Australia’s Woodside has deployed its first 3D-printed component into critical service on a producing asset.

The company’s innovative move saw a 3D-printed valve installed on its Goodwyn A platform Down Under.

Woodside collaborated with the FutureLab at Monash University, along with external original equipment manufacturers, to apply 3D printing — also known as additive manufacturing — in the redesign of a stainless-steel monoflange body, a type of double block and bleed valve used to safely isolate instruments during maintenance work.

Woodside executive vice president sustainability Shaun Gregory said additive manufacturing can solve many of the problems that heavy industry faces when it comes to replacing parts that the original equipment manufacturer can no longer supply.

“It can be energy intensive, time consuming and expensive to source replacements for such parts,” he said.

“Using additive manufacturing offers an innovative solution to these constraints.

“Our application of this technology means that we can fully utilise the flexibility that it allows, enabling us to update and improve the design of replacement parts and embed additional efficiencies into our operations,” he added.

The next component to be installed under Woodside’s programme will be an additively manufactured stainless-steel inducer on the Okha floating production, storage and offloading facility, which is operating in the Carnarvon basin offshore Australia.

The company has also developed a digital app that allows users to submit requests for items to be additively manufactured.

After being screened, requests are passed to a vendor which will print and deliver the part, the details of which will subsequently be added to Woodside’s digital library.

“The roll-out of additive manufacturing at Woodside leverages the latest technology and manufacturing processes and provides us with a competitive edge,” Gregory said.

“At Woodside, we embrace innovation, and our digital app will further empower our people to continue looking for opportunities to apply additive manufacturing in our operations.”