Sunday , 24 March 2019
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MPA and PSA sign agreements for 3D printing facility
PSA Singapore handled 36.31m teu last year

MPA and PSA sign agreements for 3D printing facility

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for  Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing.

One agreement is between the MPA, PSA, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and 3D MetalForge Pte Ltd (3D MetalForge) to establish the world’s first on-site AM production facility for port applications.

The other MoU is between the MPA, NAMIC and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) to collaborate on an AM Joint Industry Programme (JIP) for marine parts.

The AM rapid production facility will be located at Pasir Panjang Terminal, where PSA is testing port technologies or current and future terminals.

It will feature modern printers capable of producing AM parts for port equipment.

The facility will also use a specialised maritime digital cloud supported by blockchain technology for more secure file transfers.

Its location will also leverage PSA’s parts supplier base and facility operations to support just-in-time inventory according to a joint statement from the partners.

The statement added: “This move towards digitised inventories reduces the need to hold excess inventory, which lowers storage costs, while shortening turnaround time from weeks to days due to improved availability of spare parts.”

In the long run, PSA will expand the scope of these services to the wider maritime industry, including ship owners, to help build its business adjacencies.

Ong Kim Pong, regional CEO, Southeast Asia of PSA International, said: “In close collaboration with EDB, we have learnt that the era of AM is showing pervasive importance in industry transformation.

“Within our maritime sector, we foresee widespread adoption within the immediate horizon. Co-creating new innovations including digitising inventories will create opportunities to raise maritime productivity to the next level.”

The JIP is focused on establishing the commercial viability, technical feasibility and regulatory compliance behind the use of AM for marine parts, and will bring together a wide range of partners from across the value chain.

The parties believe that the collaboration will strengthen Singapore’s role as a hub for ship supplies, and provide the maritime industry with clarity on the challenges, opportunities and potential test cases for deploying AM for marine parts.

Andrew Tan, MPA’s chief executive, said, “As a leading maritime hub, Singapore firmly believes that the maritime industry should embrace new technologies such as AM.

“The digitalisation of the maritime sector in all its aspects is not a matter of how but when.”