Stress test "Corona": preventing supply bottlenecks
25 March 2020
The example from the 3D Chromos practice shows that anyone who now integrates the possibilities of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, thinks further and obtains information can not only cushion worst-case scenarios in the production chain, but also benefit from technological optimizations.
The current situation accentuates what has already emerged in the project consulting mandates of industrial customers of the 3D Chromos: In order to deal with the AM technology, we are now increasingly faced with questions about how AM could cushion recurring risks in the guarantee of global delivery processes.
The overall calculation with 3D works
In the specific case, an analysis was asked to what extent certain parts of an industrial production manufactured in milling and turning processes could be replaced by 3D components. So the advice was required, which on the one hand required clarifications regarding technology, material properties and construction, but on the other hand, should also include business considerations. New attention was also paid to the aspect of securing process chains and the scenario of delivery bottlenecks.
This was followed by material and printing tests, the review of the possibilities in post-processing and the optimization of the composition of the 3D printed parts with the existing components. A simple transfer of the existing CAD files was out of the question from the start, since other parameters have to be taken into account with the additive manufacturing process. The existing assembly was completely made of aluminum due to its design and manufacture. The change in the manufacturing process also required a change of the material with plastic. Chromos AG was able to draw on a broad partner network for clarifications, as well as respond to individualized, customer-specific requests when using polymers.
Optimizations on the component only recognized with 3D
It was interesting to see in the consulting process how, in a second step, various optimizations in the component could be carried out during the review of the CAD data and the joint analysis: For example, the assembly of the assembly into a single component (parts list reduction), which made assembling obsolete and Functional optimizations that resulted in improved airflow and weight reduction.
It was also analyzed to what extent it makes sense to set up your own 3D printing environment based on these findings - taking a closer look at the topic of in-house on-demand production versus purchasing components from abroad, warehouse management and the administrative costs in order processing. This resulted in a directly derived total price reduction of around 40 percent.
After an in-depth cost-benefit analysis, it was decided to invest in the 3D know-how development with our own 3D printers and at the same time to work together with 3D know-how carriers in order to - in the sense of a "First Movers Advantage" - from the current, but also to benefit from the coming advantages of this fascinating technology.
Spare parts printed in 3D? Contact us anytime
We would be happy to support you with the implementation of an additive manufacturing environment in your company and show you which options and advantages can result - or advise you specifically when it comes to the current bottlenecks in spare parts or components.
We offer training at various levels, advise you on the purchase of a 3D printer and are at your side as a long-term partner with both 3D and business know-how.
Your contact person:
Florian Widmer +41 79 747 98 99
3D Technical Sales / 3D Application Manager
Katinka Gyomlay +41 76 319 44 00
Head of 3D Business Unit
Consulting additive manufacturing