SIRIM-Fraunhofer Programme

Moulding the future of Oil & Gas.

The foundry industry encompasses a wide range of players and applications. When it comes to the oil and gas industry in particular however, demand for SIRIM’s foundry services has been steadily picking up.

In the oil and gas industry, the foundry process plays a primary role in the manufacturing of various integral parts and components such as valve body and pump casings. Although this is a fairly new venture undertaken by SIRIM’s Foundry Technology Section, it has been making significant inroads in the marketplace.


The Foundry Process. Casting development is the transformation of ideas into functional metal casting


Building Capabilities

The Foundry Technology Section had migrated from non-engineering brassware to precision parts and components, and the signing of an agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) facilitated a five-year technology transfer project to garner expertise from their Japanese counterparts.

From 2010, the Section embarked on commercial development in the oil and gas sector. All parts and components for oil and gas industry will go through stringent quality control, testing and evaluation to ensure they meet industry standards.

Most oil and gas parts and components would typically have to be imported from overseas manufacturers. Today, oil and gas parts can be produced locally with our expertise. For example, SIRIM has successfully produced pump casings for a vendor of Petronas commercially. Petronas saw the potential of localising the manufacturing of their parts and components and have been working directly with SIRIM since 2013. SIRIM Foundry Technology section has been steadily building its reputation among the major industry players this way.

Another achievement in SIRIM’s foundry technology is the collaboration with Petroclamp Sdn Bhd, a local company that has successfully developed components for the industry with SIRIM’s support, and is now a licensed manufacturer of an oil and gas parts “Controline Protectors”, at par with global players. Inspired by such successes, SIRIM hopes that more entrepreneurs will come forward to take up the challenge of developing and manufacturing oil and gas components.

 

 

     

A Competitive Edge

In an industry with a fairly large pool of players, it is the quality that makes the difference, and in the oil and gas industry especially, quality is of utmost priority.

Living up to its name, SIRIM is definitely no stranger to quality. As a premier research and technology institute in the country, it has access to state-of-the-art facilities and advanced machineries as well as good understanding in quality control and testing standards to meet the stringent oil and gas industry requirements. This means that almost all operations in the value chain of making casting are within its control.

SIRIM’s capabilities that enable the localisation of parts and components manufacturing mean that its customers will have a distinct competitive edge over other players in the market. Malaysian players can enjoy significant time and cost savings by reducing overseas orders that can take up to six months. At SIRIM however, we have an average turnaround time of about four to 12 weeks, depending on the design and quality needed. SIRIM is also able to entertain small quantity orders, unlike some parts manufacturers that require a minimum order.


Y-Tee Joint Produced for PETRONAS
     
  Extensive Capabilities

The services offered by SIRIM’s Foundry Technology Section encompass six areas:

     

Design Engineering opens doors to new advances. In a technologically-centric industry such as oil and gas, it is an integral pillar in thrusting the industry forward. 


Fluid Progression. Computer fluid dynamics (CFD) refers to a computer-based tool that simulates systems involving fluid flow, and can be used effectively in a variety of oil and gas industry applications. 


Dynamic Design Engineering Solutions

Design engineering opens doors to new advances. In a technologically-centric industry such as oil and gas, it is an integral pillar in thrusting the industry forward. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and experienced professionals, SIRIM’s Design Engineering Section offers a wide range of services in various research and development as well as technology-related work in design and modelling.

Our Section has over two decades of experience in sectors such as automotive and in the process, has accumulated extensive expertise that can be easily applied to the oil and gas industry. Our Design Engineering is currently focused on computer-aided engineering, which encompasses structural finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). We also emphasise on parts and components design studies, for example, oil and gas piping thickness, flow rate and efficiency prediction prior to fabrication.

Computer fluid dynamics (CFD) refers to a computer-based tool that simulates systems involving fluid flow, and can be used effectively in a variety of oil and gas industry applications. Among others, it can simulate scenarios of oil flowing through a pipe and show how it affects the structure of the pipe, as well as other related aspects such as how the thickness of the pipe could affect its efficacy.

The CFD is able to perform detailed simulations and analyse problems, and thus has distinctive advantages over traditional modelling tools in providing optimised design solutions.

     

Enhancing Its Expertise

With the demand for such services steadily picking up, particularly in the emerging market of Southeast Asia, we are optimistic about the potentials of engineering and requirements in the development of parts and components despite of its fairly competitive areas, building up our expertise and reputation as we go along.

SIRIM’s Design Engineering Section was recently engaged in the construction of display models for oil and gas player Aker Solutions using a new state-of-the-art 3D printing and selective laser sintering (SLS) technology.

A conventional modeller might take several months to build one display model, but with the rapid prototyping technology that the 3D printer offers, we are confident of shortening the duration of the process significantly. With this comprehensive 3D printing solution in place, we hope that it will open doors to an even wider range of applications. This is an important breakthrough that the oil and gas industry can take advantage of.

SIRIM also hopes to expand its capabilities to include more solutions for the oil and gas industry. In addition to computer-aided engineering and display model fabrication, we are also looking forward to diversify our scope to cover analysis such as equipment defect investigation and fitness for service (FFS).

 
     

Y-Tee Piping components
Complementing Capabilities

Despite being relatively new to the industry, SIRIM’s Design Engineering Section has a fair share of success stories. Among them is the design study it conducted on the use of Y-Tee piping components for Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG) in Bintulu, Sarawak.

When dealing with a high-stakes industry such as oil and gas, it is important that the equipment is well designed to meet the relevant standards at minimal. We ensure the effectiveness of the designs so that the respective parts are durable and can function optimally.

Apart from that, our Design Engineering Section also provide services for equipment suppliers. The vendors come to us with their designs and we help them by conducting computer simulation exercises to predict the fluid dynamics behaviour and structural analysis to identify the relevant design parameters, such as component wall thickness.

Although we face some formidable competition within the region in this field, we will continue to diligently build on our strengths and foster customer confidence in our expertise. 

     


Tasked with the core role of research and development of advanced materials, SIRIM's Advanced Materials Research Centre (AMREC) has plenty to offer the oil and gas industry. 

amrec services

Equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment as well as a dedicated team of researchers and professional technical specialists, AMREC not only carries out research works, but also offers comprehensive technical services and consultancy.

 

AMREC is the national advanced materials research entity and has the strategic role of nucleating and championing development of indigenous materials technology.

amrec AMREC focuses on alternative materials, such as advanced polymer composites, which offer numerous properties that are advantageous to the oil and gas industry in terms of strength, weight as well as resistance to corrosion and erosion, to name a few.  

As an example, ceramic hard coating is being developed to enhance wear-resistance properties of oil and gas parts. This coating will prevent corrosion and improve the lifespan of these parts. With corrosion being a primary problem faced by oil and gas players, AMREC also conducts corrosion evaluation tests such as salt spray and anode passivity tests as part of its wide array of technical services.

AMREC also have the capabilities to determine the lifespan of various oil and gas components with periodic microstructure testing. The process involves onsite visits, replication works and laboratory studies.

In addition to its highly specialised expertise, SIRIM AMREC is supported by high-tech facilities. Some of the testing and characterisation work can be done in Malaysia instead of companies having to outsource these tasks to overseas testing laboratories.

 The x-Ray photoelectron measures the elemental composition within a material

     

In the Spotlight

With AMREC fast gaining recognition among oil and gas industry players, one promising area that has come to light is its capabilities in engineering materials.

For example, SIRIM has the localisation and re-engineering capabilities in the development of a natural gas vehicle (NGV) fuel storage tank made from carbon fibre composite materials that is more lightweight compared to conventional metal fuel tanks, and will encourage better fuel efficiency.

SIRIM has also been exploring with Petronas vendors as well as oil and gas local universities to identify potential development of new and improved materials for parts and components.

 Development of NGV fuel storage tank is now possible
     
Other Projects:
  • SIRIM also develop parts and components based on composite technology, and are currently working together with Universiti Teknologi Petronas to develop composite pipes.
  • SIRIM’s collaboration with NanoMalaysia Berhad and SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd to establish a nano-verification scheme for nano products, whereby AMREC is tasked with the testing and verification of the products.
Expanding Capabilities

As the nation moves toward the localisation of parts and components for the oil and gas industry, SIRIM through AMREC in turn looks forward to more collaborative efforts with the major oil and gas players as well as local vendors in terms of providing the necessary technology and expertise.

Ultimately, we hope that our capabilities, particularly in these focused areas, will in turn enable the local players to develop their capabilities and realise their ideas.

     



Increase Productivity and Technology Management Capability for SMEs with the SIRIM-Fraunhofer Programme

SIRIM has been mandated by the Government to increase technology penetration and upgrading the Malaysian SMEs with the aim of boosting the industrial productivity. As such, SIRIM, with the collaboration of Fraunhofer Institute, a prominent technology institute in Germany and the largest applied research organisation in Europe, has developed several initiatives under the SIRIM Innovation Model, which is a step to reinforce the relationship between SIRIM and SMEs in an effort to establish a successful SME innovation ecosystem. 

Below are information highlighting the programme: (in-progress)

Expanding SME potentials with Technology and Innovation Inside: Bringing Innovation to SMEs,
The Fraunhofer advantage
Sparking Innovations among SMEs 
Inside: Enhancing the economic ecosystem for SMEs
 
 
 Cultivating Innovative Solutions 
Inside: Technology Management - A resource for more competitive SMEs
 
Advancing Commercialisation
Inside: A very fruitful relationship with SIRIM
 

 


 

In tandem with the growth of the oil and gas industry, SIRIM has expanded its expertise to include services related to oil and gas, and has been steadily building a reputation in this sector in the past decade.


SIRIM offers a wide range of services that are relevant to the oil and gas industry, including conceptual design, machining, testing and calibration, quality systems, failure analysis and training in welding. These services, coupled with the role as a standards organisation has made SIRIM a natural choice for oil and gas companies.
SIRIM’s involvement in the development of parts and components for the oil and gas sector benefits from it expertise in modelling, engineering analysis, digitising, prototyping and small lot production through machining and foundry works to develop parts and components that would otherwise have to be imported. It has also ventured into R&D and new product development for the replacement or enhancement of parts and components for the upstream and downstream activities.
 
SIRIM’s present focus includes enhancing its engineering capabilities and collaborating with local vendors in particular to pursue new innovations and help boost their profile in the process.
 
This is an area that typically requires huge monetary investment, something that small and medium enterprises might not be able to do, and in fact many of the larger companies may also choose to shy away from, preferring to subcontract the relevant projects out.
 
This is where SIRIM plays an important role in providing the stepping stones to help move the country’s oil and gas industry forward, by working with vendors, especially small and medium enterprises, in localising the manufacture of parts and components such as piping valves – from design and development right up to testing.
 
It was around two years ago when SIRIM had one of its biggest breakthroughs in the industry that resulted in a heightened awareness of its capabilities among industry players, a vendor of Petronas had approached SIRIM to develop Y-Tee joints for the piping system of gas refineries in Bintulu, Sarawak.
 
Together with the vendor, SIRIM designed and manufactured the joints using a foundry process, successfully producing a prototype that met the necessary requirements. This success placed them within the line of sight of Petronas, which then approached them and is currently collaborating with them to identify other potential areas of parts and components localisation.
 

Championing Local Innovations

In that respect, SIRIM does not view itself as an industry competitor per se. Instead, it complements the innovation endeavours of the vendors. Its core business in technology encompassing research and development and consultation as well as technology development and transfer has the necessary facilities and capabilities to work together with vendors to improve their current products or develop new products.
 
SIRIM’s recent collaboration with Petroclamp Sdn Bhd (Petroclamp) is an example. Helmed by a group of entrepreneurs with professional backgrounds in oil and gas, Petroclamp had come up with an innovative solution for clamping equipment, but it did not have the necessary facilities to realise the idea.
SIRIM then worked with Petroclamp to come up with the design and prototype. The equipment was tested by the relevant oil and gas companies and proved to be successful.
 
Buoyed by the success of this project, SIRIM hopes to be able to continue to facilitate the growth of local parts and components manufacturers in this field.
 

Optimistic Outlook

When it comes to oil and gas, there is one direction that SIRIM can move – forward, by  continuously collaborating with local players to work on parts and components for both local and overseas markets.
 
The upcoming Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) in Johor will also see the expansion of SIRIM’s capabilities in participating in and offering its expertise to the project, and consequently, its name within the oil and gas industry.