In the context of Industry 4.0, more and more major players in the oil and gas industry are adopting additive manufacturing to manufacture their key components slowly but steadily.
Due to the slow production schedule of traditional manufacturing methods, lead times for spare parts are very long, and a single day of downtime due to a lack of spare parts can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in lost revenue. Therefore, the lengthy procurement process to obtain spare parts often forces oil and gas companies to maintain extremely large amounts of inventory, resulting in high storage costs.
In the oil and gas industry, some applications of 3D printing for oil and gas include manufacturing spare parts on-site, testing new product designs, and simplifying inventory management for cost savings. Currently, the most important benefit of 3D printing for the oil and gas industry is the reduction in production time for complex prototypes. Products can be manufactured in fewer steps thanks to 3D printing – sometimes even without the need to assemble the different parts together, which greatly reduces the time to market the product.
For example, oil and gas pipe repairing will take 2 to 3 weeks, and the pipe fixture repairing process relies much on CNC milling, professional hand manufacturing, or a combination of both. Each of these processes has its drawbacks. CNC milling waste material is very high (on average about 80% of raw material) and lacks professional workers. Because the pipe clamp is used to prolong the service life of oil and gas installations and prevent pipeline accidents.
As a result, they must comply with strict safety and performance standards and require very short lead times. Due to additive manufacturing, required components can be produced in the field with accuracy within ±0.1mm, can meet safety and performance standards fully, and minimize downtime, help oil and gas companies reduce maintenance cycles significantly and avoid unnecessary waiting time.
Eplus3D is looking forward to working with oil and gas companies to help them transform their supply chains. Welcome to contact Eplus3D for more tailored AM solutions.