printing at Wilhelmsen. “We believe on-demand manufacturing technologies are going to completely reshape the maritime supply chain.”
The EAP has brought on a diverse range of partners, from cruise-ship company Carnival, to ship management firm Thome. Despite their own roles in the maritime sector, all the early adopters are excited about the prospects of 3D printing.
“Carnival operates over 100 cruise ships with various itineraries worldwide,” said Sebastian Sala, Head of Innovation and Energy Management at Carnival Maritime. “Adding 3D printed parts with fast delivery to our portfolio, will be the first steps towards an exciting future for global logistics in the cruise industry.”
Steen Lund, CCO and Group CDO at Executive Ship Management, also expressed optimism about the EAP, saying: “Executive Ship Management believes in the value of Wilhelmsen’s initiative to the global maritime industry. We look forward to bringing additively manufactured spare parts into use on our vessels in a manner that allows safe and controlled application initially of parts that will not require the approval of classification societies.”
Wilhelmen Ship Management and Berge Bulk, two of the EAP members, have actually been utilizing additive manufacturing for the past year as part of a beta phase of the program. Now that the EAP has officially launched, the two companies are joined by four others with the aim of further adopting 3D printing for spare parts applications.
“We see great potential with usage of 3D printed spare parts,” said Capt. Patwardhan J, General Manager, Wilhelmsen Ship Management Singapore Pte Ltd. “Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Ivaldi Group are providing cutting edge technology that will greatly benefit our customers—a highly efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly way of providing spare parts. We are excited about this opportunity.”
Ivaldi Group offers a proprietary virtual warehouse and on-demand manufacturing solution to the maritime industry. The company began working with Wilhelmsen in 2017 to help the company update and streamline its global supply chain.
Wilhelmsen has been interested in AM for some time. In fact, the company participated in a market feasibility study about additive manufacturing focused on 100 of the most commonly ordered maritime parts in Singapore. This study was put out by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Shipping Association, NAMIC and DNV GL.
Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, concluded: “MPA is very encouraged by Wilhelmsen driving the 3D printing early adopters program, together with her partners. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is an emerging technology, which has the potential to be a game changer for maritime sector. There is much opportunity for the maritime enterprises to seize the potential of 3D printing technology and build up their capabilities in this area.”