There are numerous scupper plugs on a vessel and each drainage hole on the open deck has its own scupper plug. Scupper plugs are used for closing drainage holes to prevent oil spills or other contaminant spills on a ship.
“Spare parts are currently a pain point, and we have trouble with for instance scupper plugs as they are easily stolen for their brass components. They are expensive, and we are constantly needing to replace them. By replacing them with plastic, we are eliminating any possibility of theft, and best of all, we get them on-demand within a short period of time,” said Captain Tarun K Gupta, master of Berge Mafadi.
Sim Teck Siang, procurement manager at Berge Bulk, explained: “Scupper plugs are expensive, and there are no universal dimensions, which means that when you have a broken element, you have to buy a new scupper plug. With additive manufacturing, we are able to procure scupper plugs faster, cheaper and locally. If any part breaks, we can replace that one part instead of the whole unit.”
Wilhelmsen, as part of their ongoing cooperation with Ivaldi Group, has delivered several 3D printed parts to the Berge Bulk vessel, and scupper plugs were one of the part categories.
“Humble as the scupper plug may be, we believe it a step in transforming an entire industry: By sending files rather than scupper plugs we are amongst other things able to reduce CO2 emissions on this one part by some 54% and this gives me great hope for the possibility of a more sustainable future for supply and logistics,” said Espen Sivertsen, ceo of Ivaldi Group.
The provision of the 3D printed scupper plug comes under Wilhelmsen’s Early Adopter Program where its customers access to on-demand additive manufacturing launched by Wilhelmsen’s Marine Products division in December 2019. Customers include Berge Bulk, Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Executive Ship Management, and Wilhelmsen Ship Management.