Singapore Pact for 3D Printing in Maritime Sector
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing.
The two MoUs are: a) An MoU with PSA Corporation Limited (PSA), the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and 3D MetalForge Pte Ltd (3D MetalForge) to establish the world’s first on-site AM production facility for port applications; and b) An MoU with NAMIC and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) to collaborate on an AM Joint Industry Programme (JIP) for marine parts.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, and Ms Choy Sauw Kook, Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General, Quality and Excellence, Enterprise Singapore.
The AM rapid production facility will be strategically located at Pasir Panjang Terminal, where PSA is testing port technologies for current and future terminals. It will feature state-of-the-art printers capable of producing AM parts for port equipment. The facility will also use a specialised maritime digital cloud supported by Blockchain technology for more secure file transfers.
The facility’s location also leverages PSA’s parts supplier base and facility operations to support just-in-time inventory. This move towards digitised inventories reduces the need to hold excess inventory, which lowers storage costs, while shortening turnaround time from weeks to days due to improved availability of spare parts. In the long run, PSA will expand the scope of these services to the wider maritime industry, including ship owners, to help build its business adjacencies.
Ong Kim Pong, Regional CEO Southeast Asia of PSA International, said, “In close collaboration with EDB, we have learnt that the era of Additive Manufacturing is showing pervasive importance in industry transformation. Within our maritime sector, we foresee widespread adoption within the immediate horizon. I am heartened that PSA, alongside MPA, NAMIC and 3D MetalForge can be pioneers in developing this technology for use in our industry. Co-creating new innovations including digitising inventories will create opportunities to raise maritime productivity to the next level.”
The JIP is focused on establishing the commercial viability, technical feasibility and regulatory compliance behind the use of AM for marine parts, and will bring together a comprehensive ecosystem of partners from across the value chain. This collaboration will strengthen Singapore’s role as a hub for ship supplies, and provide the maritime industry with clarity on the challenges, opportunities and potential test cases for deploying AM for marine parts.
Andrew Tan, MPA's Chief Executive, said, "As a leading maritime hub, Singapore firmly believes that the maritime industry should embrace new technologies such as additive manufacturing. The digitalisation of the maritime sector in all its aspects is not a matter of how but when.”