Malin Marine Consultants, part of the Malin Group and specialists in the marine industry, have been awarded support through the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), for their exciting new project MariLight. MariLight seeks to develop new processes for building marine components using Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) technology to create cleaner, more sustainable fabrication solutions for the shipping industry.
At present, the marine transport industry contributes around 940m tonnes of CO2 emission annually (2.5% of the global greenhouse emissions). The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is committed to reducing emissions from international shipping and is working to phase them out. Its initial strategy identifies technological innovation as integral to achieving the overall ambition, whilst introducing rules requiring ships to be designed and built in an energy-efficient fashion, measured by the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).
In the UK there is considerable emphasis on reducing emissions to reach greener maritime transport solutions, with the stated target of decarbonising all sectors to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050. In order to do so, current design and manufacturing processes must be investigated and improved upon.
The MariLight project aims to provide the marine industry with a clear route to using LSAM for certified and approved component fabrication, moving from conventional, manual fabrication processes to an automated and flexible rapid manufacturing route. If successful, the project could result in considerable savings for the industry including global fleet savings of 7.7m tonnes of steel, a 90% reduction in manufacturing lead time, 60% energy savings and 20% reduction in production time.
Led by Malin Group, MariLight will also generate a robust business case, detailing features such as lightweighting, CO2 reduction, and cost benefits to inform not only the marine industry, but also other industry sectors.
Chris Dunn, Managing Director of Malin Marine Consultants stated, “This is an exciting project which may fundamentally change the way in which the industry works. It may transform not only the types of vessels we create, but the means and manner by which we do so, producing better working conditions, reduced emissions and energy savings. We are incredibly thankful for the support from the DfT and Innovate UK, as well as our partners in the project consortium – we cannot wait to kick things off.”
Malin Marine Consultants will be joined in this project by a host of industry experts, including Altair Engineering, BAE Systems, Lloyd’s Register, and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).
Adam Saxty, Lead Additive Manufacturing Technologist at Lloyd’s Register stated, “Lloyd’s Register is committed to supporting the maritime industry in its efforts to decarbonise and build the resilience of the total infrastructure, shipping, and supply chains that global transportation and trade routes rely upon. Additive manufacturing is helping to achieve this. However, significant barriers exist to ensuring quality and safety. The MariLight project is an excellent opportunity to understand how we can scale up the technology and provide certified components which are fit for marine use.”
Dr Misael Pimentel, Senior Manufacturing Engineer, DED-Arc Theme Lead, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, said: “The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is excited to support the country’s iconic shipbuilding industry with its drive towards net- zero. We are exploring the role of topology-optimised designs, large-scale additive manufacturing, and automation in delivering lighter and more sustainable marine vessels. Together with major shipbuilding stakeholders, including BAE Systems and the Malin Group, we look forward to delivering real impact for industry.”
Meanwhile, Jamie Buchanan, Technical Director, Altair Engineering stated “Altair has been helping industry to design material efficient structures for over three decades through the development and application of innovative software technology such as topology optimisation. This drive for efficiency has never been more relevant than today as we all strive for Net Zero. This project provides a fantastic opportunity to couple Altair’s simulation solutions with large-scale additive manufacturing processes to produce innovative structures that will have a real beneficial impact on the marine industry.”
If successful, the project will deliver outcomes that can be exploited by a variety of different markets, from the automotive industry to Oil & Gas. This in turn will provide the UK with opportunities to be more competitive and diversified, whilst creating jobs in highly skilled areas.
This exciting project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), United Kingdom and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC2, the Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.
The CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.