Having successfully implemented Stratasys‘ 3D printing to produce parts for the German and UK rail industries, Siemens Mobility Services has continued its investment in Stratasys technology to support the expansion of its rail maintenance operations in Russia. This includes two new industrial-grade Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D Printers for part production.
The decision comes in line with a recent business win for Siemens Mobility to build 13 additional high-speed Velaro trains for Russian train company, RZD, including an agreement to maintain and service the trains for the next 30 years. This is already the third Velaro order from RZD for Sapsan fleet due to excellent availability of Sapsan trains in daily operation, supplementing an existing fleet of 16 trains. For further information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printing Materials 2019-2029: Technology and Market Analysis.
3D printing helps maintenance in reducing downtime by increasing availability of replacement parts – in many cases at a lower cost.
3D Printing has begun to take its hold on manufacturing, and maintenance is one of the key areas of implementation. Through 3D printing, or Additive Manufacturing, businesses are seeing faster turnaround time, lower inventory costs, and greater flexibility in their parts and repair services.
Maintenance teams are always under pressure to deliver service quickly, efficiently, and at low cost. The major task of maintenance is to drive down unplanned downtime and, therefore, increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness. 3D printing helps maintenance in reducing downtime by increasing availability of replacement parts – in many cases at a lower cost. Technicians can create custom pieces on-demand to fit the needs of the operation.
With these benefits, many industries have begun to adopt 3D printing programs. Let’s examine how the companies at the forefront of their industries are using this innovative technology to improve their maintenance management efforts.
The futuristic hype over 3D printing has outshined applications that are already transforming the manufacturing world. While the media speculates about 3D printed guns, organs and food, firms are using 3D printers to overcome a less ‘sexy’ challenge: replacement parts for aging production lines.
In a typical factory, unplanned downtime is extremely expensive. In a survey conducted by Nielsen Research, automotive executives reported that downtime cost an average of $22,000 per minute — some respondents put the figure as high $50,000 per minute. Not surprisingly, most manufacturers invest in predictive maintenance and aim to replace worn down parts before they cause a breakdown.