Shell Joins Kongsberg 3D Printing Subsea Repair Project
Oil supermajor Shell has joined Kongsberg Ferrotech’s project to use advanced 3D printing technologies in situ to repair underwater assets.
Kongsberg Ferrotech started the project in 2021 with partners Equinor, Gassco, and SINTEF. The project achievements have been recognized in the market and Shell is now joining the team.
The partners of the joint industry project are of the opinion that the new methods, in development, represents a game changing way of conducting subsea repairs. Additive manufacturing for lifetime extension of subsea assets, is expected to have great financial and environmental benefits for installed as well as future subsea assets. 3D printing meets the main criteria for sustainability – reduce, reuse, and recycle.
The project has identified several applications such as repair of cracks, dents, and replacement of lost materials where the technology will be very beneficial compared to traditional methods. The project has reached important milestones on the way and is currently in the process of qualifying the 3D printing technology for cracks and dents.
“We’re happy to be part of an exciting development. When we discovered this joint industry project, we realized that the repair methods have many applications within Shell’s global operations. The technology is of great interest to Shell and fits nicely into our portfolio of advanced technology for subsea robotics and 3D printing. We are looking forward to a close collaboration with our industry partners,” says Angeline Goh, 3D Printing Technology Manager at Shell.
3D printing technology will be integrated into Kongsberg Ferrotech’s Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance (IMR) robots. In the repair process, a dry environment is created to offer documented high-quality repairs without disrupting ongoing operations.
“We’re excited to welcome Shell to the team and consider their decision as an important recognition of the potential represented by our technology. With another global partner onboard, we can adapt our technology to a large global market. Together with our partners, we’re now preparing for the world’s first test of 3D printing repairs in demanding ocean spaces,” added Torgeir Bræin, CTO at Kongsberg Ferrotech.
The robotized 3D printing project contributes to the energy transition by providing an extended lifetime of existing and future underwater assets. The joint industry collaboration is also supported by the Research Council of Norway.
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