How to adopt Additive Manufacturing into your business in a Smart Way!

Technical Focus | 15 October 2021

As per the PWC report “The future of spare parts is 3D,” 85% of Spare parts suppliers will incorporate 3D printing into their business within 5 years. Certainly, the Spare Parts suppliers and manufacturers face the question of not whether to move to Additive Manufacturing, but the question they face is When and How to transition. So most of the manufacturers want to move to AM but are stuck on how and where to begin.

Several questions cross their mind on how can they adopt it? Is it going to prove worth investing in it? What returns on investment can they expect? Should they produce in-house or outsource it? Which technologies to adopt to get the highest returns? Which parts to move to 3D printing?

The fact is every part might not fit the requirements for 3D printing or it may not be profitable compared to traditional manufacturing. It is required to understand in detail the implications 3D printing can have on the respective business. There are several options for 3D printing and the spares catalogues can run into hundreds and thousands. The references and data are fragmented between several databases (ERP, PLM). In such a case, determining the appropriate parts for printing is not the easiest stage of 3D printing implementation.

This is when Spare Parts 3D can help. Because Spare Parts 3D consulting aims at creating awareness about 3D printing among industrial manufacturers, and support the companies getting into 3D Printing in a smart way. With this objective in mind, they developed DigiPART, the platform that stock digitally spare parts. Furthermore, their customers can browse automatically through millions of parts and find the one that makes the most sense to be produced by 3D printing.

Spare Parts 3D performs a profitability study for each selected part to ensure optimal savings, and to highlight the process changes required to capture that lost value. Their software aims at streamlining the parts digitalisation process to address a high quantity of parts. Also, Spare Parts 3D offers its clients the methodology, tools and expertise to single-out the right spares from both technical and business aspects.

This reliable tool of analysis aims at understanding quickly and precisely which part is worth to be produced with 3D Printing. As a result, the Automatic Catalogue Analysis helps plan technology transfer and assess 3D printing Opportunity.

This can be done in 4 simple steps:

Spare Parts 3D uses their catalogue analysis tool to:

  1. Select the parts that are suitable for 3D printing, in the sense that materials and technology to print them will produce parts of similar quality and strength as the original one.
  2. Evaluate the potential savings that can be reached by producing parts on-demand with 3D printing.

A glimpse of the features of DigiPART (as seen in the images) are:

  1. Valuation and Analysis – Individual and combined catalogue valuation and business case assessment. It performs the analysis of financial viability using pre-defined, customizable business cases: obsolete parts, part shortages and inventory cost on long tails.
  2. Digital Warehouse – All data pertaining to each part at one place in the catalogue including:
    1. Product details: design data (CAD files) and specifications
    2. Industrialization details: production machine, material, method (process parametrization)
    3. Production & Quality details: batch serialization, quality reporting, machine parameters monitoring
  3. Data Security – A secure data storage and delivery platform with encrypted data transfers to protect IP (Beta-version).