Automotive Company Adopts Digital Inventory for 3D Printed Spares

MAN Truck & Bus has adopted digital inventory management for spare part manufacturing, particularly for parts no longer in production. This approach was demonstrated in their recent project to provide 10 bronze water cooler manifolds for a marine engine. These parts were not available in storage, production, or through existing casting tooling. To meet this challenge, MAN collaborated with Replique, experts in digital inventory and 3D printing, to reverse engineer and manufacture these parts with precision and adherence to mechanical requirements.

Automotive Company Adopts Digital Inventory for 3D Printed Spares
Spares 3D printed in bronze. (Image Credit: Man Truck and Bus)

Replique’s role involved building a 3D model of the manifold from an existing manufacturing drawing, selecting a suitable material – a bronze alloy (m4p Brz10) for SLM 3D printing – and coordinating with their global network to ensure local production. The manifolds were produced within seven weeks of the initial request. Interestingly, tests conducted by MAN’s Central Material Technology department showed that the 3D printed parts had superior technical properties compared to the original ones, leading to a repeat order for an additional 10 units.

“The collaboration with Replique was seamless from our initial contact to the moment we received the finished parts,” said Thomas Hauck, MAN spare parts logistics manager.

“It allowed us to promptly assist our spare parts customers, and we are already in the process of realizing another 3D printing project with Replique.”

This process not only met the immediate demand but also set a precedent for future projects. With the digital availability of production information, parts like these can be reordered consistently, maintaining quality standards. MAN Truck & Bus plans to continue utilizing digital inventory for after-sales and spare parts logistics, aiming to reduce costs and optimize global service.

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Source: develop3d.com

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منبع: https://3dprinting.com/news/automotive-company-adopts-digital-inventory-for-3d-printed-spares/

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