Jul 13, 2014

Maersk wants to 3d print replacement parts on their ships to reduce cost




Maersk is huge shipping and industrial conglomerate from Denmark. It has been the largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the world since 1996.

When they say that they want to use 3d printing aboard their fleet vessels to make replacement parts, you know it is serious.
This is a major announcement by a gigantic company and we will probably hear more about it in the future.
If they are interested, other companies will follow their lead also.

Ocean crossing transport ships and other facilities like oil rigs are incredibly complex and sensitive to mechanical failures. When you think of thousands and thousands of replacement parts needed in the middle of the sea you can get the idea how a ship based 3d printer could be extremely useful and practical. Human lives are often in danger due critical infrastructure failure and also in repair operations. Just to get needed part by helicopter or smaller boat is cost and risk in itself. When you would consider time and fuel savings in the case of Maers, we are probably speaking of millions of dollars range on yearly basis.

There is some irony in the fact that 3d printing technology will maybe drastically reduce the need for global shipping so the Maersk could loose profits in their container transport operations.
We live in interesting times.