3D Printing Spare Parts for Aging Assets

How Additive Manufacturing helps you address spare part supply hurdles for aging equipment

maintenance and repair aging assets

What are aging assets?

Equipment required to produce or process semi-finished or finished products which due to the number of years in use will require service and repair actions more often, in order to prevent and or minimize the impact of down time.

What's the challenge?

On average, companies can spend up to 10% of their budget producing unnecessary duplicate parts to address problems with aging assets. Machine downtimes are caused 15% of the time by spare part supply issues. This, in turn, impacts revenue and service levels. The older the assets, the more costly maintenance activities are. Most of the time, companies often have little or no technical data on spares. This takes a toll on productivity, as engineers are forced to spend 10-15% of their time tackling supply hurdles. Spare/service parts suppliers are sometimes out of business, but when they are available they often require high MOQs and long lead times, meaning extended production disruptions for the company.

3D printing engineer
Downtime reduction by 3D printing spare parts

How can DiManEx help?

We help you respond to ad hoc challenges and solve immediate spare parts issues for aging assets through our supply platform, which connects you to a network of Additive Manufacturing partners. We also enable you to take a more proactive approach by analyzing supply chain data to understand when disruptions are more likely to occur.

To get started, we ask you to provide Basic SKU Data, including:

  • An overview of legacy parts
  • Parts in SLT with low demand
  • Parts with demand out of SLT
  • Parts with High MOQ or long Lead Times
  • How we tackled this issue for NS (Dutch Railways)

    NS has an extensive procurement operation to deal with spare part supply challenges, but sometimes a single missing part can bring the organization’s coaches to a standstill for several weeks, if not months. The organization needed to secure a frame for its train radios to guarantee the maximum utilization of its rolling stock, but the supplier had a high minimum order quantity, costing the organization a significant amount up front and several years of excess stock. They worked with us to produce the frame for their train radios on demand.

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    How we helped JLG produce a spare part for aging equipment

    JLG, an American designer, manufacturer and marketer of access equipment, needed to secure a part replacement for its aerial work platforms. JLG’s clients needed to obtain the part as fast as possible to maintain customer service levels. However, the part was out of stock and its supplier had a lead time of four weeks. The month-long downtime would cost JLG’s customers several thousand euro. JLG leveraged DiManEx’s digital supply chain platform to pilot a 3D-printed spare part replacement. The parts were secured within a week, proving that they could minimize costs and downtime.

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    How the Dutch Army experimented with AM to produce spare parts

    The Dutch Army needed to secure a door handle replacement one of its Fennek vehicles. Wear and tear can make door handles break, but the traditional supplier has a high lead time and a minimum order quantity that would result in overstocking and waste. To avoid this, the Army’s Material Stock Logistic Command worked with DiManEx to produce a door handle on demand as part of a pilot, using 3D printing.