Hybrid Wire Arc AM for the Oil & Gas Industry
MX3D successfully completed the printing of an industrial pipeline clamp. Clamps like these are used in the Chemical and Oil & Gas industries to prevent incidents and to increase the run time of an installation before maintenance is required.
The WAAM Clamp is made and tested in collaboration with Team Industries and TiaT, two companies with extensive experience in the maintenance, testing and (emergency) repair of complex industrial pipe systems. The BWI (Belgium Welding Institute) handled the material testing and Lloyd’s Register supported MX3D with the certification process.
Short lead times are key in the oil and gas industry, as both reducing production downtime and decreasing environmental, human and safety risks are critical. The current lead time of pipeline repair can be as long as 2 to 3 weeks with a potential lost value of several 100k to 1M EUR per day. Current repair processes by clamps typically rely on CNC milling, specialized manual labour, or a combination of both. Each of these processes have their downsides, as CNC milling has high material waste (on average >80% of the original material) and specialized labourers are becoming more scarce.
“Clamps and/or enclosures used for online leak sealing in (petro) chemical installations are for over 90% custom designed and custom manufactured and in most cases require a very short lead time,” said Simon van der Harst, Team Industrial Services, Senior Specialist Engineering, and Manufacturing. “The WAAM technology, if further developed, in the near future can be an advantage in the sense of no large investments are necessary anymore in keeping a great variation of stock (plate) materials; very little to no waste materials if built up from zero; minimizing final machining time; more variety in designing possible and less depending on available tools and base components.”