Bonney Forge’s 3D printed valve has been certified by Shell.

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DNV Certification Granted to Shell and Bonney Forge for 3D Printed Gate Valve

In an exciting development for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, DNV, the international classification society, has awarded CE certification to Shell and Bonney Forge for their 3D printed gate valve. This collaboration between the oil and gas giant and the US-based manufacturer of fittings and valves showcases the potential of AM in the sector.

The gate valve, printed using stainless steel alloy UNS S31603, was produced at Shell’s 3D Printing Center of Excellence and Workshop located on their Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam. The successful certification of the 3D printed gate valve signifies a major milestone for Shell and further solidifies their commitment to exploring the potential of AM in the sector.

Angeline Goh, the head of digital supply chains at Shell, expressed her excitement about the project on LinkedIn and mentioned that more information would be shared during the ASTM International Conference on Advanced Manufacturing (ICAM) 2023 to be held in Washington DC. Goh has been leading Shell’s efforts in embracing AM in the oil and gas industry, resulting in numerous successful projects.

In 2021, Shell became the first company to obtain CE certification for a 3D printed oil and gas part – a pressure vessel manufactured in-house. Building on that achievement, Goh and her team installed 3D printed impellers on a centrifugal pump at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park in Rotterdam in early 2022. The gate valve developed in collaboration with Bonney Forge will also be installed at the same site.

Shell has been actively engaging in partnerships and collaborations to explore the potential of AM in the sector. At Formnext 2022, Shell showcased a 3D printed oxygen hydrogen micromixer demonstration part produced with GE Additive. Additionally, Shell, along with four other major oil and gas companies, signed a two-year agreement in January 2023 to collaborate on a digital inventory ecosystem for oil and gas spare parts.

The gradual adoption of AM in the oil and gas sector is understandable, considering the stringent regulations, high investment costs, and the uncertainties surrounding the future of fossil fuels. However, each certification milestone achieved represents a significant step forward for the industry. Shell’s strategic approach to AM, led by Goh, showcases a long-term commitment to digitalization and innovation.

The importance of digitalizing spare parts inventories in the oil and gas sector cannot be overstated. As the world looks to transition to renewable energy sources, reliable supplies of oil and gas at steady prices remain critical. Finding ways to decarbonize in the short term without reducing fossil fuel production is essential. This makes maintenance operations for oil and gas infrastructure more crucial than ever, as companies strive to meet demand without disrupting operations or making uncertain investments.

Recent news suggests Shell’s proactive approach to digitalization is yielding results. The company announced that its Australian liquified natural gas (LNG) platform, Prelude, will now undergo an overhaul lasting only “several months” instead of a year-long shutdown. This development hints at how the digitalization of supply chains could be influencing similar decisions across the oil and gas sector.

It is evident that the 3D printing industry continues to evolve, and staying up-to-date on the latest news is essential. For all the latest updates and offers from third-party vendors, keep an eye on the exciting developments in the additive manufacturing industry.

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