JIT Large-Part Production Brings Refinery Back Online on Schedule

April 26, 2022

Lincoln-Electric-ChevronLincoln Electric used its large-scale, metal 3D printing process to deliver just-in-time (JIT) parts to Chevron USA, Inc., helping to bring a Chevron refinery back online according to schedule.

During a recent routine-maintenance shutdown, extended lead times and supply-chain delays on traditionally manufactured parts challenged Chevron’s planned restart schedule. Chevron’s Additive Engineering team worked with Lincoln Electric to get back on schedule using additive manufacturing (AM) to print critical replacement parts that would meet production and quality standards.

“Our planned maintenance schedule was in jeopardy due to current supply-chain issues,” says Robert Rettew, Chevron materials technology engineer. “We realized that this supply crunch could impact operations and our bottom line. We worked with Lincoln Electric to explore how parts could be created faster so that we could resume operations as planned.”

The two teams worked together, along with personnel from Stress Engineering Services, Inc., to print eight nickel-alloy replacement parts, averaging approximately 3 ft. in length and weighing more than 500 lb. each, within 30 days.

“We are pleased to work with Chevron and showcase the value of JIT production using AM, and its ability to prevent facility downtime,” says Christopher L. Mapes, Lincoln Electric chairman and CEO. “Metal 3D printing for large-sized metal parts, molds, tooling and prototypes is a game-changing solution for various end markets, including industrial manufacturing, energy and aerospace. When speed-to-market, design flexibility and reduced costs take priority; our printing technology provides the ultimate answer.”

Reportedly the largest wire-metal 3D printing factory in the world, Lincoln Electric’s AM operation for high-mix, low-volume applications in Cleveland, OH, is capable of printing metal-based parts to 7 ft. in length and weighing in excess of 5000 lb. The company’s process employs its own SculptPrint software, robotic cells and welding wire to produce parts. 

Industry-Related Terms: Additive manufacturing
View Glossary of 3D Metal Printing Terms


See also: Lincoln Electric Co.

Technologies: Directed-Energy Systems


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