Lloyd’s Register and TWI Update Global Additive Manufacturing Certification Framework

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The framework update aims to support industrial “safe adoption” of metal 3D Printing by promoting certification of parts.

Taking a look at the future, guidance notes will surely contribute to the long-term sustainability of the marine and energy industries as a result of the widespread adoption of Additive Manufacturing processes.

Taking a look at the future, guidance notes will surely contribute to the long-term sustainability of the marine and energy industries as a result of the widespread adoption of Additive Manufacturing processes.

2017 additive manufacturing certification framework was titled “Guidance Notes for the Certification of Metallic Parts made by Additive Manufacturing” and has been updated to include the experience from previous joint industry projects of Lloyd’s Register together with engineering research and technology firm TWI . The framework is now divided in 5 key areas:

  1. Design
  2. Material
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Post-processing
  5. Inspection and testing

The updated issuance of these guidance notes seeks to mitigate the skepticism with which the industry often faces new technology in its early years (AM technologies in this case) by implementing a more user-friendly approach to manufacturing certification.

“In the past, manufacturers haven’t always known where or how to begin their journey with AM,” said Dr Chris Dungey, Joining Technologies Group Manager at TWI. “LR and TWI’s collaborative approach is an end-to-end model that can help clients from the earliest starting line: questioning the use of AM and how to exploit its benefits, to the eventual finish line of certifying and selling AM parts into the open market. These guidance notes support that model.”

A BIGger picture for industrial applications

According to the words of Chris Chung, Director of Strategic Research at Lloyd’s Register, the new AM certification framework will have a huge impact over Gas and Oil industry in the coming years. This frame makes totally sense is we consider that in the oil and gas sector, reducing costs and improving efficiency are crucial to restore competitiveness and increasing investor confidence.

AM offers faster-made, larger-scale parts than the manufacturing methods currently used in the industry. Unlike most conventional manufacturing techniques, Additive Manufacturing creates 3D objects by adding layer by layer instead of creating shape by machining. Combined with Computer Aided Design (CAD), any of the plenty variety of AM techniques allows the creation of new and improved components to the strict specifications of the piece, in less time.

Moreover, from the pharmaceutical to the aerospace industries, several companies have already adopted Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies for its potential to create complex parts with a high level of accuracy and material savings.

In times of low oil prices, the acceleration in the use of certified products built on additive manufacturing (AM) techniques will help on-shore and off-shore companies achieve a business advantage through cost-efficient, quality-designed components.

In times of low oil prices, the acceleration in the use of certified products built on additive manufacturing (AM) techniques will help on-shore and off-shore companies achieve a business advantage through cost-efficient, quality-designed components.

Early launchings

An early project of the accelerate certification efforts of additive manufacturing could be the one held since 2016 by  Keppel Offshore & Marine Company. Based in Singapore, it is already one of the leaders in Metal 3D Printing for “potential use for rapidly made, large-scale parts suitable for offshore & marine applications in a variety of conditions” such as the harsh environments found in the oil and gas field.

LR is currently supporting the qualification of Keppel’s process while working alongside the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). Meanwhile in the Netherlands, LR is working with the Rotterdam Additive Manufacturing Lab (RAMLAB) joint industry project for “metal parts on demand”, to verify that the AM technology selected can consistently ensure compliance with all applicable requirements.

Lloyd’s Register and TWI have also launched a joint industry project “Achieving Regulatory and Code Compliance for Additive Manufacturing.” This project will investigate the routes to regulatory compliance of parts selected by selected project sponsors, then produce data and assessment criteria for the introduction and approval of parts through third-party inspection. This would give project sponsors “a head start on the competition by receiving technical services and support covering design and manufacturing through to testing and inspection”.

More about Lloyd’s Register and TWI

Lloyd’s Register and TWI Logo

LR is an engineering, technical and business services organisation that provides “compliance, risk and technical consultancy services, while framework partner TWI is a leading global research and technology organization offering “engineering solutions around the world which services include generic research, R & D contracts, technical information, consultancy, drafting of standards, training and qualification”.

Both LR and TWI keep supporting several working groups on AM approaches and standardisation for industrial equipment, while the non-profit Lloyd’s Register Foundation (the owner of LR) is also funding research programmes to address wide-ranging safety challenges relating to additive manufacturing adoption in a near future.

 

Comments 5

  1. Standardization is a good thing if it is applied correctly, if not it can stifle innovation and advancement. Given that we are seeing a very fast adoption rate of AM use of metals in the airline industry, though, it seems that a standard setting body and part certifications will be a requirement. In this case, non-profit organizations seem to be the best choice to maintain impartiality and transparency to ensure the resulting standards provide the necessary safety levels without giving unfair advantages to any company.

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