Wood Group Pressure Control (WGPC), a subsidiary of John Wood Group PLC of Aberdeen, Scotland, is a market leader in the manufacture of surface wellhead equipment and gate valves for the oil and gas industry. WGPC employs more than 800 people, has 40 offices worldwide and manufactures equipment at five facilities on four continents.
WGPC's sales force regularly has relied on 2D drawings to communicate how products work in a real-world environment because the large size of the components make it impossible to present the customer with product samples. Despite the sales force's diligent attempts to prepare for all contingencies, customers often have questions that can't be answered by looking at a 2D drawing.
The Dimension Solution
Wood Group turned to the Dimension BST® 3D Printer to help solve its product model issues. The Dimension BST is a networked, desktop modeling system that builds functional 3D models with ABS plastic from the bottom up, one layer at a time.
In less than three months, Wood Group was able to develop functional models in-house for more than 100 components, a feat that would have cost thousands of dollars and taken much longer using outside service providers and less advanced technology.
"By reducing the cost of making the models, we have the flexibility to create larger quantities and more varieties for use by the sales force, as well as smaller, single-purpose models for very specific customer needs," said Linda Knight, Marketing Manager for WGPC. "The plastic models are also very light weight compared to the aluminum models, which makes them easier to handle and less expensive to ship."