According to 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company Stratasys Ltd, by using a Stratasys Fortus 900mc Production 3D Printer, Siemens Mobility is able to overcome the barriers of traditional low-volume production by 3D printing final tram parts in a matter of days compared to weeks with traditional methods, while also eradicating the need for costly tooling.
Prior to its 3D printing production capability, Siemens Mobility, which is located in Erlangen, Krefeld, Berlin and Munich, Germany, faced a challenge in being able to meet increasing customer demands for one-off customized parts.
For the rail industry, if a replacement part is not in stock, Siemens would need to purchase the machinery or tools to manufacture it. This is not only a lengthy process, but from a cost-perspective, Siemens was limited to only taking orders above 10 parts, with lower volumes unable to justify the production cost.
Says Tina Eufinger, business development at Siemens mobility division: “Our production services for end-use parts have become much more flexible and tailored to our customers’ needs since we introduced the Stratasys Fortus 900mc Production 3D Printer into our manufacturing process.
“Before we integrated 3D printing into production, we were forced to produce higher quantities of parts in order to make the project cost- effective. For small volume part demands from customers, we would store excess parts until they were used, discarded or became too outdated to use.
“With the Fortus 900mc, we can now create a design that is 100 percent customized to specific requirements and optimized several times before it is 3D printed. This takes our production time down from weeks to a matter of days, and makes it now cost-effective enough to extend our customer service offering to one-off part production.”