Posted By:Infra Bazaar
Volvo Group’s construction division, Volvo Construction Equipment, has devised first of its kind 3D printing and delivering spare parts in as little as one week. For the development of prototype machinery, the company is also using 3D printing. Thermoplastics are being used to 3D print the spare parts by Volvo. As of now, only plastic replacement parts are available.
It is highly cost-effective and the benefits are being passed on to the customers.
Jasenko Lagumdzija, Volvo CE’s Manager of Business Support, says the move should help Volvo CE. “It will support customers through the life cycle of their equipment. It is especially good for older machines where spare parts are no longer made efficiently using traditional production methods. Producing new spare parts by 3D printing using thermoplastics can cut downtime and costs. Hence, it is an efficient way of helping customers”, he added.
Spare parts are now available for any unit in Volvo CE’s range of off-road machinery. These inferences are drawn from the company’s archives of 3D models and drawings. Volvo CE’s Aftermarket Branding Manager, Annika Fries, says the “3D printed spare parts have the same specifications and go through the same processes as the original, and get the same warranty.”
3D printing parts on demand lower inventory levels needed. It saves spaces in warehouses. It also allows the purchase price of 3D printed parts to be competitive to that of a traditionally manufactured component.
Extending the functional lifetime of Volvo CE’s machines
Fast delivery times and no minimum order quantities should minimize the downtime of customers and equipment. It will also extend the working life of Volvo CE’s older machines. Volvo CE says they are currently considering extending the catalog of 3D printed spare parts offered to include Metal 3D printed parts.
Easy rapid prototyping with 3D printing
To quickly prototype the components of new machinery, the company is using 3D printing. However, Volvo CE has announced that they do not have any plans to use 3D printing in the manufacturing of its machines. Fredrick Andersson, Development Engineer for Wheel Loaders Powertrain Installation at Volvo CE, said: “We have a lot of knowledge and we can make changes quickly and easily with 3D printing, because of this, it means that the time to market for a new product is quicker.”
To produce spare parts for customers on demand, Electrolux, the Swedish domestic appliance manufacturer, is trialing the use of 3D printing. To simplify the inventory management of spare parts, several start-ups are working on helping companies. Their aim is to shift from large warehouses to digital libraries of 3D parts through a distributed network of 3D printers.
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