In a major development for the oil and gas sector, Norwegian start-up, Fieldmade AS, has entered into an Additive Manufacturing joint industry project contract with energy companies Equinor and Siemens Energy.
he project will cover the development and implementation of a digital inventory ecosystem in the energy sector, integrating the advantages of on-demand 3D printing, with both end-user requirements and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) intellectual property protections, the start-up explained.
What makes this project unique is that we have successfully brought together OEM, manufacturing, and end-user perspectives,
…said Fieldmade AS CEO, Christian Duun Norberg.
Additive Manufacturing (also known as ‘3D printing’) has reached a point that enables the printing of most of the critical parts of the energy sector that end-users like Equinor need, he stressed.
As long as there is a digital file of a part, we can reproduce it. This reduces the need for large spare part inventories, it increases the lifespan of equipment at risk of being obsolete, and greatly reduces the length of the supply chain and the potential length of downtime,
However, the hard part in this fundamental change to the way spare part supply chains are managed is ensuring that all parties interests are protected. Companies like Equinor want parts quickly and reliably; OEMs like Siemens Energy want to make sure their IP is protected, and that part-quality is assured.
A such, the project will enable on-demand, small-batch production of spare parts and will be a proof-of-concept for the inclusion of more OEMs and end-users.
As Equinor moves to zero carbon and increases its renewables presence, reducing the environmental impact of equipment production and the transport of parts through the supply chain will become increasingly important,
…added Brede Lærum, Head of AM strategy and implementation at Equinor.
Additive manufacturing is a term for industrial processes that create three-dimensional objects by adding layers of material and is seen as a technology with great prospects for shipping also.
The significance of this JIP cannot be understated. AM and digitization are going to, are already, profoundly changing the way every energy companies operates. Majors, contractors, and OEMs need to see this as an opportunity rather than a threat, because the advantages and flexibility this offers are unprecedented,