New business models for the maritime sector through 3D printing

Leverage the true potential of Additive Manufacturing in the Maritime Sectors

3D printing: A disruptive and promising technology for the maritime industry

 

3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a manufacturing process that builds layer on layer to create a three-dimensional functional part from a digital model. During the last 20 years, AM has developed into a reliable technology in series, small-batch and prototype production. Industrial applications of AM technologies span a large variety of industries. Currently, the top industries using AM are medical, aerospace, machine building & tooling as well as automotive.


     Figure 1: Key industries using Additive Manufacturing (Bionic Production GmbH)

     Sources: Bionic Production GmbH, LZN, RB Research, January 2019, * own estimates after interviews

 

This fast-emerging technology will probably have a disruptive impact on worldwide transportation and logistics chains. It allows for a cost-efficient and reliable local manufacturing of production batches – even in industrialized countries. Potentially, a proportion of foreign production in low-cost countries could be thus ‘near-sourced’ in the proximity of the customers. International trade in final and intermediate products could thus decrease considerably in future.

Ports and shipping companies will also have the opportunity to profit from the tremendous potential of AM by developing new operating strategies, generating new business models or actually becoming a 3D printing hub. Some ports early recognized the potential of AM and started to establish own skills and competences to make use of AM. For example, the Port of Rotterdam acquired metal printers and set up a “FieldLab“ for the development of knowledge in the area of metal printing, 3D scanning, 3D design and certification (1). Germany´s largest port operator, the “Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG“ took over a full-service 3D printing operator to develop new business fields around 3D printing related logistics services (2). The shipping industry is also increasingly adopting AM. For example, RAMLAB unveiled the world first class approved 3D printed ship propeller in 2017 (3). In early February 2020, the bulk carrier ‘“Berge Mafadi“ was one of the world’s first ships to receive a commercial delivery of 3D-printed spare parts, including scupper plugs (4).


Figure 2: Selected examples from the maritime industry display exemplary application areas and its benefits

Identify and leverage the potential of 3D printing in the maritime sector

Despite the growing popularity of AM, many players in the maritime industry are still not fully aware of the potential to be gained from this cutting-edge production technology. Therefore, time is calling for the maritime industry to get ready for the age of Additive Manufacturing and leverage considerable potential, improve operational efficiency and open up new areas of business.

Especially, the provision of spare parts is considered as promising field of application for AM in the maritime sector (5):

  • AM has the potential to significantly reduce delivery times and logistics cost through on-demand and decentralized production strategies. Given the fact that the maritime maintenance network involves many actors (e.g. OEM, service providers and system integrators), the supply chain can thus be optimized considerably. In addition, vessels operate away from the base in remote areas, rendering the supply of parts quite challenging. Finally, ports in regions far away from the original spare part supplier (e.g. the Port of Dar es Salaam) regularly have trouble to produce spare parts within a reasonable time.
  • By moving from a “make-to-stock” to a more efficient and sustainable “make-to-order” AM-approach, warehouse cost can be reduced. This is especially important for the maritime industry since maritime assets are capital intensive and space in ports and on vessels is limited.
  • The risk of downtimes due to supply bottlenecks is mitigated since AM allows for a fast production in proximity of the customer. The Corona cirsis clearly demonstrated the necessity to create a flexible and resilient supply chain for spare parts. Many terminals reported limited equipment spare parts availability as a result from border closures affecting the ability to deliver productivity to clients. This inevitably results in a reassessment of the spare parts strategy (6). Implementing AM in daily operation allows providing metal and polymer spare parts on-site and on-demand and thus contributes to maintan business continuity.

Besides spare parts, there are dozens of other promising AM business opportunities for the maritime sector, like the fast production of prototypes, the provision of production capacities for external customers (“Manufacturing as a Service”) or the development of new logistics segments with AM. It is worth noting that getting started with AM does not necessarily huge require investments in machines, it could also mean identify and optimize few parts and get the printed externally.

Our approach

We have set the ambitious goal to prepare the maritime industry for the profitable use of Additive Manufacturing. Combing the knowledge in the fields of Additive Manufacturing and the maritime sector, we support you reliably on your journey to explore and implement the benefits using 3D printing in daily operations. Our goal is to find profitable business opportunities for your company, leading to cost savings, operational excellence or even additional revenues streams.

To achieve this, we have developed a proven and structured approach to help ports, shipping companies and intermodal terminals to improve business processes and to increase profits. Our comprehensive consulting approach contains the whole process chain of AM activities, from idea generation, feasibility analysis, market analysis, business model generation to the actual introduction of AM in your company. We hereby make use of the efficient and advanced methods, such as Design Thinking, life-cycle profitability analysis or automated search algorithms to analyze your product portfolio.

Together with us, you can build up the necessary know how in your company, establish your individual AM introduction strategy and anchor 3D printing effectively in your processes. To provide maximum customer satisfaction, we develop all strategies and processes in a tailored manner to satisfy our clients’ unique needs and ensure that all solutions offered are based on economic considerations.

Why Bionic Production GmbH

We understand ourselves as a full-service provider in the field of Additive Manufacturing, we support you in every development and implementation phase of Additive Manufacturing. It is our mission to improve our Client´s competitive situation. You will benefit from our technological and economic expertise, gathered in industry projects for renowned customers. Besides expertise in Additive Manufacturing, our experts also have deep knowledge in the logistics sector. Since 2019, our company is part of one of Europe´s leading port and transport logistics companies, the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA).

Contact us for further information!

Dr. Johannes Schmidt

phone: +49 (0) 4131 2300 163
E-Mail: johannes.schmidt@bionicproduction.com

 

 

(1) https://www.portofrotterdam.com/en/business-opportunities/innovation-smartest-port/cases/3d-printing-in-the-port-of-rotterdam

(2) https://www.dvz.de/rubriken/see/haefen/detail/news/hhla-investiert-in-3d-druck.html

(3) https://ramlab.com/updates/ramlab-unveils-worlds-first-class-approved-3d-printed-ships-propeller/

(4) https://www.dnvgl.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/3D-printed-spare-parts-revolutionize-maritime-supply-chain.html

(5) Heinen, J. and Kai H. (2019): Assessing the potential of additive manufacturing for the provision of spare parts, Journal of Operations Management (in press).

(6) https://www.hamburgportconsulting.com/news-en/virtual-chat-for-terminal-operators-on-the-impact-of-covid-19

Success story injection nozzle

Efficient machine components in serial production

3D printing offers machine builders freedom of design in the component construction. This allows the design of more efficient parts that are manufactured in a cost and resource efficient manner. This applies to the injection nozzles Bionic Production manufactured for the SBM Maschinen GmbH. The components consisted of several individual parts, had a very complex structure and were made of cast iron.

The engineers redesigned the injection nozzle and focused in the engineering process on:

– the integration of functions,

– the integration of several components as well as a

– a production-oriented design

After successfully testing the components in the application, SBM granted the serial production.

Due to the substitution of the manufacturing process from casting to 3D printing, 70 injection nozzles are now assembled on a building platform for a quality assured production. Overall, the costs for the components were reduced by 10 %. Bionic Production accompanied the Bavarian machine builder on the way from the prototype to additive serial production. At present, around 1,500 nozzles are produced annually.

 

Do you want to optimize your products or do you need help in identifying suitable components? Contact us!

Bionic Production
Patrick Folkert
Head of BU Manufacturing
telephone: 0049 (0) 4131 2300 111

e-Mail: patrick.folkert@bionicproduction.com

 

 

Success story cooling lubricant nozzle

Successful engineering of a cooling lubricant nozzle for 3D printing
Function integration despite limited space

Additive Manufacturing is a disruptive technology, that enables the production of precise fitting, high-efficient and individual components. The nozzle project we’ve started in 2017 with Grindaix GmbH and TRUMPF shows the possibilities of 3d printing.

The biggest challenge in internal diameter cylindrical grinding lies in the limited space between the part and the tool for the cooling nozzle. Therefore, the lubricoolant required for the grinding is usually injected from the outside. For this purpose the Graindax experts were looking for optimization options in the 3D design of the nozzle.

We took the specifications provided by Graindaix and TRUMPF for the nozzle and created the perfect model in a step-by-step process. Prototype production allowed the team to implement every possible optimization within a reasonable timeframe and budget.

This resulted in a significant cost reduction of 51 % as well as a weight reduction of 25 %.

Follow this link https://www.trumpf.com/en_GB/magazine/form-follows-function-3d-printing-starts-in-your-head/ for the full article on this success project.

3D printing allows engineers completely new ways in the design of products. One of the strengths is the function integration. However, this means to leave the beaten path and requires a shift in thinking. Bionic Production helps with that!

If you are looking to improve your knowledge in Additive Manufacturing, need help in the engineering process or are looking for a reliable partner in 3D printing your parts – contact us!

Bionic Production
Patrick Folkert
phone: 0049 (0) 4131 2300 111
Email: patrick.folkert@bionicproduction.com

 

 

 

3D printing as digital railway transformation engine

3D printing: A distruptive and promising technology for the railway industry

3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a manufacturing process, that builds layer on layer to create a three-dimensional object from a digital model. AM is already established in some industries, for example in medical, aerospace or machine building and tooling.

This fast-emerging technology is expected to have a disruptive impact on worldwide transportation and logistics chains. It allows for cost-efficient decentralized manufacturing – even in industrialized countries. Related to maintenance and repair of trains and equipment, required components are often no longer available as a replacement or the ordering process is very lengthy. In addition, high charges are often linked to small purchasing quantities. Thus, either high procurement costs arise combined with a high risk of long vehicle downtimes, or even higher costs for storage have to be borne if a large number of different spare parts are kept on stock in combination with infrequent and unpredictable usage patterns.

In contrast, AM allows to exploit new value-added potentials for the railway sector. We can support you to identify and unlock full potential for your company.

Recent use cases from the railway sector show, that it is possible to reduce non-operational times, storage cost and lead time for a spare part bei 90 % each.

Our solution – Identify and leverage the potential of 3D printing in the railway sector

We prepare the railway industry for profitable use of Additive Manufacturing. We can support you reliably on your journey to explore and implement benefits using 3D printing. Togehter with you, we develop a straight forward and tailor made roadmap. By treading this path togheter with us, you will be able to generate new and profitable business opportunities.

We offer support along the whole cycle of AM activities, from idea generation and feasibility analysis, market analysis and strategy development, to the actual implementation of AM in your company. Together with us, you can build up the necessary know how in your company, establish your individual introduction strategy and anchor 3D printing effectively in your processes.

There are dozens of promising AM business opportunities for the railway sector, like production of own spare parts on site, fast production of prototypes, increas in performace of parts, aggregation of assemblies to an integrated manufacturing as single component or lightweight apporaches saving material and thus costs.

Our approach

We apply our proven and structured approach to help railway operators as well as maintenance and repair workshops to improve business processess and to increas profits.

To provide maximum customer satisfaction, we develop all strategies and processes in a tailored manner to satisfy our clients’ unique needs and ensure that all solutions offered are based on economic considerations.

Our comprehensive range of Consulting services cover the entire lifecycle of AM activities.

To guarantee highes quality of our sevices, we use sophisticated tools and methods ranging from lifecycle profitability analysis to re-design and (FEM-based) part optimization as needed.

Contact us for further information!

Dr.-Ing. Christian Daniel

phone: +49 (0) 4131 2300 164
E-Mail: christian.daniel@bionicproduction.com

Expansion of our machine pool

Both in February and April we further increased our machine pool in order to be ready for future requirements.

Since two months we have a FANUC Europe ROBOCUT 2-C600iB EDM machine. With this machine we can now carry out another part of the post-processing of our 3d-printed parts in-house and thus produce even more flexible.

In April we expanded our production capacity with yet another Lasertec 30 SLM von DMG MORI. Through this we are minimizing the material change for the individual machines. This enables us to handle 3d-printing jobs even more and therefore we are well prepared for the future beyond COVID-19!

We now also have an X7 3D-Drucker from Markforged at our disposal. That way we can supply our customers even faster with extremly strong and thus highly resilient spare parts.

 

3D printing as digital railway transformation engine

3D printing: A distruptive and promising technology for the railway industry

3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a manufacturing process, that builds layer on layer to create a three-dimensional object from a digital model. AM is already established in some industries, for example in medical, aerospace or machine building and tooling.

This fast-emerging technology is expected to have a disruptive impact on worldwide transportation and logistics chains. It allows for cost-efficient decentralized manufacturing – even in industrialized countries. Related to maintenance and repair of trains and equipment, required components are often no longer available as a replacement or the ordering process is very lengthy. In addition, high charges are often linked to small purchasing quantities. Thus, either high procurement costs arise combined with a high risk of long vehicle downtimes, or even higher costs for storage have to be borne if a large number of different spare parts are kept on stock in combination with infrequent and unpredictable usage patterns.

In contrast, AM allows to exploit new value-added potentials for the railway sector. We can support you to identify and unlock full potential for your company.

 

Recent use cases from the railway sector show, that it is possible to reduce non-operational times, storage cost and lead time for a spare part bei 90 % each.

 

Our solution – Identify and leverage the potential of 3D printing in the railway sector

We prepare the railway industry for profitable use of Additive Manufacturing. We can support you reliably on your journey to explore and implement benefits using 3D printing. Togehter with you, we develop a straight forward and tailor made roadmap. By treading this path togheter with us, you will be able to generate new and profitable business opportunities.

We offer support along the whole cycle of AM activities, from idea generation and feasibility analysis, market analysis and strategy development, to the actual implementation of AM in your company. Together with us, you can build up the necessary know how in your company, establish your individual introduction strategy and anchor 3D printing effectively in your processes.

There are dozens of promising AM business opportunities for the railway sector, like production of own spare parts on site, fast production of prototypes, increas in performace of parts, aggregation of assemblies to an integrated manufacturing as single component or lightweight apporaches saving material and thus costs.

Our approach

We apply our proven and structured approach to help railway operators as well as maintenance and repair workshops to improve business processess and to increas profits.

To provide maximum customer satisfaction, we develop all strategies and processes in a tailored manner to satisfy our clients’ unique needs and ensure that all solutions offered are based on economic considerations.

Our comprehensive range of Consulting services cover the entire lifecycle of AM activities.

To guarantee highes quality of our sevices, we use sophisticated tools and methods ranging from lifecycle profitability analysis to re-design and (FEM-based) part optimization as needed.

Contact us for further information!

Dr.-Ing. Christian Daniel

phone: +49 (0) 4131 2300 164
E-Mail: christian.daniel@bionicproduction.com

New business models for logistic companies

3D printing opens up many new business opportunities for logistics companies. Dr. Maike Grund reveals in an interview with the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG the possibilities and limits of additive manufacturing.

She is explaining how bionic design can optimize a component, what advantages additive manufacturing has over conventional manufacturing methods and how 3D-printing can have a positive effect on the supply chain.

Click here to read the full interview.

 

 

Expansion of our machine pool

Both in February and April we further increased our machine pool in order to be ready for future requirements.

Since two months we have a FANUC Europe ROBOCUT 2-C600iB EDM machine. With this machine we can now carry out another part of the post-processing of our 3d-printed parts in-house and thus produce even more flexible.

In April we expanded our production capacity with yet another Lasertec 30 SLM von DMG MORI. Through this we are minimizing the material change for the individual machines. This enables us to handle 3d-printing jobs even more and therefore we are well prepared for the future beyond COVID-19!

We now also have an X7 3D-Drucker from Markforged at our disposal. That way we can supply our customers even faster with extremly strong and thus highly resilient spare parts.

 

Part Screening for a successful 3d-print

Are my parts suitable for 3d-printing?

We are analysing your portfolio with our systematic Part Screening.
Using CAD-data, material and cost information as well as part dimensions and functions, we identify suitable components and/or assemblies.

Click here for more details!

Optimize your spare part management

Our “Parts on demand” service ist a great alternative to regular stock keeping.

After identifying your spare parts through Part Screening, we produce test prints to validate production parameters as well as relevant information about cost and lead times.

We then catalogue your components so that you can order them directly online. That way you avoid excessive stock keeping and long delivery times.

Click here for more information!