During a recent routine maintenance shutdown, extended lead times and supply chain delays on traditionally manufactured parts challenged Chevron’s planned restart schedule.
Chevron is a provider of energy services engaged in every aspect of the oil and natural gas industries, including hydrocarbon exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation.
To help Chevron get back on schedule, the Additive Engineering team of the energy company worked with Lincoln Electric to fabricate critical replacement parts that would meet production and quality standards.
For those who do not know, Lincoln Electric has built up expertise in engineering, design, manufacturing of advanced arc welding solutions, automated joining, assembly and cutting systems, as well as plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment. Thanks to this 126-year-old heritage and $500M USD automation business, the company has created an additive manufacturing division (Lincoln Electric Additive Solutions) that delivers services based on robotic gas metal arc welding.
While we do not doubt of the company’s expertise (remember its insights into the exclusive feature highlighting the disguised complexities of Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing), it’s always interesting to see the applications its technology can enable.
“Our planned maintenance schedule was in jeopardy due to current supply chain issues,” said Robert Rettew, Materials Technology Engineer. “We realized this supply crunch could impact operations and our bottom line. We worked with Lincoln Electric to explore how parts could be created faster so we could resume operations as planned.”
Using Additive Manufacturing and the expertise of industry experts from Stress Engineering Services, Inc., the two teams 3D printed eight nickel alloy replacement parts that averaged approximately 3 ft. (0.9 m) in length and over 500 lbs. (226 kg) each in a total of just 30 days.
As it was the case with the production of this 3D printed multi-material F-16 hydraulic tube clamp, our guess is that Stress Engineering Services helped to validate the parts that have been produced by both partners.
“We are pleased to work with Chevron and showcase the value of just-in-time production using additive manufacturing, and its ability to prevent facility downtime,” said Christopher L. Mapes, Lincoln Electric’s Chairman and CEO. “Metal 3D printing for large-sized metal parts, molds, tooling and prototypes is a game-changing solution for various end markets, including industrial manufacturing, energy and aerospace. When speed-to-market, design flexibility and reduced costs take priority; our printing technology provides the ultimate answer.”
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Featured image: Chevron Corporation’s oil rig