Perth-based manufacturer 3D Metalforge (ASX: 3MF) has partnered with US oil and gas company Par Pacific Holdings to bring faster, more sustainable and cost-effective additive manufacturing opportunities to the nation’s energy markets.
The companies will work together to identify a range of parts which will be suitable for production using 3D Metalforge’s proprietary additive manufacturing technology.
Field testing and adoption of API (American Petroleum Institute) standards will allow the 3D manufactured parts to be gradually integrated into Par Pacific’s regular supply chain.
They will eventually form the core range of parts to be produced using additive manufacturing processes.
Par Pacific owns and operates four oil refineries (including one idle facility) in Hawaii, Washington and Wyoming with a combined refining capacity of over 150,000 barrels of oil per day.
The Hawaii refinery will be the first to accept 3D manufactured parts, with the others to follow at a later stage.
Robust supply chains
Intelligent additive manufacturing helps companies to create more sustainable and robust supply chains, and enables them to print parts cheaper and with less environmental impact than traditional processes.
The technology can generate parts using up to 90% less materials and 25% of the energy used in traditional manufacturing, and can produce them quickly and near end users to reduce inventory and transportation time and costs.
3D Metalforge is already supporting a string of blue-chip clients across the energy, maritime, defence and manufacturing sectors, helping them move toward an era of greener manufacturing and production.
For Par Pacific, incorporation of the additive manufacturing process will reduce its delivery time on critical parts, improve supply chain sustainability and lower transportation emissions incurred in parts movement.
3D managing director Matthew Waterhouse welcomed the opportunity to work with a leading energy company.
“We are thrilled to be starting this project with Par Pacific,” he said.
“[It gives us] the opportunity to show how our additive technology can help refineries make their operations and supply chains more robust and sustainable.”
Mr Waterhouse said while the contract value was not material to 3D Metalforge’s revenue, it remained an “excellent validation” of the company’s technology and market traction.
In May, 3D Metalforge announced it would ramp up its US presence by converting an 1858 square metre factory in Texas into a production facility to service the entire market.
The new facility will be the company’s first US production house and will accelerate its ability to offer in-house part design, production and training to a growing customer base.