Manufacturing Giant Doosan Taps Pelagus 3D to 3D Print Spare Parts for Korean Market


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The recently formed Pelagus 3D is probably the biggest thing in additive manufacturing (AM) that no one is talking about. A joint venture between steel giant Thyssenkrupp and Wilhelmsen, a leader in shipping supply and services, the firm has the goal of normalizing the use of 3D printing for producing spare parts within the marine industry. Now, Singapore-based Pelagus has recently signed a memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Doosan, a Korean conglomerate with approximately $20 billion in revenue. to focus on marine spare parts.

Doosan’s diverse portfolio includes construction equipment, turbines, robots, desalination plants, nuclear power plants, and notably, the compact Bobcat excavators. This particular MOU was signed by Kenlip Ong, CEO of Pelagus 3D, and Yongjin Song, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Innovation at Doosan Enerbility, which focuses on power plant construction and generator manufacturing within Doosan. The agreement aims to digitize the supply chain of Doosan smart parts in Korea, benefiting both Doosan and other Korean companies. Furthermore, the collaboration intends to make spare parts accessible to shipping and energy firms, with Doosan also becoming a user of Pelagus services.

“The MOU signing with Doosan Enerbility marks a pivotal milestone in creating a more resilient and efficient spare parts supply chain. This collaboration will drive technological innovation and deliver enhanced value to our network in Korea. The Pelagus Platform will ensure seamless integration and accelerate adoption of AM among OEMs and end users,” said Kenlip Ong, of Pelagus 3D.

“Doosan Enerbility has been demonstrating the technological excellence and economic feasibility of its AM business to its wide range of customers in not only the power generation sector, but those in the defence and aerospace sectors as well. Under this partnership, we plan to do our utmost to further promote the growth of the AM business and develop new markets,” Yongjin Song, of Doosan Enerbility stated.

The market for marine spare parts represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity. Apart from another firm, Ivaldi, the rest of the 3D printing industry appears to largely overlook this potential. While many are seeking new applications in sectors like automotive, the marine industry, with approximately 100,000 ships at sea, has been notably neglected. The cost implications of a ship waiting for spare parts—potentially for days or weeks—are significant, potentially costing ship owners, shipping firms, and their clients thousands or even millions of dollars per day.

Pelagus 3D aims to bridge the significant capability gap in the marine industry by creating an end-to-end digital platform that is standards-compliant and operational around the clock. By collaborating with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Kawasaki and end-users like Var Energy, Pelagus has proactively addressed the elephant in the room that has been overlooked in the excitement about 3D printed spare parts: the involvement of the original manufacturers. Typically, discussions about 3D printed spare parts focus on components that are out of production or made by companies that are no longer in business, avoiding the delicate issue of engaging with current manufacturers. However, Pelagus recognizes the importance of including these firms in the conversation, thereby removing a significant obstacle to the acceptance and implementation of 3D printing for spare parts within the industry.

What others should recognize is that Doosan’s collaboration with Pelagus goes beyond merely supporting Pelagus’ initiatives for 3D printed spare parts; it effectively means Doosan is standardizing its digitization efforts on Pelagus’ platform. Given Doosan’s significant size and market presence, it’s improbable that the company would shift to a new supplier in the future. This strategic alignment suggests that for companies like Authentise or 3YOURMIND, Pelagus could emerge as either a significant partner or a formidable competitor. Pelagus is positioning itself as a potential kingmaker in the software segment of 3D printing. The implications of Pelagus mandating the use of specific software like Materialise Magics—or choosing to promote or standardize another solution—are substantial. Additionally, consider the vast market influence Pelagus could wield over 3D printing services, material companies, and 3D printer manufacturers in the long run.

At the same time, Pelagus is expanding its focus beyond the already significant maritime sector to include opportunities in defense and aerospace. This is the number one thing that we should be talking about in 3D printing today: how can AM be industrialized for large companies and industries that have, until now, been hesitant to adopt it? Pelagus’s strategy to become a major platform for the industrialization and digitization of manufacturing processes is just such a play that could, in the coming years, generate billions of dollars in 3D printing revenue.

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