NAMIC partners with MPA Singapore to develop 3D printing applications for maritime sector

The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) of
Singapore have signed
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on digitalisation and
advanced manufacturing in the Maritime sector, specifically on development of
3D printing applications. NAMIC is also collaborating with SkillsFuture
Singapore (SSG) to develop skilled professionals in additive manufacturing.

NAMIC is a national initiative in Singapore which aims to increase
Singapore’s adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing technologies,
by nurturing promising AM technologies and startups, as well as accelerating
translation R&D from public sector funded institutions with a focus on
commercial applications. It is led by NTUitive, the innovation and enterprise
company of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and It is supported by
the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s office, in partnership
with SPRING Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore) and the Singapore Economic
Development Board (EDB).

This MOU was signed at the Maritime and Energy Sector AM
Summit on 17 April organised by NAMIC. One of the key themes of the Summit was how
3D printing will change the future of maritime and energy sectors, as well as
impact global supply chain.

Joint Industry
Programme by NAMIC and MPA

Under the MOU, NAMIC and MPA are partnering to launch a
Joint Industry Programme to develop AM applications and services for the
maritime industry and strengthen Singapore’s position as a premier hub port
with efficient one-stop port services. The partnership also aims to develop Singapore
as a hub for digital manufacturing, testing and certification of advanced
manufacturing technologies.

Through the JIP, there are plans to conduct market
feasibility studies. Different facets of advanced manufacturing, ranging from
secure data exchange, and digitalisation of supply chain, to print-on-demand
fabrication will be developed and deployed through industry partners.

Companies who have expressed interest in participation
include Wilhelmsen Ships Service, the world’s largest maritime products and
services supplier, as well as major maritime classification societies.

Nakul Malhotra, Vice President of Technical Solutions &
Marketing, Marine Products, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, said, “3D printing
essentially enables our customers to access a micro factory, if and when they
need it, in their next port of call.”

“As a vibrant ecosystem consisting of the port, shipping,
maritime services and offshore and marine engineering cluster, Singapore is
well-poised to leverage our R&D capabilities and serve as a test-bed for 3D
printing technology for application in the maritime sector. Developing this
technological capability could create positive spinoffs, translating into
efficiency and productivity gains for the wider shipping community. To support
this effort, MPA is pleased to partner with NAMIC to encourage further public-private
sector collaborations in exploring 3D printing for the sector”, commented Mr
Kenneth Lim, Director (Research, Technology and Industry Development), MPA.

Skills development

NAMIC and SSGwill
collaborate with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) such as Nanyang
Polytechnic (NYP) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP), as well as training providers
like TUM Asia and SIMTech to develop customised courses under SkillsFuture
Series and programmes under the SkillsFuture ELP (Earn and Learn Programme),
to develop skilled professionals in additive manufacturing.

To start, SP, Lloyd’s Register, NAMIC and SSG will develop
and deliver a series of master classes in additive manufacturing for the
manufacturing sectors, including Maritime and Energy. The 3-day master classes
will provide companies with practical industry knowledge for the adoption of
Additive Manufacturing, and cover areas including Processes, Codes, Standards,
Quality Control and Assurance as well as Certification.

NAMIC will also develop an industry-led additive
manufacturing certification framework, supported by SSG, to professionalise and
recognise the industry workforce. Certificates will be awarded for selected
additive manufacturing courses. To kick-start this effort, NYP, NAMIC and SSG
will be rolling the first SkillsFuture ELP in Additive Manufacturing (a Specialist
Diploma in Additive Manufacturing), targeted at fresh polytechnic graduates.

These efforts are in line with the Industry Transformation
Maps (ITMs) to prepare the workforce with existing and emerging skills required
for the industry. They will reference the Skills Frameworks for Precision
Engineering, Aerospace
and Marine
and Offshore
, which aim to build deep skills for a lean workforce, enhance
business competitiveness, and support employment and employability.

Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director of NAMIC, says, “As a
premier global hub port and maritime centre, Singapore is well-placed towards
enhancing its world-leading position in the digital age. Our partnership with
MPA, SSG and various industry players will help accelerate MPA’s future Port of
Singapore, marrying a highly-skilled workforce and secure digital platforms for
maritime services and supply chain together with advanced manufacturing
technologies such as 3D printing.”

Existing industry partnerships

Through the public funded universities, polytechnics and
research institutes, NAMIC is working with several companies across various
industry verticals, with a project pipeline exceeding $25 million dollars.

A number of AM startup companies have emerged in the last
two years, such as Structo, Osteopore International, Nanosun, 3D Metalforge,
Gilmour Space, Siege Advanced Manufacturing, SpareParts3D, Denova Sciences,
Kosmode Health and many more. Multinational corporations like Emerson,
Flowserve, UPS-Fast Radius, Rolls-Royce, Underwriter Laboratories, DNV-GL and
Yamazaki Mazak have chosen Singapore as a regional hub for their 3D printing
business and innovation hubs. In addition, major AM OEM manufacturers have
either chosen Singapore, or are in the process of establishing AM innovation
centres to augment their regional headquarter status.

NAMIC is collaborating with startups like 3DMetalforge,
Nanosun, Osteopore, Flare Dynamics, as well as large industry players like
Sembcorp Marine, Underwriters Laboratories and DNV-GL.

For instance, NAMIC is working with 3D Metalforge, a
Singapore metal AM technology company operating one of Asia’s leading AM
service bureaus dedicated to (re)designing, engineering and printing polymer
and metal end-use parts for industrial applications, to develop and
commercialise large format metal printing technologies together with SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and
Design) and A*STAR’s SIMTECH
(Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology).

This technology capability enhancement will enable 3D
Metalforge to support the marine, offshore, and precision engineering sectors.
At its end state, it offers an advanced suite of 3D printing equipment,
including selective laser melting (SLM), hybrid wire-arc additive manufacturing
(H-WAAM), as well as an automated laser arc additive manufacturing (LAAM)
printer. Both H-WAAM and LAAM can produce high quality metal greater than 1.5
metres in cubic size, at a speed of approximately 0.5kg per hour – for a number
of metals.

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