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3D Printing Brings New Opportunities and New Challenges to the Oil & Gas Industry

by • February 8, 2016 • No Comments

3D printed oil pump prototype.

3D printed oil pump prototype.

As with most modern businesses, the Oil and Gas (O&G) industry has begun adopting 3D printing innovation into its regular workflow in several key areas. It has proven itself to be a valuable tool for the production of custom, one-off or tiny run components as well as reworking existing creations to turn it into a thing additional refined and streamlined. Whilst the innovation hasn’t high end to the point where additive making can replace traditional making, the industry has discovered a lot of other uses for the innovation. The major use for the moment appears to be rapid prototyping, which dramatically reduces both cost and turnaround time for createing prototypes.

There are few industries which operate on the sheer scale of the most businesses which manufacture up the O&G industry. The createment of related innovation and production of equipment and machinery is a constantly evolving system with the goal of harvesting and transporting oil and fuels additional efficiently with less waste. The freedom which 3D printing brings to the industry in regards to the innovation and createment of new products only can’t be understated, and it is rapidly proliferating each aspect of the business.

3D printed fuel nozzles for oil extracting machinery.

3D printed fuel nozzles for oil extracting machinery.

Some of the longer-term applications for 3D printing in the O&G industry are expected to completely alter the way which components for a wide range of essential equipment and machinery are generated. Companies have been looking into via 3D printing innovation to reconceptualize parts and components, the createment of augmented making systemes and swift, on-demand making. 3D printing is in addition playing an increasing role in the O&G industry’s research and createment activities, and which trend is expected to expand to oil and gas operators, oil field service providers and OEMs.

Soon companies can no longer require to wait for replacement parts but can have the faculty to 3D print them on-location when requireed. Having 3D printing innovation on-site can eliminate long waits in areas where standard parts are going to be in short donate or where shipping and customs clearance issues are most likely to delay parts of arriving rapidly. On-site 3D printing can in addition be utilized to turn it into new parts for use in drilling, where flexibility and adaptfaculty are both significant to the successful extraction of oil. Not only can this speed up the system, but it may upcomingly save millions in lost profits of lost work which can frequently be attributed to malfunctioning or damaged machinery. That can translate into higher profits for the company, and most likely lower oil prices for customers.

Offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

But, there can be a few challenges which O&G companies looking to adopt 3D printing innovation can require to address. Because 3D printing technologies rely heavily on digital information, IT leaders can require to play an significant role in any newly integrated innovation. IT staff can require to turn it into a sturdy and secure digital infrastructure to manage the company’s 3D data. Engineering teams can in addition have to prepare digital assets for on-site use as well as create new products which leverage the freedom of designing for additive making without sacrificing performance or safety.

Until enough solutions for any upcoming issues related to the security and confidentiality of intellectual property are discovered, 3D printing can most likely not expand beyond the projected numbers. Licensing and making guidelines for the legal and safe reproduction of parts manufactured via 3D printing are only in the early stages, and most of the industry leaders are only only beginning to address the issue. Unfortunately, until their intellectual property, 3D files and 3D data can be secured, O&G companies are going to only move cautiously into the adoption of sizeable-scale additive making.

3D printed oil systeming facility conceptual version.

3D printed oil systeming facility conceptual version.

“With increasing adoption of 3D printing, intellectual property issues can undoubtedly loom sizeable in the upcoming. O&G, as well as oilfield service, companies must enable intellectual property protection, especially inside the engineering domains. CIOs and other IT leaders can require to address issues such as practuallyting intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, ensuring the durfaculty and high performance of 3D-printed parts and allowing collaboration and involvement of enterprise architects with engineering and operations personnel to implement security most practices,” wrote research director for Gartner’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry Advisory Service Morgan Eldred.

Despite these obstacles, the upcoming of 3D printing innovation with the O&G industry is bright, and expected to go on to expand in the upcoming few years. Technology and research company Gartner is actually predicting which by 2019 additional than ten percent of all O&G companies, which include oilfield service providers, can be transitioning of traditional making methods to additional high end additive making methods. This shift is expected to be reflected across all of their different types of operations throughout the industry. Discuss in the Oil & Gas 3D Printing Future forum over at 3DPB.com.