Germanys Siemens is looking to deploy 3D printing technology in the Middle East to manufacture parts for oil and gas companies, according to a senior executive.
We do 3D print parts of turbines in Germany, and theyre installed in Saudi Arabia or Oman. In the future well 3D print it in the region. Thats feasible, said Assem Khalaili, executive vice president, industry customer services at Siemens Middle East.
Khalaili was speaking on the side-lines of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Abu Dhabi, where the German firm unveiled the first aircraft interior part manufactured for Etihad Airways using the additive manufacturing technology.
3D printing, which removes requirement to design and build tools for the manufacturing process is being increasingly seen as a viable option for energy companies and services firms looking to streamline costs in a tighter market environment.
Deployment of 3D printing in the oil and gas industry will generate greater cost and time efficiencies for the industry, according to Khalaili.
3D printing is not a cheap technology but achieving higher efficiency and shorter time of delivery through faster prototyping is a game changer, he said.
We reduce prototyping design by 70 to 80 per cent. Imagine something that took 40 weeks being reduced to four to six weeks, he added
Using on-site 3D printers, energy companies could extend the lifespan of huge investments such refineries and drilling rigs, according to consulting firm Accenture.
Using onsite 3D printers, they could instantly print off parts no longer in production, having a measurable impact on the profitability of upstream assets, it said in a 2014 report.
Turbines manufactured by Siemens are used across refining and power sectors in the Middle East. Saudi Arabias Fadhili combined heat and power plant recently awarded a $400m contract to Siemens to supply five large gas turbines. The German group, through its Dresser-Rand subsidiary also supplied two gas turbine-driven compressor trains and two gas turbine generator package sets to Omans multi-billion dollar Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex.