Print­ing is gen­uine

Motor Equipment News - - OEM -

The Mercedes-Benz Trucks af­ter­sales ser­vice has for many years been able to still de­liver parts for trucks made long be­fore – but the next step is to use the lat­est 3D print­ing pro­cesses for plas­tic spare parts as the stan­dard pro­duc­tion method in the Cus­tomer Ser­vices & Parts sec­tor.

Al­ready 30 gen­uine spare parts can be or­dered and sup­plied at the press of a but­ton from the 3D printer, quickly, eco­nom­i­cally, in any quan­tity and al­ways in con­sis­tent gen­uine man­u­fac­turer’s qual­ity (“one-piece de­mand”).

With the use of 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy as an in­no­va­tive sta­teof-the-art pro­duc­tion process in af­ter-sales, Mercedes-Benz is tak­ing on the pi­o­neer­ing role and tech­no­log­i­cal lead­er­ship among the global truck pro­duc­ers.

“In keep­ing with our brand prom­ise ‘Trucks you can trust’, we set the same bench­marks for re­li­a­bil­ity, func­tion­al­ity, dura­bil­ity and econ­omy for spare parts from 3D pro­duc­tion as for parts from con­ven­tional pro­duc­tion”, says An­dreas Deuschle, head of mar­ket­ing and op­er­a­tions in the Cus­tomer Ser­vices & Parts Mercedes-Benz Trucks Divi­sion.

“How­ever, 3D of­fers many more pos­si­bil­i­ties; this is why we shall be rapidly ex­tend­ing the pro­duc­tion of 3D printed parts.”

To­day at Daim­ler more than 100 000 printed pro­to­type parts are man­u­fac­tured for the in­di­vid­ual com­pany di­vi­sions ev­ery year.

“We ben­e­fit from our ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence at Daim­ler with 3D print­ing pro­cesses in pro­to­type con­struc­tion”, com­ments An­dreas. The avail­able spare parts con­sist of high-qual­ity plas­tic com­po­nents. Covers, spac­ers, spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mount­ings and con­trol elements are just a few ex­am­ples of eco­nom­i­cal spare part pro­duc­tion in top qual­ity made pos­si­ble by us­ing the 3D print­ing process.

The “printed” spare parts are cre­ated with state-of-the-art 3D prin­ters based on the Se­lec­tive Laser Sin­ter­ing (SLS) print­ing process. For the high qual­ity stan­dards of Mercedes-Benz Trucks the process pa­ram­e­ters have been op­ti­mised and de­ter­mined by the Daim­ler re­search and de­vel­op­ment di­vi­sions.

Ev­ery 3D spare part can be or­dered by the cus­tomer us­ing the spe­cial spare part num­ber un­der which it is recorded in the or­der code lists and the spare parts cat­a­logues at Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

Thus, even af­ter sev­eral decades, rapid sup­ply to the cus­tomer is en­sured via the Mercedes-Benz Lo­gis­tic Sup­ply Chain through all the sales stages – all over the world.

The en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and re­source-con­serv­ing 3D print­ing process is play­ing a pi­o­neer­ing role in the af­ter-sales. The chal­lenge in the spare parts busi­ness lies in se­cur­ing sup­ply even for model se­ries which are no longer pro­duced. This means that the range also in­cludes spare parts for which there is only a low de­mand in small quan­ti­ties ev­ery year.

Pro­duc­ing them is thus in­creas­ingly un­eco­nom­i­cal for sup­pli­ers – pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties and tools often have to be re­tained and main­tained for years. With the 3D print­ing process th­ese chal­lenges are a thing of the past. For ev­ery 3D spare part is avail­able on de­mand at short no­tice all over the world.

The print­ing it­self can take place within a very short time fol­low­ing re­ceipt of the de­sign def­i­ni­tion and or­der, con­sid­er­ably speed­ing up the pro­duc­tion and sup­ply of spare parts.

As spare and retrofit parts can still eas­ily be “reprinted” even af­ter a long time us­ing the data stored and sup­plied with­out any com­plex stock­ing, no ware­hous­ing is re­quired ei­ther. At the same time the burden on costs, re­sources and the en­vi­ron­ment is also eased, as there are no ma­te­rial sur­pluses, the dis­posal of which is very com­plex.

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