The joint industry project (JIP) has been set up by Lloyd’s Register Energy, a division of Lloyd's Register (LR), a global engineering, technical and business services organisation. The organisation is inviting companies from around the world to join in with the project.

Lloyd's Register Energy's recent Technology Radar survey suggests that additive manufacturing will have a major impact in the oil and gas industry in the next 5 years.

However, additive manufacturing is being held back from widespread adoption in safety critical, asset intensive industries, the organisation suggests. Challenges exist because there is currently no standardised way of proving to manufacturers and regulators that printed products are safe. There are risks associated with consistency and quality control, long term performance, data integrity, intellectual property, and in both software and hardware used in high precision manufacturing – and it is not currently a technology that often can be used for assembly. The safe and sustainable use of powders used in the manufacturing process is also a concern from an environmental and health perspective.

Beyond convention

“Together with international and national companies, we can work beyond the constraints of today’s conventional manufacturing process to find real innovative solutions in a strategic and collaborative way,” said Claus Myllerup, senior vice president of technology for Lloyd’s Register Energy. “Additive manufacturing is just one of several innovations that we are looking at.”

 “The issues faced by manufacturers using additive manufacturing can be overcome through collaboration and working together,”, said Claire Ruggiero, Lloyd’s Register Energy’s vice president for technical inspection services. “Pulling together key parties from material and machine suppliers, manufacturers, end users and research organisations, we can collectively consider the risks and control measures from different perspectives ensuring that all aspects are covered. We are confident this JIP will begin to help shape and guide ‘best practice’ standards in additive manufacturing.”