PowderHeads: Episode 15

Additive Manufacturing Encouraging Growth and Change with Mikhail Gladkikh

Carpenter Technology's, Luke Boyer, Applications Manager for PowderLife, is joined by Mikhail Gladkikh, Global Leader of Additive Manufacturing Services at Baker Hughes, a leading energy technology company. In this episode, we cover Mikhail's history in additive manufacturing (AM), and how his role and experience have evolved in Baker Hughes over the years. We also take a deeper dive into how AM is encouraging growth and change in different industries.

You can read the transcript or listen to the full episode below. 



Full Transcript

Intro (00:00):

Hi everyone. And welcome back to PowderHeads, a Carpenter Additive podcast. With each episode of PowderHeads, we bring you the minds of industry experts and delve into topics that are defining how additive manufacturing is making an impact on our world. Today, we set our sights on energy technology, joining us is Mikhail Gladkikh, Global Leader of Additive Services at Houston Texas-based, Baker Hughes, a global energy technology company. Baker Hughes provides the energy industry with a wide array of products and services. Mikhail sits down for discussion with Luke Boyer, senior additive manufacturing engineer with Carpenter Additive. Mikhail speaks a bit about his history in AM and how his role and experience have evolved within Baker Hughes. It's a PowderHeads discussion about how AM is encouraging growth and change in different industries.
Thanks for listening and enjoy the conversation.

Luke Boyer (01:10):

Hi Mikhail, it's very nice to see you again. Uh, I thought maybe it'd be a good, uh, a good start to this. If you could just go ahead and introduce yourself.

Mikhail Gladkikh (01:18):

Yeah. To, to introduce myself. My name is Mikhail Gladkiv with Baker Hughes for, um, what about 16 years? Uh, different roles and about six years with Additive file. So in different, um, different roles, um, throughout my career.

Luke Boyer (01:33):

Yeah. Excellent. And Mikhail you, and I know each other, uh, from, from working in the Additive group back at Baker Hughes. Um, and I was just wondering if you could give a little bit of your experience, you know, kind of your Additive journey, if you will even just kind of leading up into Additive, uh, at Baker.

Mikhail Gladkikh (01:51):

Yeah. So I have a background in applied mathematics. So I joined Baker Hughes in 2005, uh, as a researcher in formation evaluation science group. And it took my career, took me through my roles and ballistics engineering, perforating, uh, logistics, supply chain transformation, um, divestitures. And then in 20 15, 20 16, I joined the Baker Hughes enterprise technology team as a design for excellence lead, overseeing emerging technologies in the company and Additive manufacturing was among those. Um, my responsibility was, uh, adoption of Additive manufacturing, uh, throughout the company in Product lines and associated change management, process finding internal business cases, um, on doing training and that, that kind of thing in 2017, I joined, uh,additive team, uh, central excellence per se, where I was leading supply chain, the manufacturing itself, and, um, also internal business development. And then in 2019, I was asked to develop a strategy for the company for the future of design and manufacturing.

Mikhail Gladkikh (03:08):

And this took me, um, to go to a lot of external players in the industry, Baker Hughes customers, Baker Hughes suppliers to find, um, pain points where potential market opportunities, where the growth areas are. Um, and this became a catalyst for exploring external Additive services business for Baker Hughes. And, uh, I am part of that external business strategy services right now. Uh, editing is a core capability for Baker Hughes and a great example of how we use digital technologies to transform on design and on the fracturing and overall the future of industry and how we work in this area.

Luke Boyer (03:50):

Yeah. So you and I met probably around 2015, 2016. And, uh, shortly after I joined and we together, we kind of went through a lot of ups and downs, uh, you know, the entire oil and gas industry did. Right. And, uh, and how we were using Additive. It was applied to oil and gas, um, you know, was a bit of a journey, right? What, what was, what was your perspective on that, in the roles that you were in? Uh,

Mikhail Gladkikh (04:18):

So oil and gas is a black industry, right? And yeah, you need to find, you need to look long term. Um, yes, there are ups and downs, but you need to persevere through them, especially in, um, in when working with emerging technologies and implementing something different, something completely, um, new for the company, such as that you need to keep that long-term perspective and persevere, and yes, there are ups and downs, uh, but the opportunities will be, will be here nevertheless, and you need to see the, the growth and the finish line. And that's what we love to do.

Luke Boyer (04:56):

I, uh, I, I always joke that, uh, that my career has had nothing, but, uh, but a rollercoaster, you know, the oil and gas prepared me for, for a global pandemic in terms of, in terms of trying to keep a longterm future outlook. Right. So, um, so I, you know, when I was at Baker, I mean, we were dabbling in all sorts of modalities of Additive manufacturing. You know, do you have any, it's hard to say this, right? Like any one in particular that kind of gets you, uh, you know, kind of drummed up that you're really excited about that you see, you know, high potential and outlook for, and if so, like what are, what are the applications, or is application based technology, you know, uh, challenge based? Like what, where were, where do you see things?

Mikhail Gladkikh (05:42):

I usually don't think about things in general that way. I'm like, what is, what is your favorite, um, band or music record? I don't mean today. It's one thing tomorrow. It depends on the time of day. Depends on your mood and kind of, I think additive, additive is definitely a toolbox and it's part of a bigger in general manufacturing toolbox. So it needs to find its place within that overall manufacturing industry. Um, which is, is, it's an interesting question. I just came back from rapid, uh, trade show that happened last week in Chicago. We, we were in a huge convention center, the biggest in Chicago, um, several floors, um, and there were two concurrent conferences. So Wrap it. And then those Fabtech Fabtech took 90% of the convention center Fabtech is manufacturing, trade show, large, large areas covered with your huge CNC centers, machines, robots, everything, and, um, Rapid, which is dedicated to additive, was relegated to the basement.

Mikhail Gladkikh (06:52):

The thing is added if needs to find its place on the upper floor and find the, find that the it's a tool and toolbox, right. And whatever, whenever we talking about different additive methods or modalities, it's all, it depends on the application. It depends on what, what is your, um, what is your need? What is the part? What is the material? What, what is that good form function and where additive would, uh, would fit in that regard? Right. So you, you can talk about what is my favorite? Do I like machining or welding better? Well, you need both

Luke Boyer (07:31):

Well. So when you talk about scale of conferences, it reminds me of my, uh, my days in Houston of the offshore technology conference, right. The OTC, which is, I mean, an absolute other scale. Um, did you, did you go this year, did you see a lot of, uh, a lot of applications of additive or, or is it still kind of a still kind of quiet and, uh, in that arena?

Mikhail Gladkikh (07:53):

No, I didn't go to OTC, um, this year, but I think in Nolan gas week, there is a adoption happening slowly, but it's happening, um, oil and gas and energy industry in general. There's a lot of, um, hurdles and rightly so because of the standards, because of the certifications that are required because of the high, very high risk of failure. So you need to make sure that whatever you're doing, uh, especially for the end use is solid, is no passes, everything. And you will be convinced that no, you can certify those products, those parts, uh, and that's what we're working on as an industry and baker Hughes as part of several committees right now. And I'm, I'm happy that the work is progressing. And I think soon we'll see the, the standards, the first standard is being released on night. It is specifically that will allow us to, uh, to make a huge step forward as an industry, um, on corrosion application, for example, on nice, um, coordinate engineers working on our standards as well. So they, they should be also qualified and I hope, you know, a future which will allow us to use, um, additive parts and our service with high stress concentration. This is ongoing, it's, it's slower than maybe in some other industries, but it's, you need to cross those simplification qualification hurdles first and foremost. And this is where I think, uh, we we're leading the industry right now.

Luke Boyer (09:25):

So well, so one thing that I appreciated from my time at baker Hughes was having that opportunity to see the entire value chain of the oil and gas operation, right. Not just, not just drilling or not just completions, but really from, from end to end, if you will. Um, you know, where are you seeing a lot of the applications of additive manufacturing? Is it towards drilling of the, well, is it towards, uh, laying the lane, the pipe? Is it towards, um, you know, completing the well, is it processing the oil? Is it moving it, is it that the, the turbo machinery?

Mikhail Gladkikh (10:00):

Um, I think, um, there are obligations everywhere. So I, I w baker Hughes is very, uh, diverse company right now. So we baker Hughes business. We have, uh, all field services, which is dealing with, um, during the well completing the, well, if you said, uh, and then I lost the publications there. Uh, absolutely. And you know, where you came from when the past from Baker Hughes, that's what we've been doing, right. But then there's two machinery, gas, turbines, steam turbines, compressors that they're doing where a lots of applications as well, complex geometries. Absolutely. This is what, uh, what drives, uh, drives those applications. But we also finding a lot of new novel applications and now our digital solutions, um, for the company as well, and in all field equipment too. So with the different technologies, with larger sizes that I think it can handle and with very small sizes as well. Um, so a lot of, lot of doors that are opening up, and this is, I think this is truly exciting to see.

Luke Boyer (11:07):

Yeah. So, I mean, I keep up still, of course, white with, uh, with baker and lot of the old colleagues, you know, you, you included and, uh, and bigger than a lot of like very cool stuff in the, in the digital, in the digital realm. Right. Can you, I don't know. Can you sort of like talk us through, through your not bigger Houghes maybe necessarily, but, but your own, uh, can you talk through your own digital journey in additive? You know, where did that start? Where is it? Where is it going?

Mikhail Gladkikh (11:39):

Yeah, thank you, Luke. This is a great question. And this is something that, um, I'm very, very passionate about, um, with my background in applied mathematics, uh, modeling and simulation is what I've done when I was a student. And I can see additive as the only manufacturing door design and manufacturing technology today that enables this fully digitized process from the actual digital design to creating optimal shapes for the application of finding that, um, the optimal solution for the feed form and function of the part down to numerical simulation of the 3d printing process. Well, uh, then to the numerical qualification of the part to take in all the in CTU, um, we're process monitoring data and based on that qualifying the part, doing functional qualification and building a truly, uh, digital twin of the part numerical digital print. So this is, this is what we are aiming at, and this was what the lays, the foundation, very solid foundation for the digital supply chain of the future. And by digital supply chain, I mean, um, switching from physical objects to digital objects, what we call digital passport of the part that will contain everything, we already have them within Baker Hughes, the parts that are digital objects that have all the information about part design, um, manufacturing recipe, and, uh, QC procedures, everything that, that allows you to, um, reproduce that or recreate that physical object anywhere in the world where you have appropriate technology and controls in place. Um, this eliminateslogistics, inventory, this is a new sustainable solution for the supply chain of the future.

Luke Boyer (13:45):

Yeah, so I, you know, the thing that really caught my area there was, was about the functional testing, right? Because that was always something that, you know, working with other groups within, within Baker Hughes, they had various ideas or prototypes, but the question was always, you know, w would eventually come back to how is this going to get qualified and the functional testing. And oftentimes the, the application is so specific and the, the environment of what the, which the part would be used was so specific to the part. Um, can we just like dig into that a little bit, right? Like where do you see, where do you see digital playing that role in the, in the functional testing slash qualification?

Mikhail Gladkikh (14:26):

So of course you cannot use digital only process to fully qualify the part, because yes, you do need to have, um, the actual physical functional qualification put us into the environment. And I mean, there are lots of codes and regulations that specify exactly what you need to do. If there's a pump and Peller needs to go through certain number of hours, if it's a turbinate needs to be in, in not right in and cycles for how many hours, thousands of hours, so that you cannot avoid that, what you can do with, um, with digital processes, to, um, the use number of errors that you have. And we in try the first time that that's, what, what, where are we aiming? Because if you have the optimal shape and optimal design and you meditate, you can show that this is truly the optimal design and you trust in the medical simulation. So then you, you can stimulate how to perform in the functional environment, uh, that gives you in, it can get you close to, let's say approximately 80, 90% of, um, of the, the confidence interval that you want, right? Yes. There are still unknowns and depending how your brains and how it performs, uh, but you will address majority of questions even before you print anything.

Luke Boyer (15:51):

And are you seeing the people are really getting excited about it? Cause we kind of went from one point a with additive of like, okay, let's, let's kind of look at this from a supply chain perspective. And then w when you joined and we were working together, it was okay. Let's look at this from a very early design phase to try to work on, right. With new product development. Um, are you seeing still kind of that double, double pronged approach, or are you seeing it leaning more towards new product development or is it product improvement? What's what's and this is not to say a bigger here's this as across the entire oil and gas spectrum.

Mikhail Gladkikh (16:34):

I think it's not just stolen gas. That's I think it's just in general with additive, um, in any industry that the biggest value gap is, um, is at the early stages in product development, as you said, um, you need, we need to ask the question, what is the form fit and function of that role, that, that solution that's required. And then, um, what are the stresses forces acting on the part? What is the fluid flow? What, uh, what is the maybe corrosion, temperature environment, things like that, and create, uh, the, to optimal shape and optimal material for that application. Once we do that, uh, additive can open up the design envelope because the shape is, is, uh, becoming any, almost any shape is becoming possible. Yes, you need still need to figure out how you're gonna run printed supports and all that, uh, limitations, but it's, uh, we can overcome that. And technology is progressing very quickly. So with that, if what you can do is, um, you're not limited with manufacturing anymore, and you can truly create the optimal shape. And this is where I think that true value, the biggest value additive is in the early stages of, um, well development. Yeah, I guess,

Luke Boyer (17:51):

Yeah, I get it right. It's sort of like going back to the fundamentals of the application. And, uh, and as we used to like to say, right, I mean, if, if your part needs a hole we'll, then let's design around the hole instead of putting a hole in the part. Right?

Mikhail Gladkikh (18:04):

Yeah. And what people are saying, additive gives you that the biggest advantage is complexity for free, because the worst thing you can do is to bring the solid cube, Right? Anything, anything more complex, which will take less volume than solid cube would be better.

Luke Boyer (18:25):

Uh, so there's a lot, there's a lot of, uh, additive technologies that are kind of coming online, um, and, and new machine manufacturers. Uh, and I guess some of those technologies are probably more so maturing than they are coming online. Where do you know, forget applications perspective, just the pure science, right? Like just the pure science of it all. Like where do you, where do you, where do you get excited? What, uh, where do you get interested? I should say

Mikhail Gladkikh (18:54):

So, yeah, there are many modalities, but also systems, processes and materials, and we keep looking at the, no, the, the space and just coming back from rapid. Yeah. You can see a lot of fun, new machines, new materials, new processes being introduced. Uh, I still think, um, binder jet, for example, it promised to lot, uh, advertised a lot, um, I didn't think it delivered on those promises, but I'm still expecting it eventually to break through and, uh, do that. Now, there are new methods that are very exciting, but metal instead of point-wise, we're also seeing, um, people are suggesting area wise processing printing, which, uh, speeds up, um, the process, the welding process dramatically, uh, printing process. So this is, this is a really good, and then materials, of course, it's, it's growing exponentially, the number of materials that is becoming available. And now we talking about, uh, like for example, refractory metals, very, very specific specialized needs applications, but it's becoming possible with the additive.

Luke Boyer (20:14):

Right. I remember you and I used to kind of nerd out sometimes on the material side and we're kind of like waiting for additive to get beyond, you know, what we used to call the usual suspects, right. The 3 16, 7, 18, uh, 5, 6, 4, for example. Yeah. Um, Hey, queso question. Um, you know, oil and gas, right. Of course is like a global industry. And so, so geographically, what are your thoughts on, on where the, where the growth is in that and how does it play into the application of additive for, for oil and gas?

Mikhail Gladkikh (20:49):

I think, uh, growth is happening everywhere. Um, and with additive, if what's really interesting is that, uh, the countries which, uh, lagging in design and manufacturing infrastructure can, um, actually leap, frog, um, more advanced, uh, countries, just because additive is if it's new and it's democratizing applications, um, in, in Oil and gas with that, uh, lots of investments in people of people are seeing across the world opportunities. And for example, a negative area is middle east where people are investing a lot in additive. Uh, and it's not just the oil and gas it's across the board. Then, um, the, I think when was it 2019, the world economic forum, uh, paper identified additive as one of the mega trends of the fourth industrial revolution. So this, this goes across all the industries and, uh, just highlights the, the B contribution, the promise of additive to the design and on the fracturing and that supply chain of the future, um, baker Hughes. We are, we, we are, we're an energy technology company. So we are leading that, um, energy transition space and additive is we see additive as a big part of that. So we finding new applications in the areas such as carbon capture and sequestration, either geothermal and, um, energy storage as well. So there's lots of what's happening and it's, we are erasing those boundaries, um, that the things that are not possible in the Boston.

Luke Boyer (22:38):

Yeah, it's a really moving beyond sort of really moving beyond just oil and gas and moving into, uh, towards the entire energy, energy sector.

Mikhail Gladkikh (22:48):

Absolutely great analogy and even beyond, so we are, um, we're very active right now with additive services business. We are active in other industries. For example, about a year ago, we announced our partnership, a joint service offering with Wirth industries. Um, it's a German distributor and one of the first customers of our joint service offering was NASA. So we developed a, a very, very special, uh, wind tunnel wind tunnel prototype for them using novel manufacturing, DD process.

Luke Boyer (23:26):

Uh, very interesting. What are, what are your, some of the future applications that you see for am like an applied towards, towards energy? What would you, what would you say is kind of the holy grail?

Mikhail Gladkikh (23:40):

I think the holy grail, I don't, I don't think it's anything, no specific application. I think the holy grail, if we want to talk about that, ISE is industrialization. This is what, where it is. As I said before, it needs to find its place within the overall supply chain and manufacturing technologies, uh, and be fully industrialized for those applications where it, it fits and where it delivers exceptional value. Um, in baker Hughes, we have already fully industrialized study for many applications, um, that, that we have like, um, we'll oil fill services and through machinery turbine components, we qualified over 500 parts by the end of 2020, it was over 500 parts of the qualified for the end use. And this is, this is where I see the progress that needs to happen in overall in, in the energy transition, uh, segment as well as, as the legacy applications that we have.

Mikhail Gladkikh (24:46):

And this is where baker Hughes is playing, but this is across other industries as well. This, uh, what we need to achieve is, uh, full industrialization for the end use. And for that, I think we will need better materials, selection, more materials, uh, availability. We will need better, faster, more efficient and safer equipment, 3d printers machines. Um, and we need also some degree of automation across the value chain that would include post-processing and material handling and all of that together. So we eliminate and make it a truly, um, what people call lights out on the porch without human intervention.

Luke Boyer (25:32):

Yeah. Love it. Love it. Well, I think we're going to get into the end here. So, uh, you know, maybe if I could just ask one more question as, as we're we're academics, right? The question is always, uh, with any defense, what are you doing next? What's the next move?

Mikhail Gladkikh (25:47):

So what's the next move. I'm always writing to learn new things and be on the, on the cutting edge of technology. And this excites me. This is who I am, and I also believe, truly believe with all my heart and human ingenuity and sustainable progress. This is what we need to keep doing as, uh, as species grow and go beyond the stars and then make new amazing discoveries. And additive provides a lot, a lot of that. And, um, I, I'm very happy to be part of this fourth industrial revolution and uncovering all these new trends, new opportunities, new things that, that it provides, uh, for example, like futuristically people. So, um, for example about this is not a fabrication. So imagine when you, instead of using material, bring layers of material, you start working at the nanoscale and rearrange atoms. So you take whatever material is around you, you rearrange atoms and you create whatever you want. That's a kind of fits. Yes, it's fantastic futuristic. Uh, but this is something that maybe might become possible soon. And I'd like to see that I want to be part of it.

Luke Boyer (27:06):

I feel you, I feel very fortunate also to be able to, to work in this space and to be around the, at the time where we're in an additive. Yeah. Well, Hey Mikael, thank you very much, uh, for the time today. And I look forward to being in touch.

Mikhail Gladkikh (27:21):

Thank you, Luke. Appreciate it.

Outro (27:23):

Thanks very much to Mikhail Gladkikh for joining us on PowderHeads. His perspective on AM is invaluable and his comments about the need to look long-term and persevere while working with emerging technologies is a line we don't hear often enough.
If you have questions or comments about what we discussed in this podcast PowderHeads, send them to powderheads@carpenteradditive.com or visit our podcast page at www.carpenteradditive.com/powderheads. We continue to build an archive of all of our interviews there as well as additional material that provides insight and perspective on modern day additive manufacturing. PowderHeads is managed by Carpenter Additive and its parent company Carpenter Technology, a global leader in specialty alloys for over 130 years. Our goal is to help solve their most challenging material process problems. Learn more at CarpenterTechnology.com. Thanks again for listening and keep building!



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