Additive Manufacturing for Offshore and Maritime Applications
While industries like medical and aerospace have been using additive manufacturing for some years now, and successfully applied the technology in highly demanding applications, other industries like offshore and maritime are significantly further behind in the use of AM.
Conservatism and tough regulations may be part of the reason. Tough regulations, however, are also present in other industries where AM has already been used for highly demanding end-use applications. The latest downturn in oil and gas has also forced the industry to reduce costs throughout the entire supply chain. AM is well suited for the low series production and for customization in the offshore and maritime industries. Both powder bed fusion and direct energy deposition offer several advantages over conventional manufacturing such as shorter lead time, increased freedom, and more efficient use of materials. Through several industrial projects, Mechatronics Innovation Lab has successfully applied AM in end-use offshore and maritime applications resulting in the increased service life of components, reduced lead time and manufacturing cost as well as a reduced environmental footprint. Examples include manufacturing and repair of wear components using direct energy deposition and manufacturing of sensor casings and EX-housings using powder bed fusion.