Parts printed to order
Mercedes says 3D printing of parts will be quick with no warehousing needed
MERCEDES-BENZ Trucks after-sales services have started printing 3D plastic parts for customers on demand, instead of stocking the parts on shelf.
To date, the 3D parts catalogue only lists 30 genuine spare parts, but the use of this technology shows where global truck producers are heading.
“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,” said the head of marketing and operations in the customer services, Andreas Deuschle.
“However, 3D offers many more possibilities. This is why we shall be rapidly extending the production of 3D printed parts.”
The available spare parts consist of high-quality plastic components, such as overs, spacers, spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mountings and control elements.
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 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 as 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 as 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 be “reprinted” easily even after a long time, using the data stored and supplied without any complex stocking, no warehousing is required either.
Truck parts that can now be ordered in 3D from MercedesBenz.