AM guidelines at second round of testing & review

At Duplex World 2018, Harsharn Tathgar presented on DNV GL’s collaborative efforts to develop requirements for additive manufactured (AM) components in oil & gas and other related applications. As their joint industry project on AM requirements continues, SSWN’s Daniel Sweet spoke with Dr. Harsharn for an update before the completed guidelines are delivered.
Interview with DNV GL's Harsharn Tathgar 
The ProGRAM joint industry project (JIP) is a collaborative effort headed by DNV GL of Norway and Berenschot of the Netherlands. Harsharn Tathgar, project manager for DNV GL, explained that his company is helping to refine the technical aspects of the AM production guidelines for laser powder bed fusion and wire and arc additive manufacturing technologies, while Berenschot is looking at developing a functional business model for companies working in AM.

The JIP began in January 2018 with 11 members and has since become a consortium made up of 17 businesses. Beyond DNV GL and Berenschot, the JIP involves the entire value chain, and Dr. Tathgar walked us through the major contributors. “We start with end users like Equinor, BP, Total, and Shell. Next in the value chain are contractors, like Technip-FMC, Siemens, Rolls Royce (now Kongsberg Maritime) and the printer company SLM Solutions. And then we have many companies in the manufacturing category. These include very big companies like OCAS, Voestalpine, Vallorec, as well as startups like Ivaldi Group and HIPtec. Other important companies are Quintus Technologies, Additive Industries, and Aidro. We even have a research and innovation center involved in the University of Strathclyde's AFRC.”

“The JIP benefits from this variety in contributors,” Dr. Tathgar continued, “and we are lucky to have very good discussions from all sides. For example, we put out the first draft of the guidelines in January 2019. This was shared with all partners so we could receive their feedback, and we got quite a lot of responses. Along with these drafted guidelines, Berenschot also facilitated a first round of parts production for evaluation. Now that initial testing is complete, we are starting the second round so that the partners can use and test the draft guidelines to come up with further feedback and comments. The idea here is produce parts that meet stated quality levels and that are manufactured in a safe and repeatable manner. Once we are satisfied with the second round of testing, we will use the feedback from the partners to update and finalize the guidelines.”

Delivery and next steps
The delivery date for the guidelines, originally set for summer 2019, was recently extended by 6 months. Dr. Tathgar explained: "The extra time will be utilized to add the results from the 2nd round of part production. This way we can ensure the guidelines are mature when they are released. We have also decided to extend the scope of the guidelines by adding Hybrid WAAM to the coverage. With these factors in mind, the guidelines should be released by the end of the year. In regards to what happens after the guidelines are delivered, that will be up to the steering committee. They will decide whether to make the guidelines public or if they want to keep them within the consortium. The chances are quite high that they will be made public so they can be used by all companies within each industry, but either way, the companies involved in the JIPs have such a large presence that if they are using the guidelines, they will become industry practice at least in Europe.”

Future JIPs
Dr. Tathgar has been involved with publicly and privately funded JIPs for a large part of his career, and so it was no surprise to hear that he is already exploring ideas for future JIPs in response to industry need. “At our last meeting in March,” he said, “we discussed some new ideas. For example, we are planning to start another JIP focused on a digital warehouse using AM. In a way it is connected to ProGRAM because it involves AM, but it really is independent of what we have been working on, as the topic might not be relevant for all the participants in the existing JIP. See, in the oil and gas industry, they have billions of dollars in spare parts stuck in warehouses, and most of those usually never get used. With AM, there is no need to stockpile parts. When the digital plans for a part are complete, all you have to do is press the button and print.”

“But of course there will be a need to meet quality standards,” Dr. Tathgar continued. “So before an AM digital warehouse is possible, we need to discuss the project with some potential industry partners. We already have some interest, with four companies being especially enthusiastic. But we are always looking for more participants.”

Joining in the discussion

On June 28, DNV GL is hosting an AM industry day for the oil & gas and maritime industries. The event will take place at DNV GL headquarters in Høvik (Oslo), Norway and is free to attend. DNV GL, in cooperation with Energy Valley, will present guidelines, approval programs, and results from projects related to AM at the event. In addition, speakers and researchers from the industry will present on the latest trends in AM. There will also be a workshop exploring the challenges related to AM. DNV GL asks that interested parties register for the event on their website by June 15.

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