According to an article published by TradeArabia News Service, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Oman’s national oil company, has partnered with the French startup Spare Parts 3D (SP3D), to assess the 3D printability of 150,000 unique spare parts.
Within a period of six months, the team processed 150,000 coded spare parts in order to define a 3D printing adoption matrix based on technical feasibility and economical attractiveness. This was possible thanks to SP3D’s data-driven funnel methodology, its unique machine-learning-based software, DigiPART, the availability of material coding information records, and the commitment of a multidisciplinary team at PDO.
Despite having extensive master data records, PDO did not have the ideal set of data, containing all technical and economic data points, technical drawings, and 3D files, in one place and readily accessible. It was reportedly a challenge to scope the AM journey given that circa 80% of the parts lacked dimension and weight information.
The information provided was extracted from PDO’s ERP (Inventory management; Purchase Orders and Material Coding) – limiting the time required to collect data on such a large number of parts. Thanks to DigiPART’s semantic recognition algorithms – combined with extensive AM databases – the team optimized the original data set to allow the algorithm to identify printability.
“After having selected non-suitable parts, ourselves, we contracted SP3D for their ability to enrich our partial dataset. This helped to select the right spare parts to focus on for PDO’s AM journey,” said Mohammed Yahyai, 3D Scoping workstream Lead and Lead Rotating Equipment Engineer at PDO.
To efficiently sift through 150,000 coded parts, DigiPART runs several algorithms – among which is the Semantic Recognition Algorithm (SRA). The SRA reads through the part descriptions and identifies part names that are earmarked for further printability analysis. In addition to this, DigiPART precisely defines the functional specifications of a part. For example, having recognized an Impeller, DigiPART automatically associated more than 10 functional specifications relevant to PDO’s equipment and operating environment for a particular application (operating temperature, fluid service, corrosion levels, pressure, wear, resistance, etc.).
This level of automation and precision is key to efficiently identifying the right AM material and print method. This iterative funnel approach resulted in a first-200 opportunity list. PDO then asked warehousing teams to verify the assumptions made during the Identification stage. The data-driven outputs for these opportunities will support the 3D printing deployment roadmap.
According to the article, PDO now has a tool to enable its 3D printing deployment roadmap – speeding up additive manufacturing deployment by an estimated two years, and helping the company remain at the forefront of innovation in the Middle East. “PDO now has access to an agile decision tool covering over 60,000 spare parts. Customized business cases filters enable PDO to select the most relevant parts to print and install or switch from physical to digital inventory,” said Paul Guillaumot, CEO of Spare Parts 3D.
An important benefit of the analysis is PDO’s ability to understand the potential of 3D printing in Oman. SP3D regrouped the outcome to show the AM solutions and material combinations with the most potential to increase local added value, including expected annual demand in US dollars – enabling PDO to make data-based local investment decisions and support the localization strategy.
“The ability to provide valorization on AM potential is a first in Oman and of great support to accelerate In-Country Value initiatives and build our Industry 4.0 ecosystem in the sultanate,” said Sulaiman Ruqaishi, In-Country Value Business Development Lead at PDO.
The partnership allows PDO to accelerate its AM journey based on extensive and comprehensive analysis. Enriching PDO’s existing data via the use of algorithms enabled the creation of a 3D printing parts selection matrix including both technical and commercial feasibility considerations.
“Our fundamental issue was to logically and quickly screen and identify 3D printing candidates to define PDO AM scope and move forward. With the support of our partner SP3D, PDO is now able to make informed decisions, accelerate deployment, and support stakeholders,” said Philippe Dupont, Head of Material Procurement and Inventory Management at PDO.
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