Due to increasing product diversity, companies with long-term capital goods are increasingly lamenting the high storage costs for spare parts. The problem: availability is becoming more critical, especially for old spare parts, which significantly increases the risk of breakdown losses. This is opening up a new, but demanding field of application for additive manufacturing. Since most spare parts have been conventionally manufactured and have often passed through an approval process, it is generally not possible to create a copy of this component in 3D printing. Instead, this requires a complex adjustment process in order to transform a conventionally manufactured spare part into a spare part for additive manufacturing, which can be produced “on demand” if required.
We identified this challenge early on and, with “S.P.O.D.” (spare parts on demand), developed a multi-stage process that lets us guide you into a new era of spare part production.
Take advantage of our service for 3D printed spare parts. Test us out. Send your inquiry and we will promptly reply to arrange a non-binding consultation.
As the manufacturer of the left sandbox housing, part of the brake system, ceased production, Deutsche Bahn risked a train failure. Since the component was manufactured as grey cast iron, no 3D printed copy could be produced. As a result, we re-engineered the component and then additively manufactured it from titanium using EBM. The component has passed the tests performed to date. If the worst were to happen, Deutsche Bahn can now quickly respond to a failure.
In the first step of the S.P.O.D. process, we jointly select the spare parts from your stock, whose availability is critical, whose probability of failure is classified as high, and whose costs of failure are significant. We then examine these “critical” spare parts to confirm whether additive manufacturing is possible. For the spare parts that are ultimately selected, we jointly define the relevant indicators and formulate corresponding target values.
The S.P.O.D. contract defines the framework of our cooperation. It contains your requirements for the production of the relevant spare parts where this is necessary. It specifies your and our rights and obligations, defines the respective responsibilities during the project phase as well as the conditions and the schedule for the project and any additional cooperation. It is jointly developed in close collaboration and represents the foundation of our cooperation.
A 3D record of the S.P.O.D. spare parts generally does not exist, only drawings or an original. No problem. In the 4th phase of the S.P.O.D. process, we scan your component or design a 3D model, which we use as a basis for adapting the component for the selected production process and save as a printable record. We use tests, simulations and iteration loops to ensure that the component fully retains its original function.
Subject to any necessary approval, we then immediately start manufacturing your component if required. As the key parameters have already been defined in the previous phases of the S.P.O.D. process, speedy production, finishing, and the necessary quality control are ensured.
“With more than 50 systems for additive manufacturing, we can always guarantee that your spare parts will be produced.”
Alexander Bonke, Managing Director FIT Production GmbH
Besides production, we also offer additional upstream and downstream services related to the topic of “3D printed spare parts”. Upon request, we can provide a customizable online portal, which lets you control and execute your entire S.P.O.D. order management process. We naturally also organize the global shipping of your spare parts, take over any assembly activities, storage or the timely picking of various spare parts.