Wilhelmsen CE Certified 3D Printed Lifting Tool for Wartsila
Manufacturing engines that power a third of the world’s largest cargo ships Wartsila often needs to fabricate specialist tools to solve problems and optimize efficiencies with its equipment onboard. The lifting tool is one such example. It is critical to building and servicing large engines, allowing engineers to move immensely heavy engine parts, such as pistons. Typically, such parts are both expensive and time consuming to manufacture and deliver, and the Wilhelmsen and thyssenkrupp, with their joint effort in optimizing delivery of 3D printed parts, were the right partners to experiment new possibilities when bringing parts to the maritime market.
Keen to realize the enormous potential of additive manufacturing for the maritime market, the ongoing collaboration with thyssenkrupp, and recently announced joint venture with the German industrial group, means Wilhelmsen is ideally placed to optimize the production and delivery of 3D printed spare parts. Utilizing industry-leading 3D design and fabrication dramatically reduces lead times. Taking just a couple of weeks, rather than the months an original spare part would have taken to arrive, the last mile delivery by drone is an added bonus, further speeding up the process.
A very clear proof of concept, the successful nighttime delivery establishes a solid foundation for potential future collaboration between the innovative engine manufacturer and Wilhelmsen.
Reducing the weight of the part, from the 9kg of the original, which is machined out solid steel, down to just 2kg for the 3D printed version, the new version is manufactured from carbon fibre. While the new version is easier, lighter, and safer to use onboard, it sacrifices nothing in terms of strength or durability and is both Class and Type Approved.
The new design splits the tool into various separate parts to best leverage continuous carbon fiber reinforcement and enabled the lifting tool to lift a 240KG engine piston at the first time of asking. In addition, the modular nature of the design means any damaged parts can be switched out easily and the complete part can be disassembled and packed down for shipment. This makes dramatic nighttime deliveries to vessels by drone a reality as the payload of these is limited in terms of weight and size.