Infinite Lifetime: How 3D Printing Will Make Obsolescence of Inventory Disappear?

Technical Focus | 2 March 2018 | Last Updated: 21 November 2021

The revolution of 3D printing is on, and in a few years from now, obsolescence of inventory will have become obsolete!

Manufacturers manage physical warehouses with a limited inventory of spare parts and painful way of reproducing them. Once their first mount products are not sold anymore, except for consumable parts with sufficient predictable demand, companies stop their production line after sourcing a “Last buy order” meant to fulfil for 5 years of demand on average.

But once the production is stopped, shortage may happen. In this case, manufacturers are very likely to become unable to supply another batch of parts. It may happen for multiple reasons: loss of design, a broken production tool, a bankrupted supplier or simply an order that did not match the minimum order quantity (MOQ). When reaching this stage, the inventory becomes obsolete.

Additive manufacturing is the solution to obsolescence of inventory, by implementing an agile, continuous production. What does it change?

Let’s see.

Nullify the cost of your sleeping inventory

Additive manufacturing passes by the digitalization of the targeted spare parts portfolio. Every single spare part needed to be produced is modeled by experts in order to build up a digital inventory. Once it is done, warehousing become free of money and space! Currently, 89% of manufacturing companies recognize they keep obsolete parts in their stock, and 22% have more than 10% of obsolete ones. By experience, there is up to 30% of inventory depreciation per year in home appliance industry! But now, the design and the way of fabricating the parts are digital and can be reused infinitely.

So, how could one manufacturer lose money on sleeping inventory any longer?

Source your obsolete parts in a click

“But how long does it take to get it?” you may ask, and you are right: If the lifetime is infinite, the spare part must be available shortly, if not immediately. With additive manufacturing it actually is! 47% of spare parts buyers have been looking into using 3D printing in order to adopt a make-to-order policy and to create their own parts.

Why? Because additive manufacturing offers the possibility to print any parts in a short lead time, as long as the design is already in the catalog. No need to retrieve the old mold, find the right manufacturing facility, make the parts, and have it travel around the world to reach its point of use. Just print on-demand, get your part wherever you need in a matter of hours or at most days.

Repair your machine infinitely

If you find yourself looking for an old spare part for your beloved machinery purchased 15 years ago, it’s very likely that the inventory is now obsolete. With their digital catalogue, your equipment suppliers are able to retrieve the required information to produce your part (technology, material, machine, specifications, production instructions, etc.) and fix your machine, regardless of the model age. Thanks to additive manufacturing, obsolescence of inventory does not exist any longer and you can extend the lifetime of your machinery as much as you want.

Using 3D Printing increases the duration of use of products, by enabling reparability forever! That’s exactly why 50% of customers already looked into 3D printing to find their own parts.

For that reason, we firmly believe that additive manufacturing gives industrial manufacturers a chance to enhance their services and prove that they care about the lifetime of their products, and, by extension, that they care about their customers.

Spare Parts 3D support manufacturers and industrial spare parts users to increase their spares availability by producing them on-demand using Additive Manufacturing.

From parts selection to parts production and delivery, SP3D proposes end-to-end solutions encompassing:

  • Analyze and cluster spare parts catalogue. Automatically select suitable technologies, provide costing and estimate potential savings brought by AM – Request a demo of our catalogue analysis platform
  • Build-up digital catalogue through reverse engineering, quality tests and qualifications
  • Produce on-demand, at the closest to your need thanks to our distributed manufacturing network

You want to know more? Contact us!

Obsolescence is an old topic, isn’t it now the time for a qualitative and long-term client service?

Make Obsolescence of Inventory Obsolete with Spare Parts 3D