Reducing cost and creating new functionalities
Machine manufacturers are always striving to improve their machines and increase the efficiency of their production. Selling 100 to 500 machines a year is common, therefore setup cost are often high. Inventory cost are increasing and depreciated goods are high.
3D printing / Additive Manufacturing helps machine builders to decrease cost by consolidating entire assemblies into 1 part, by keeping a digital inventory instead of a physical and by quickly iterating on internal tooling to increase efficiency.
15 part assembly into 1 consolidated part
Multiple part assemblies of lasercut, milled and lathe parts are very common in the production of machines. Supplying these parts is often done through suppliers meaning that lead-times are high and stock needs to be kept. By using 3D printing / Additive Manufacturing some of these assemblies can be consolidated into one 3D printed part, resulting in a reduction of the Total Cost of Ownership and increasing flexibility.
Complex, lightweight components
Weight reduction of moving parts is one of the main advantages 3D printing has to offer. Reducing weight for the machinery industry results in faster moving machine with less vibration, resulting in more output. By using smart software to generate designs based on FEM analyses the design is strong enough for the functionality and as lightweight as possible. Parts can be printed both metal and high performance plastics. If needed quality control can be performed by 3D scanning or X-ray.
Customized parts for your customers
At the base of producing a 3D print is always a 3D design. This creates the opportunity to make minor adjustments to the design to tailor it to the customers needs. Customization of 3D printed parts for machinery is often used to produce specific connectors, brackets, filters and highly specialized parts.
Tooling, Jiggs and Fixtures
Being able to iterate fast on improving tools in a production creates endless opportunities. It enables the production team to come up with ideas and test it the next day. It also gives OEMs the chance to provide a digital tool library included with their machines. This way OEMs can support existing customers to improve their production process and stay in close contact after installing the machine.