Impact of Additive Manufacturing (3D/4D Printing) on the Global Energy Sector

Utilizing Additive Manufacturing Technology to Drive a New Wave of Innovation
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Published: 28 Aug 2018

Additive Manufacturing or 3D/4D printing has moved from being a novel innovation two decades ago to a business reality. Companies and institutions have been rapidly increasing their investment in a technology concept that has the potential to significantly disrupt conventional supply chains–not only challenging the position of incumbent suppliers, but also creating opportunities for existing companies to expand their operations and for new entrants to disrupt the market. The technology has a cross-industry appeal. A random selection of the products that can conceivably be made with the technology includes machine parts, guns, toys, shoes, rubber pipes, and crockery. The energy industry is not immune to all challenges. It faces considerable pressure to reduce capital expenditure across a range of areas and the ability to simplify and speed up the supply chain would be a key part of that. In this report, Frost & Sullivan has provided insights into how the industry utilizes Additive Manufacturing to address these challenges and shed light on the possible future applications of the technology in this industry. This insight covers major Additive Manufacturing technologies that have been developed for use in both conventional and unconventional energy fields, with an overview of the top companies in this field. The study focuses on existing research, which has developed products for energy applications and future products which can significantly boost efficiency, lower capital and operational costs, and reduce the time to market for energy companies. The redesign of energy product supply chains allows for local manufacturing at (or near) the client location to become a reality. This entails not only the faster replacement of components, but also the introduction of newer and lighter materials. With an increasing push from product manufacturers and the increasing adoption by energy companies, several new standards and regulations are expected to come into place in order to integrate Additive Manufacturing into the energy industry. With Additive Manufacturing reducing product costs by 40% and the time to market by one-third, it is expected to make a significant contribution toward the energy industry in the future. The landscape of companies involved in this is broad and diverse. Key companies involved in this industry from an energy perspective include: major utilities, oil and gas exploration and production companies, oil and gas service companies, as well as the established technology OEMs, SMEs, and start-ups. Some of the key participants in this space are ENI, EnergyX, GE, Halliburton, Shell, Siemens, Utilight, and Verterra.

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