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Equivalence-based integrated qualification for additive manufacturing process and parts

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Da Qin Xu, DNV GL Da Qin Xu

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Challenge

Additive manufacturing (AM) has gained increasing interest in the marine and oil gas industries due to the technology’s ability to reduce lead time in parts supply, digitalize spare parts and reproduce obsoleted parts more cost-effectively. 

However, the lack of technology qualification and certification is a major hurdle to broad adoption. The large variety of AM technology and process variables make statistical-based qualification through extensive empirical testing particularly burdensome. 

An equivalent-based qualification scheme through moderate testing will enable AM users to qualify materials and processes without: the high cost and time required by statistical-based qualification, and the high level of uncertainty associated with model-based qualification.

Solution

This project aims to develop and validate and equivalence-based integrated qualification protocol for AM applications to allow qualification through a reduced test scheme. We aim to develop a guideline or recommended practice as a result.  

Benefits

  • Reduced cost and time to qualify AM materials, process and parts
  • Enable parties to expedite adoption of AM products
  • Facilitate full qualification and certification 
  • Reduce overall risk in the AM supply chain.

Value

The proposed qualification will enable and expedite the digitalization of spare parts. Assuming a major asset owner has billion dollar inventory worldwide, the monetary value (or cost saving) can be estimated as:

  • Inventory feasible to be printed: 20% (USD 200 mil)
  • Inventory to be disposed due to obsolete: 20% 
  • Possible cost saving from avoidance of scrap physical inventory parts: USD 40m.