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British multinational oil and gas company BP has confirmed it is using 3D printing to manufacture components for its petrochemicals business. The company previously began integrating additive manufacturing to produce parts within its chemicals division, including agitators used inside catalytic reactors.
According to recent comments from David Eyton, BP’s head of technology, “3D printers are fantastic for making quite bespoke devices.”
IT - COULD - BE - TRANSFORMATIONAL - FOR
“IT COULD BE TRANSFORMATIONAL FOR PRODUCT SUPPLY CHAINS [AS] YOU CAN MAKE IT WHERE YOU NEED IT.”
BP’s cross-border Greater Tortue Ahmeyim development. Photo via BP.
BP - Year - Research - Development - Pilots
BP is said to invest approximately $400 million a year on research and development and commercial pilots and trials of new technology. As one of the world’s seven largest oil and gas publicly traded companies, commonly known as “supermajors” it invests a further $200 million annually in energy-based innovation through its in-house fund BP Ventures.
Using additive manufacturing, BP is aiming to create pipes and additional components for offshore platforms. The company is also exploring other industry 4.0 technologies as well as 3D printing, such as drones for routine inspections of pipelines in Alaska and “crawlers” – robotic devices used to monitor corrosion in pipes and risers.
Eyton - BP - Technology - Operation - Decade
According to Eyton, who has overseen BP’s global technology operation for a decade, the company’s use of Big Data has increased its oil production from the UK North Sea to Alaska and Indonesia. Eyton added:
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