How Additive Manufacturing solves the MRO issue
News from the 3D printing industry | 8 March 2018
“Repairing or purchaising a new one?”
That is the kind of question we always wonder when referring to a machine out of service.
Unfortunately, your wish is not the only factor to consider in this case. Most of the time for old machine, you won’t be able to find the defective spare part on the market, because the equipment supplier stopped providing it.
The MRO issue
Sometimes, manufacturing companies like Hansford Parts and Products must deal with this MRO issue, for machine dating from more than 50 years!
But rather than getting rid of the old equipment, this time the company decided to use additive manufacturing.
After having analysed the defective piece with X-ray and an optical measuring machine to create the digitalized profile into a CAD Model, the original part has been removed.
Using a new kind of printer (Optomec LENS 3D Metal Hybrid VMC) it is now possible to print the metallic piece directly on the material to reinforce the solidity of the assemblage, and with a net shape.
Even if the process has been painful because of the old equipment irregularities, as Mark Walluk, RIT-GIS mechanical design and analysis engineer says: “In the future, similar repairs could be performed in a fraction of the time it would take to fabricate an entire gear shaft.”
A good perspective for every manufacturing companies, isn’t it ?