Innovative Joint Venture: thyssenkrupp and Wilhelmsen Bundle 3D Printing Capacities

(Image credit: thyssenkrupp)

The two industrial companies thyssenkrupp and Wilhelmsen have founded a joint venture, "Pelagus 3D," which will in future offer spare parts for the maritime industry worldwide via a digital platform. The new company will use modern additive manufacturing technology and a global partner network to produce and deliver spare parts more efficiently in terms of time and cost.

Customers will therefore be able to ensure the seaworthiness of their ships and maintain their operations as planned. Pelagus 3D thus addresses the challenge of high transport and storage costs as well as the longer duration of conventional manufacturing processes in the maritime sector.

For the joint venture, thyssenkrupp contributes, on the one hand, its technological expertise in additive manufacturing as well as capabilities from its own Tech Centers in Singapore and Germany to supply 3D metal products for application in shipping and other industries. thyssenkrupp Materials Services, the company’s materials distribution, and service provider, further adds deep knowledge in the development of digital supply chain solutions and platforms. The experts, for example, built the platform that is used for Pelagus 3D. The global shipping group Wilhelmsen, in turn, brings in its in-depth maritime expertise and direct ongoing experience in understanding the needs of vessel fleet managers, supporting the delivery of a wide portfolio of maritime products and services for an array of vessels.

“The global economy relies on resilient and flexible supply chains. The dynamic market environment has shown us this again and again, at least since Corona,” says Ilse Henne, Chief Transformation Officer of thyssenkrupp Materials Services. “In our partnership with Wilhelmsen, we are showing how we can maintain the operation of ships and secure the flow of goods in shipping, which is so important for international trade.

“Through our collaboration with thyssenkrupp, we are able to introduce Pelagus 3D to the market and solve a substantial and evolutionary logistics puzzle. Not only is Wilhelmsen excited to see Pelagus 3D being released, but as the shaper of the maritime industry, we are also proud to finally offer this service to the global merchant fleet,” says Kjell André Engen, President of Wilhelmsen Ships Service.

Global partner network for various technologies and local manufacturing

At the heart of Pelagus 3D will be the digital platform developed by thyssenkrupp Materials Services, which will serve as a link between customers as well as ship managers and OEMs. Through this platform, the joint venture will have access to a global partner network with various manufacturing technologies, first and foremost printing technologies. This allows the company to respond to requests to print any material. Moreover, manufacturing will take place locally where the spare part is needed, so that long transport distances can be avoided.

Pelagus 3D will be headquartered in Singapore. It will be managed by Ken Lip Ong, Head of TechCenter Additive Manufacturing at thyssenkrupp in Singapore, as CEO, and Håkon Ellekjær, Head of Ventures for 3D Printing at Wilhelmsen, as CCO. The Supervisory Board includes Cetin Nazikkol, Chief Transformation Officer and CEO of the Asia Pacific Africa Region at thyssenkrupp AG, Dr Sebastian Smerat, Head of Customer Innovation at thyssenkrupp Materials Services, as well as Kjell André Engen, President of Wilhelmsen Ship Services, and Nakhul Malhotra, Vice President Emerging Opportunities Portfolio at Wilhemsen.

New joint venture an integral part of thyssenkrupp Materials Services’ corporate strategy

Pelagus 3D will be part of thyssenkrupp Materials Services’ innovation portfolio. As one of the world’s leading companies in the global materials distribution and services sector, thyssenkrupp Materials Services is consistently pursuing new digital business models as part of its “Materials as a Service” strategy in order to grow. “We want to use innovations strategically to digitalize offers and supply chains, make them transparent and thus enable new forms of value creation,” says Dr Sebastian Smerat. In addition to the 50% share in Pelagus 3D, the portfolio includes other corporate ventures such as “pacemaker”, an AI-based forecasting solution, or “toii”, an IIoT solution for optimizing production processes.


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