Sustainability of Spare Part Manufacturing through 3D Printing - OIdtimerparts

18 May 2022

Sustainability of Spare Part Manufacturing through 3D Printing

Spare part availability and procurement are crucial topics in the realm of restoring classic vehicles. Similarly, in the machinery and equipment sector, as well as in prototype manufacturing, there is often a demand for spare parts in small quantities that are no longer available from the original manufacturers. Frequently, spare parts become discontinued and are removed from the manufacturer’s offerings due to low demand, which fails to justify the high production and inventory costs.

Additive manufacturing processes, colloquially known as 3D printing, present a highly viable alternative for sustainably and long-term providing spare parts with low demand. What are the advantages of additive manufacturing processes in spare part production?

One significant advantage is demand-oriented manufacturing, also known as ‘Pull Production.’ The Pull principle describes demand-driven manufacturing, where spare parts are produced in response to market demand. If a specific spare part is not available on the market but still in demand, it can be digitally captured and stored in a database. This digital spare part inventory is stored and can be manufactured on-demand from any location in a short time.

This approach reduces high inventory holding costs and ensures that only as many spare parts are produced as are actually needed. Even one-off pieces and small batches can be easily produced. The second aspect is location-independent manufacturing. By transferring digital manufacturing data, it’s possible to have an order produced at a manufacturing site in the destination country or area. This leads to shorter transportation routes and reduced environmental impact. This optimization of sustainability in the value chain conserves resources. Furthermore, it allows for time savings, as the time between ordering a spare part and its delivery can be significantly shortened. Long transportation distances and overproduction of parts are eliminated.

Filaments and raw materials for additive manufacturing can be partially reused. For example, unused raw material from the manufacturing machine, often in powder form, can be extracted and reused for the next production batch.

Do you have questions about your spare part or its reproduction? Then feel free to send us an email or visit our website for more information.

Do you have any questions about your spare part or the reproduction process? Feel free to send us an email or contact us through our website. Spare part request!