Navantia saves 17% using large format 3D printing
January 29, 2018
Spanish shipbuilder company, Navantia has reportedly saved 17% by using large format 3D printing services to manufacture new ship parts. In 2015, Navantia was contracted by Ondimar to build four Suezmax tankers. Suezmax tankers are built to be able to transit the Suez Canal. These ones will be built to the dimensions of 274 meters long by 48 meters wide. Navantia collaborated with the University of Cadiz (UCA) and INNANOMAT (Materials and Nanotechnology) to design the S-Discovery, a 3D printer created especially to make hulking boat parts. In February 2018, they will test their 3D printed grills for corrosion rate and inflammability aboard the Monte Udala.
large format 3D Printing for Suezmax Tankers and more
The first printing project were two grills for the Monte Udala super tanker’s ventilation system. Originally, it took 25 kilos of steel to manufacture the vents. The S-Discovery used 3.5 kilos of carbon fiber reinforced ABS (CF-ABS), which is a unique filament which better resists internal stresses that typically cause warping. The project took only 3 hours to print, as opposed to the 5 days it took to create steel vents. The total cost of the project was only $122, a 17% improvement from its steel equivalent.
Additionally, Navantia has produced a 3D printed modular toilet unit, assembled from 5 parts, for its 3DCabin project. Typically, the cost of the project would be over $6,000, but 3D printing only cost $3,600. Although hardly a problem in the U.S., public toilets are not as available in other parts of the world. According to Unicef, around 524 million people, which is nearly half the population of India, defecate in the open. As you can imagine, this leads to poor hygiene and even death due to the unsanitary conditions. Toilet scarcity has become such a problem that the Indian government has made it a national issue. Improving sanitary conditions while at sea is a necessity. 3D printing the parts has been an innovative and cost-effective way to produce these items.
3D Printing – a “Productive Fabric in the Near Future”
Victor Casal, the lead of 3D printing projects at Navantia, comments, “…we have detected a significant increase in work in relation to the application of additive manufacturing in the naval sector.” He hopes 3D printing will contribute to Navantia’s commitment “to being a sustainable company in the naval, strategic and international industry.” Their new initiative Shipyard 4.0 has objectives to reduce costs, deadlines and increasing quality in Navantia’s products and processes, to achieve the competitive sustainability of the company. Lopez says, “It can be foreseen that this technology has come to stay and be part of our productive fabric in the near future.”
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