4 Benefits of Additive Manufacturing in the Oil and Gas Industry


4 Benefits of Additive Manufacturing in the Oil and Gas Industry

an oil rig

The oil and gas industry is among the biggest untapped markets for additive manufacturing. The oil and gas industry has been sluggish in embracing additive manufacturing (AM), lagging behind industries such as aerospace and automotive. As the oil business faces major difficulties from oil price instability to transitions towards other energy sources, stakeholders in the industry are more concerned about reducing operational costs.

As per the World Economic Forum, additive manufacturing may save oil and gas businesses up to $30 billion in time and cost. That’s why more and more oil and gas companies have started to consider additive manufacturing.

Let’s take a look at some benefits of additive manufacturing.

1.    Quicker Development Of Product & Design Flexibility

The potential of 3D printing to speed up product development is one of its most important advantages. Additive manufacturing allows products to be swiftly and inexpensively designed, prototyped, built, tested, and validated. The oil and gas sector can use this benefit to respond effectively to growing market possibilities and identify any potential hazards or defects at the designing phase before production.

For example, in 2016, Shell utilized 3D printing to effectively prototype an oil and gas drilling buoy for the Stones gas and oil drilling station. A normal manufacturing process would have taken months to manufacture a working plastic prototype, but experts were able to do so in just four weeks using 3D printing.

2.    It Allows Low Volume Production To Be Economical

Oil and gas companies have been sluggish in adopting 3D printing for manufacturing, although this field holds significant potential for the industry. Expensive tooling expenses and lengthy lead times make traditional manufacturing ineffective at the low-volume output. On the other hand, additive manufacturing makes it possible to reduce lead time while lowering the cost of production.

3.    Quicker Repairing Of Complex Parts

Equipment maintenance downtime, whether planned or accidental, can be costly, particularly on remote or offshore sites. 3D printing can have a positive impact in this area as well. Some additive manufacturing processes, such as Direct Energy Deposition, could be utilized to fix or remanufacture old equipment as well.

The method can be used to extend the longevity and effectiveness of deteriorating and damaged parts such as valves, pumps, and shafts lowering overall operating and maintenance expenses.

1.    Improving Supply Chains

With additive manufacturing, oil and gas supply chain management can be improved.An important advantage is a transition to digital inventories and the fabrication of spare parts on demand. Producing replacement components on-demand can save time and money when sourcing is difficult or impossible in remote, offshore locations due to logistical concerns or a lack of readily available replacement parts.

In addition, oil and gas companies generally have significant stockpiles of spare parts to reduce downtime in the case of a component failure. Additive manufacturing makes it possible to construct a digital inventory of replacement components for on-demand production, such as those for outdated equipment, and so reduces digital warehousing and storage expenses.

an oil rig

If you or someone you know is looking for additive manufacturing for their oil and gas business, then Falcon Technologies International is your best bet. We are the number one company when it comes to providing services related to 3D printing in the Middle East. Our services include Low volume production, Prototyping, Medical 3D printing, and a lot more.

Contact us and learn more about how we can help your business scale. You can also follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to speed with all the latest developments in the world of additive manufacturing.