Through the use of 3D printing to provide elements and spare components, producers can scale back prices, useful resource use and embedded carbon, whereas additionally simplifying provide chains, in keeping with Replique, a German startup specializing in additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing.
“All industries – together with HVAC&R – are dealing with international challenges, from the pandemic and geopolitical points, to sustainability calls for and disrupted provide chains, and these challenges end in increased prices, elevated danger and slower supply time” mentioned Mark Winker, Replique’s Technical Gross sales Skilled. “3D printing can provide the answer.”
Winker delivered these remarks throughout his keynote presentation on the ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit on pure refrigerants. The convention came about November 15–16 in Brussels and was organized by ATMOsphere, writer of R744.com.
As detailed throughout Winker’s presentation, Replique will solely work with HVAC&R producers that use pure refrigerants.
“All industries – together with HVAC&R – are dealing with international challenges… 3D printing can provide the answer.”
Mark Winker, Replique
In accordance with Winker, present manufacturing strategies have “vital limitations” and create challenges round stock administration and logistics.
Formative manufacturing – i.e., utilizing molds to solid components or merchandise – is mostly solely cost-competitive in massive portions, which results in excessive upfront prices for OEMs and long-term storage necessities to handle the stock, he mentioned.
Subtractive manufacturing – i.e., taking a block of fabric and carving it to provide a component or product – limits design complexity and wastes plenty of materials, he added.
“3D printing is completely different,” defined Winker. “It doesn’t want any extra instruments; it simply wants the [printing] machine and the uncooked materials, which is just used the place it’s wanted. It’s rather more environment friendly in useful resource consumption than typical productions strategies.”
By eradicating limitations round conventional manufacturing applied sciences, additive manufacturing permits new methods of pondering when it comes to product design and might meet the rising demand for product customization. Additionally it is suitable with a variety of supplies, together with stainless-steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, resin, titanium and polymers.
“All of the supplies you [use] in your merchandise might be printed at present on an industrial scale and to the anticipated high quality,” he added.
High quality of the printed product is assured primarily based on a producer’s specs and printing companions’ following the required security procedures, mentioned Winker.
In accordance with Winker, 80% of a producer’s gross sales come from simply 20% of its stock, with the remaining 80% of its stock not often wanted.
With 3D printing, producers are in a position to higher handle their stock of elements and scale back warehousing, he mentioned.
Somewhat than producing components in massive volumes – to scale back per-unit prices – and storing all of them till they’re wanted, producers can retailer designs digitally and print components when requested by prospects. That is significantly related to spare components, which have gotten extra essential as producers are required to make merchandise repairable, he added.
“OEMs wrestle to supply spare components whereas conserving overhead prices low,” he defined. However with 3D printing, “producers can merely retailer components digitally, print them when wanted and get them despatched on to the top person.”
For the time being, 3D printing is an environment friendly and cost-competitive technique of manufacturing for small and medium volumes – round 1,500–5,000 items. Over the subsequent 5 years or so, 3D printing will develop into extra extensively used for high-volume manufacturing as effectively, he added.
Useful resource effectivity
Along with lowering waste from surplus components going unused by way of on-demand manufacturing, 3D printing may also increase useful resource effectivity through the use of solely the mandatory quantity of uncooked materials to print a product.
“The additive course of implies that virtually solely the fabric that’s a part of the ultimate product is used,” defined Winker.
Not solely does this minimize waste and enhance the sustainability of manufacturing, however it additionally reduces prices.
Simplified provide chain
“By using industrial 3D printing, we’re making a extra resilient and sustainable provide chain,” mentioned Winker throughout his presentation.
This is because of a extra simplified worth chain of fewer hyperlinks, with Replique providing an “end-to-end resolution,” in keeping with Winker.
“By using industrial 3D printing, we’re making a extra resilient and sustainable provide chain.”
Mark Winker, Replique
He defined that when a component is required, the uncooked materials and product design is distributed to whichever licensed 3D printer is closest to the product’s vacation spot. This method considerably reduces supply time and prices, in addition to the embedded carbon footprint of a product.
“Sending a digital file to 3D printer nearer to an finish person can save time, cash and CO2 emissions from transport,” he defined. “You are able to do abroad enterprise in a single day.”
In accordance with Winker, 3D printing can “increase sustainability in every stage of product life cycle, from product design to disposal and recycling.”