HHI and ABS begin project for 3D printing of spare parts on board

A consortium led by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has signed a joint development agreement (JDP) with class society ABS that will see the partners work together on a 3D printing project to support the onboard manufacture of ship repair parts.

Using a digital library for the design process and 3D printing technologies incorporating metallic materials, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), the consortium aims to support rapid maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) on sailing merchant vessels.

Other project partners include 3D printer manufacturer CScam, and KITECH, a digital library developer.

Building upon a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed last year, the JDP outlines a scope of work that includes, among others, the development of a framework and methodology to assess parts fabricated at sea, starting with non-class parts as a benchmark to be compared against onshore printed samples.

“This is the first time a class society has been involved from the beginning of such research, and ABS is proud to provide guidance and our deep technological experience to this distinguished group of companies,” said Dr Gu Hai, ABS Vice President, Technology.

“We look forward to exploring the possibilities of additive manufacturing, which promises to support more efficient operations in the maritime industry.”

In parallel, ABS, HHI and CScam have also started New Technology Qualification (NTQ) procedures for additive manufacturing systems. To date, HHI and CScam have achieved NTQ Stage 1 and 2 from ABS, the first NTQ for additive manufacturing in Korea.

“We are excited to work with ABS on this cutting-edge technology that will help us explore additive manufacturing for complex shipbuilding parts. This is first of its kind for marine ships and, with guidance from ABS, we look forward to manufacturing marine parts by 2025,” said Lee Hwan Sik, HHI Senior Vice President.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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