Energy Industry Secures Lower Costs as Additive Manufacturing Enables Internal Parts Production

Localization of 3D/4D printing at client locations to alter business models and encourage the use of innovative materials, finds Frost & Sullivan

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – November 28, 2018

The mainstreaming of additive manufacturing, or 3D/4D printing, is disrupting conventional supply chains by not only challenging the position of incumbent parts suppliers, but also creating opportunities for existing companies to expand their operations. With 3D printers becoming affordable, several novel business models that account for greater customer participation in product manufacturing are likely to find enthusiastic acceptance among energy companies.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Impact of Additive Manufacturing (3D/4D Printing) on the Global Energy Sector, showcases the ways in which the industry employs additive manufacturing and lists its possible future applications. It covers major additive manufacturing technologies that have been developed for use in both conventional and unconventional energy fields, and includes an overview of the top companies in the market. The key end-user participants include major utilities, oil and gas exploration and production companies, oil & gas service companies, and established technology OEMs, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups. 

Additive manufacturing's ability to speed up the production process and decrease product costs by 40 percent is expected to enhance its appeal in the energy industry. The main growth opportunities for 3D/4D printing in this sector include:

  • Greater usage of cloud services in order to reach the customers quickly. Product designs can be uploaded on the cloud for use by clients or local service providers that can recreate the products locally.
  • Redesign of the factory floors to store and maintain 3D printing materials.
  • Alliance with government agencies to obtain the initial funding for the development of 3D printing. These partnerships can lead to the creation of high-technology products with acceptable levels of risk.
  • Partnerships with local industrial giants for greater market access and reduced investment in local supply chains.
  • Acquisition of local 3D printing firms to lower cost and the time to market.
  • Reduction of global supply chains to local, smaller, faster, and closer supply chains.

Source: Frost & Sullivan

Illustration Photo: Tianjin Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Plant Project in the People's Republic of China (credits: Asian Development Bank / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

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