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Tuesday, February 11, 2020 

‘Berge Mafadi’, a Berge Bulk vessel, has received the world’s first commercial delivery of 3D printed scupper plugs, as part of Wilhelmsen’s Early Adopter Programme.

The programme, where customers have exclusive access to on-demand additive manufacturing, was launched by Wilhelmsen’s Marine Products division in December 2019. Customers include Berge Bulk, Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Executive Ship Management and Wilhelmsen Ship Management.

“We are very excited with this milestone - completing one of the first commercial deliveries of 3D printed parts in the maritime industry,” said Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture, 3D Printing, Wilhelmsen Ships Service. “This is just the beginning of the journey, and we are quickly expanding our offering, together with our key development partners, enabling our customers to benefit from the savings provided by 3D printing, digital inventory and on-demand localized manufacturing.”

Wilhelmsen, as part of its cooperation with Ivaldi Group, is providing spare parts on demand to the selected six customers’ vessels. Parts in this program are being monitored in close collaboration with class society DNV GL. Through a selection, digitisation, and documentation process, every part goes through a quality-controlled process where each part is given a print passport number. All necessary documentation relating to the manufacturing, design, and performance requirements of each part is then captured and enclosed with the delivered part. DNV GL, through the Print Passport Number and its published rules and standards, provides ecosystem assurance to the Wilhelmsen 3D Printing venture.

“Wilhelmsen, Ivaldi, and DNV GL are testing a new universal part tracking system for purposes of quality control, part evolution and traceability of parts. The first 3D printed scupper plugs have been given unique identifying codes and are logged in a trial system that should enable tracking throughout the lifetime of the part,” said Simon Ratcliffe, DNV GL.

Wilhelmsen and Ivaldi have delivered several 3D printed parts to the Berge Bulk vessel, and scupper plugs were one of the part categories. “Scupper plugs are expensive, and there are no universal dimensions, which means that when you have a broken element, you have to buy a new scupper plug. With additive manufacturing, we are able to procure scupper plugs faster, cheaper and locally. If any part breaks, we can replace that one part instead of the whole unit. We are excited to be part of the Early Adopter Programme. On-demand additive manufacturing will revolutionise the spare parts industry“ said Sim Teck Siang, Procurement Manager, Berge Bulk.

3D printed scupper plugs are equally as functional as traditional versions, and as an assembly, if a part breaks, that part can easily be replaced, instead of the whole scupper plug. Making them available through a digital warehousing solution means they are faster and easier to procure worldwide. It also means, thanks to on-demand manufacturing technologies, that only the exact number of parts required are produced, reducing costs and environmental footprint.

”A commercial world first is a significant milestone for Ivaldi and our partners and we are grateful to them for taking the leap with us. Humble as the scupper plug may be, we believe it a step in transforming an entire industry: By sending files rather than scupper plugs we are amongst other things able to reduce CO2 emissions on this one part by some 54% and this gives me great hope for the possibility of a more sustainable future for supply and logistics” said Espen Sivertsen, CEO of Ivaldi Group.

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