Earlier in 2020,The global pandemic set restrictions that led to delivery delays. Companies struggled to supply “hard-to-get parts” in the energy sector.
As many technologies are presented to the oil and gas industry, 3D printing is in the leading top-tier. BP lists additive manufacturing* as one of six technologies that will leave an impact on the industry in the upcoming years. Alongside artificial intelligence, block chain, autonomous vehicles, and energy sources.
To manufacture supplements, companies must create a digital inventory: Set a database for all the needed parts; their designs; and define steps to follow for their creation. This later can shape parts that sometimes need cutting from bigger materials. As well as being a more simplified process, it reduces the waste of materials needed to cut out basic items. Unused metal powder is filtered and re-used, saving ressources, particularly when using expensive high-alloy metal.
This procedure will save time, with printers finishing the manufacturing process in shorter time. Furthermore, once completed the parts will be already on-site, no shipping delyas. Also profitable for offshore facilities, saving weeks or months waiting for a part to be delivered to areas that are difficult to reach. It would also lessen the need to storage space; Using a digital inventory and machine memory to make new parts as requested.
This process is appealing to companies wanting to decrease their carbon footprint. in November 2020, Baker Hughes allied with Würth Industry North America (WINA) to offer scheme, digital inventory, and customized 3D printing services to spread into different industrial sectors. It consists on providing additives to the oil and gas, renewables, power generation, maritime, automotive, and aerospace industrial sectors. Alongside Baker Hughes, Shell is also an early embracer of this leading edge as it began to operate with the technology in order to make unique parts in all areas of its manufacturing.
While 3D printing continues to be a pricey process, by 2025, in the oil and gas sector, it is anticipated to be worth $32 billion. Although this technology only reckons for 0.1% of the global manufacturing market at present, increased adoption of the technology indicates that it could be worth as much as $60 billion by 2030.
Over the last year, 3D printing helped to ease some of the problems encountered the energy branch. Within the next decade, we are most likely to see companies using this technology for innovative solutions to manufacturing both on and off-shore.
*Additive manufacturing: 3D printing