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Sembcorp Marine looks to the future with drones, 3D printing and digital twins

Sembcorp Marine looks to the future with drones, 3D printing and digital twins

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Singapore shipbuilder Sembcorp Marine, along with DNV GL, A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop disruptive applications in additive manufacturing, drone and digital twin technologies in a bid to keep the republic’s shipyards globally competitive.

Sembcorp Marine, DNV GL, SIMTech and NAMIC will collaborate on developing and certifying laser aided additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – technology in fabricating large-scale structures for newbuild vessels. To be funded by NAMIC, this nine-month-long project will take off by end-2017. The project involves a test-case and user-acceptance from Sembcorp Marine, with DNV GL and SIMTech assuming the roles of process certifier and technology provider respectively.

The project aims to gauge the feasibility of adopting additive manufacturing to produce reliable and cost-competitive components locally to support Sembcorp Marine’s offshore and marine construction work.

In other developments, Sembcorp Marine will provide DNV GL with the test-bed and user-acceptance for developing close-up ship structure inspection by drones. The project begins later this month. Among other outcomes, it aims to build Sembcorp Marine’s capabilities in drone-based inspection of ships and rigs, while facilitating DNV GL’s refinement of class rules for drone surveys.

Sembcorp Marine will also provide DNV GL with the test-case and user- acceptance for investigating the use of digital twin technology to create a digital replica of an actual ship, and through simulation determine the ship’s specific design and operational requirements for attaining optimal performance.

Sembcorp Marine will test-bed the three projects at its flagship Tuas Boulevard Yard.

Wong Weng Sun, president and CEO of Sembcorp Marine, commented: “Singapore’s competitiveness in the global O&M market depends on our continued ability to introduce innovations that deliver faster, safer and more reliable results. We believe additive manufacturing, drone and digital twin technologies will unlock exciting possibilities for us to stay ahead of the curve.”

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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