Drones, 3D Printing … but no blockchain!

Equinor flies a ‘3D printed nozzle’ out to an offshore platform, by drone!

In an epitome of a ‘transformation’, digital or not, Equinor has announced a ‘world’s first’ logistics operation involving flying a drone from its Mongstad base to the Troll A platform in the North Sea. But the cherry on the transformative cake was the drone’s cargo, a 3D-printed ‘diesel nozzle holder’ for the platform’s lifeboat system! The part was out of stock, so it was re-designed and modelled in 3D before printing in Inconel 718 on a 3D metal printer.

A Camcopter S-100 from Schiebel made the 80km flight in around an hour at an altitude of approx. 5000 feet. The 4 meter long drone can carry a load of up to 50kg. Flight operator was Nordic Unmanned (sic).

Equinor’s Arne Sigve Nylund sees a huge potential in drone technology ‘that could transform the way we operate, both under and above the sea surface. Drones could improve safety, boost production efficiency and contribute to lower CO2 emissions’. Our congratulations to Equinor’s PR folks for bringing us this spectacular digital transformation demonstration. All that is missing is a reference to blockchain!

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