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New Global Additive Manufacturing Certification Framework Launched

Lloyd's Register has launched its goal-based additive manufacturing (AM) guidance notes to industry, giving operators and manufacturers in the energy and marine industries confidence in metallic equipment and components produced using AM.

"AM is being called the next industrial revolution in the manufacturing mix," said a company spokesperson. "The introduction of Lloyd's Register's certification guidelines for metallic AM parts represents a move by the integrity, compliance and specialist risk consulting services group, together with engineering research and technology firm TWI, to help industry harness the technology.

"Once deployed, AM will enable companies to more efficiently and cost-effectively manufacture complex components and equipment."

"As the Lloyd's Register Energy Technology Radar survey suggests, AM will have a major impact in the oil and gas industry in the next five years," said Chris Chung, Head of Strategic Research at Lloyd's Register Energy. "That is why last year, together with TWI and a number of industry partners, we brought together research and development efforts with real-world AM practices.

"Our certification guidelines are already being used by companies in this joint industry project to gain early certification of AM components."

"The guidance notes are a step towards AM commercialization and designed to mitigate the industry skepticism that often meets new technology in its early years. As the technology is complex, dedicated guidelines are essential to ensure the quality and repeatability of AM parts," said the spokesperson.

Lloyd's Register's certification framework for AM metallic components provides a step-by-step approach to provide the necessary level of confidence and acts as a stabilizing force for quality and safety. By enabling widespread adoption of the technology, the guidelines will support the long-term sustainability of the energy and marine industries.

"TWI has been involved in the research and development of additive manufacturing for over 15 years. It is increasingly obvious that the technology is now at a stage where its adoption in general engineering is technically possible and commercially viable," said Roger Fairclough, Principal Project Leader at TWI.

"To enable full industrial take-up of the technology, it is essential that the certification and validation procedures used for conventional manufacturing processes are extended and, if necessary, modified to suit AM. This joint industry project between Lloyd's Register and TWI will bridge this gap for the project participants and enable them to bring AM parts quickly and safely into the industrial marketplace," continued Fairclough.

"In the oil and gas sector, cost savings and efficiency gains are crucial to restore competitiveness and increase investor confidence. The use of AM components would expedite this, and the introduction of AM certification will qualify competency and improve the safety of components and equipment used to replace worn or decommissioned parts," said the spokesperson.

In the marine industry too there is a move to assess this new technology. "AM will have implications for global industry, trade and shipping as well as ship operations. It is important that we can help drive best practice as AM is adopted around the world," said Luis Benito, Marketing Director, Lloyd's Register Marine.

From pharmaceuticals to aerospace, several industries have already adopted AM due to its ability to create complex parts with a high level of precision with reduced material usage and weight.

Rolls Royce, for example, has been exploring AM technology for component manufacture and repair for over half a decade.

"We believe AM will increasingly have a major part to play in how manufacturers and designers tackle challenging component design, prototyping and manufacture," said Derek Jones from the Research and Technology program within Rolls Royce's Nuclear business. "Shortening the manufacturing time by almost a third gives us more time to design, which is always a benefit.

"As a leading developer of AM, Rolls-Royce will play an active role in this joint industry project with Lloyd's Register, TWI and other leading industry partners. We recognize that AM has the potential to deliver real benefits across many energy applications in the future, including nuclear. The consistent approach and standards for component certification provided by this project will be a significant step forward in proving to our customer the industrial viability of components made using the latest AM techniques."

Combining a component's various parts into one printed component is achievable and can lead to savings in assembly and maintenance. The industry is also investigating hybrid production that incorporates AM technology with a view to reducing its outlay on high-value material.

"We believe operators working in offshore and onshore can learn a lot from other industries, particularly in the fast manufacture and replacement of equipment and components used in standard and critical applications," said Chung.

For more information contact:

Lloyd's Register

The Welding Institute (TWI)

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