thyssenkrupp and Wilhelmsen solidify partnership to leverage Additive Manufacturing solutions for maritime industry
thyssenkrupp marked a milestone today with the formalization of its partnership with Wilhelmsen Ships Services, one of the largest maritime services providers in the world, in an official signing ceremony.
With the signing of the Letter of Intent to establish a Joint Venture, thyssenkrupp and Wilhelmsen will collaborate on delivering maritime spare parts using 3D printing, leveraging on thyssenkrupp’s deep expertise in AM alongside Wilhelmsen’s in-depth maritime expertise and direct ongoing experience in understanding the needs of vessel fleet managers.
Based on current data, maritime fleets spend approximately 13 billion USD a year on spare parts; with 50% of these vessels being older than 15 years, availability of parts are limited. This makes fulfillment of orders for maritime spare parts costly and complicated, and in fact, supply chain overheads involved may oftentimes far outstrip the cost of the part itself.
Moreover, traditional manufacturing processes such as machining and casting often involve long lead-times stretching into months. As a result, ship managers must carry high stock levels of parts to ensure that they can fulfill orders, leading to high capital costs.
AM, thus, provides a solution to these issues by improving lead-time and costs considerations as suitable components are fabricated near the vessel location in a matter of weeks, sometimes days.
‘We are already seeing very positive response from our Maritime customers on Additive Manufacturing adoption,’ shared Abhinav Singhal, Director of thyssenkrupp Innovations. ‘They are realising the benefits from faster lead times, reduced costs and having more resilience in their spare parts supply chain. This is going to be a true gamechanger for the Maritime industry and we are proud to offer it alongside Wilhelmsen.’
‘We are very excited to enter the next phase of our 3D printing journey, hand in hand with thyssenkrupp. This joint venture will, we believe, take the lead as the de-facto supplier of 3D printed maritime spare parts, continuing to bring the benefits of Additive Manufacturing technology to shipping companies by reducing the cost of spare parts, lead times and environmental footprint’, says Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture, 3D Printing, Wilhelmsen.
The joint venture will thus position both thyssenkrupp and Wilhelmsen as leaders in the AM fulfillment platform for the maritime sector. It is expected be headquartered in Singapore, it will serve the key port locations around the world.