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ABS and HHI sign 3D printing joint development agreement

Paving the way for the onboard manufacturing of maritime repair parts

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The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a maritime classification society established in 1862, and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) have signed a joint development agreement that paves the way for the onboard manufacturing of repair parts leveraging 3D printing technology. The consortium will make use of a digital library for the design process, and 3D printing to support rapid maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) on sailing merchant vessels focused on metal materials. Project partners include CScam, a 3D printer manufacturer, and KITECH, a digital library developer.

Building upon a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last year, the joint development agreement outlines a scope of work that includes the development of a framework and methodology to assess parts fabricated at sea, starting with non-class parts as a benchmark against onshore printed samples.

“This is the first time a class society has been involved from the beginning of such research, and ABS is proud to provide guidance and our deep technological experience to this distinguished group of companies. We look forward to exploring the possibilities of additive manufacturing, which promises to support more efficient operations in the maritime industry,” said Dr. Gu Hai, Vice President of Technology at ABS.

In parallel, ABS, HHI, and CScam have also started New Technology Qualification (NTQ) procedures for AM systems. So far, HHI and CScam have achieved NTQ Stage 1 and 2 from ABS, the first NTQ on AM in Korea.

“We are excited to work with ABS on this cutting-edge technology that will help us explore additive manufacturing for complex shipbuilding parts. This is the first of its kind for marine ships and, with guidance from ABS, we look forward to manufacturing marine parts by 2025,” said Lee Hwan Sik, Senior Vice President at HHI.

ABS has been involved in a range of industry-leading AM initiatives, including a joint development project to manufacture and class a 3D printed propeller.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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