Berge Mafadi, a 2019-built ore carrier owned by Berge Bulk, has received the world’s first commercial delivery of 3D printed scupper plugs.

The delivery is part of Wilhelmsen’s 3DP printing early adopter program launched in December 2019.

The program for 3D printed marine spare parts eliminates the need for physical inventory storage, distribution and high logistics costs, according to Wilhelmsen.

“We are very excited with this milestone – completing one of the first commercial deliveries of 3D printed parts in the maritime industry,” Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture, 3D Printing, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, commented.

“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 their ongoing cooperation with Ivaldi Group, is providing spare parts on demand to vessels of Berge Bulk, Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Executive Ship Management and Wilhelmsen Ship Manageement.

Parts in this program are being monitored in close collaboration with class society DNV GL. Through a selection, digitization, 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, is providing ecosystem assurance to the Wilhelmsen 3D printing venture.

Wilhelmsen and Ivaldi have delivered several 3D printed parts to the Berge Bulk vessel, and scupper plugs were one of the part categories. There are numerous scupper plugs on a vessel. For convenience and readiness, each drainage hole on the open deck has its own scupper plug. Scupper plugs are used for closing drainage holes to prevent oil spills or other contaminant spills on a ship.

“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,” Sim Teck Siang, Procurement Manager, Berge Bulk, explained.

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