Australian startup Aurora Labs specializes in developing 3D metal printers, powders, digital parts, and associated intellectual property (IP). The company is doing very well for itself – it became the top-performing IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange within only a few months of its initial listing, and NASA has expressed interest in its large-scale metal 3D printer. Last month, Aurora Labs signed a Binding Term Sheet with professional engineering services business WorleyParsons, also based in Australia, to set up a commercial venture, later revealed to be an Additive Manufacturing Solution Center. The company has now announced the signing of a non-binding term sheet with global quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL.
DNV GL offers technical assurance, software, classification, and independent expert advisory services to the renewables, power, maritime, and oil & gas industries. This isn’t the company’s first foray into additive manufacturing technology, as it signed an MOU last month that centers around using drones, simulations, and 3D printing to help transform Singapore’s offshore and marine sector.
“While Additive Manufacturing (AM) is raising more and more interest in various industries, the adoption level in the oil and gas and maritime industries is still slow due to challenges in qualification and certification,” said Brice Le Gallo, Regional Manager for SEA & Australia, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “We are pleased to partner with Aurora and believe that our collaboration will help advance the use of AM for the oil and gas and marine industries.”
Thanks to this new agreement with DNV GL, Aurora will advance the certification of its 3D printed parts, which should, in the company’s words, “facilitate the take-up” of its 3D printers in the marine and oil & gas markets, because 3D printed parts currently can’t be used without certification in these industries.
In order for a 3D printed part, and a 3D printing process, to be independently certified for use, several additional flow on areas also need to receive independent certification, such as the installation environment and the 3D printer operators, the design validation process, the 3D printer itself, and powder testing for chemistry, morphology, and other critical performance criteria. So by taking this step and signing the non-binding term sheet with DNV GL, Aurora is setting up an important framework to achieve its goal of producing 3D printed parts on its machines that can meet global certification requirements.
“This partnership is a substantial achievement for Aurora as it will ultimately allow for certification of our 3D-printed parts as fit for their intended purpose. This is particularly important as many industries such as oil and gas and marine require certification of parts in order to be able to utilise them in their facilities,” said David Budge, Managing Director and Interim Chairman for Aurora Labs. “DNV GL will support us in helping establish certification covering the whole value chain, from powders to parts, certifying the technical performance of our technology, and independently endorsing our processes and products. The independent certification will provide us with enhanced credibility when speaking to potential customers and will be a big step forward in recognition of the technology we have developed.”
According to the terms of the agreement, it proposes to develop a certification standard for Aurora, as well as develop a process where DNV GL can independently certify parts that are 3D printed on Aurora’s machines. Additionally, the end to end certification process, including Aurora’s management software, needs to allow parts to be certified during the actual 3D printing process, as well as having the completed parts independently verified by DNV GL.
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