The additive-technology-assisted refurbishment of equipment parts for Gazprom Neft icebreakers and tankers is to be certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping — the company having developed a roadmap for the certification of technological process flows involved in working with 3D-printed metal hardware.
The first consignments of parts ordered by Gazprom Neft for installation on the Andrey Vilkitsky icebreaker and the Gazpromneft-Zuid, Gazpromneft-Nord and Gazpromneft-Nord-Vest bunkering vessels, and manufactured with the use of a 3D industrial printer, have already been produced.
Having repairs involving additive-manufacturing technologies certified by the Russian Marine Register of Shipping will make it possible for this solution to be proactively utilised, going forward, with full guarantees as to the safe operation of those ships on which it is used. Experts at this agency will undertake inspections and testing of both enterprises and equipment, as well as examining and verifying design documentation and testing such products. Following inspection, companies will be able to obtain a document confirming product quality and certifying their compliance with Russian Maritime Register of Shipping standards.
The certification roadmap outlines every stage involved in products’ technological certification, and establishes the necessary documentation required and the timeframes for completing the procedure. The practical application of the roadmap will help speed-up each stage in the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping’s approval process for additive-manufactured products. Developing opportunities for using industrial 3D printing will cut the lead-times and financial costs involved in repairing onboard equipment.
Gazprom Neft continues to pursue its own research and development in additive manufacturing, and is a member of the Russian Federation’s Technical Committee TK 182 on the standardisation of “Additive Technologies”, as well as taking an active role in national and intergovernmental standardisation in 3D printing.
“Additive manufacturing” is the process whereby equipment parts are produced through a 3D printer, with a physical object being created from an electronic geometric model, and materials added layer-by-layer. This methodology is currently being tested at Gazprom Neft on pilot projects for the company’s Arctic fleet.