3D Printing: From Shipping Parts To Sending Files

Wilhelmsen, together with its technology partners, have the ambition to fulfill the vision to disrupt the supply chain for marine parts whereby the existing inefficient and rigid supply chain process is replaced with a customized, on demand, and more efficient process of 3D printing.

Wilhelmsen are currently providing spare parts on demand to vessels all around the globe. Through a unique digitization and certification process, parts are produced on-demand, without having to go through time consuming and costly storage, shipping, customs and receiving processes.

“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.”, says Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture, 3D Printing, Wilhelmsen.

As part of an exclusive early adopter program for 3D printed marine spare parts, 6 customers have signed up with Wilhelmsen’s Marine Products division to begin utilizing on-demand additive manufacturing – eliminating the need for physical inventory storage, often complex distribution, and typically high logistics costs.

“Carnival operates over 100 cruise ships with various itineraries worldwide. 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." Sebastian Sala, Head of Innovation and Energy Management, Carnival Maritime

“Thome Group is committed to promoting and adopting innovative technologies that can enhance not only the operational efficiency of ships, but also management of the assets. We have observed that 3D printing or on-demand additive manufacturing has the potential to become an alternative solution that can offer an easier, faster, economic and more environment friendly alternative to the conventional marine supply chain. Besides looking at the technology as a means for manufacturing items that are not available readily from regular sources, through our partnership with Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Ivaldi Group, we are actively exploring the option of using this solution for establishing a structured supply chain for certain regular stores and spare parts.” Ashish Malik, Deputy COO, Thome Ship Management

“We clearly see that we have to convert buzzwords into action and embark on meaningful and solid trials if we truly believe that 3D Printing in Shipping can and will be one of the future disruptors. Better shape than follow! This subject, along with sustainability, will be one of our main immediate future topics.” Peter Schellenberger, MD OSERV Pte Ltd - OSM Maritime Group

“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. This is a natural extension of the joint industry program run in Singapore with MPA, NAMIC and SSA, which Wilhelmsen and Ivaldi contributed convincingly to.” Steen Lund, CCO and Group CDO, Executive Ship Management Pte Ltd

"We are excited about the possibilities this will bring.  Not only benefiting the supply chain but also ability to modify and improve parts with input from end-users’ experience." Teck Siang Sim, Procurement Manager, Berge Bulk

“We see great potential with usage of 3D printed spare parts. 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:” Capt Patwardhan J – General Manager, Wilhelmsen Ship Management Singapore Pte Ltd.

Credit: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen

From local micro-factories, Wilhelmsen are bringing manufacturing ever closer to the end-user. Starting with smaller polymer and metal parts in the comfort critical category, spare parts are 3D printed and delivered within hours to vessels who subscribe to their services. Such on-demand localized manufacturing results in a substantially lower carbon footprint compared to traditional supply chains and logistics.

Benefits also include reduced lead times, enhanced availability of parts, simplified procurement process, reduced inventory and transportation costs. Additional cost savings include decreased port fees by cutting maintenance delays and increasing the service life of existing equipment.

On-demand manufacturing technologies are going to reshape the maritime supply chain.

About 3D Printing for Marine Parts

3D Printing for Marine Parts aims to reduce supply chain costs, delivery times and minimizes the impact on the environment by offering Parts Replacement as a Service (PRaaS) - a breakthrough solution for digitizing and delivering parts on-demand using local, in-port production. Essentially turning a traditional hardware production and distribution problem into a virtual warehousing opportunity, Wilhelmsen is empowering OEMs and shipping companies to now easily and effectively manage digital inventory by sending files and not parts.


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