Swiss SLS 3D printer manufacturer Sintratec has announced a partnership with German multinational automotive corporation Daimler AG. Sintratec’s S2 3D printer has been installed at the production site of EvoBus GmbH in Neu-Ulm, a subsidiary of the Daimler Trucks & Buses branch. It will be used to further the company’s spare part supply efforts.
Already Daimler Buses has 3D printed over 780 components for its vehicles with over 150 replacement parts currently undergoing validation. With Sintratec S2, its EvoBus subsidiary will bring 3D printing in-house, reducing service and logistical costs.
“With 3D printing the Daimler Bus division can respond quickly, flexibly, economically and environmentally friendly to urgent customer needs,” comments Ralf Anderhofstadt, Head of Center of Competence Additive Manufacturing, Daimler Buses.
“The advantages of additive technologies, especially with regards to spare parts, are evident.”
3D printing at Daimler
Headquartered in Stuttgart, Daimler owns and has shares in a number of car, bus, truck and motorcycle brands. Most notably, it is the parent company of German global automobile brands Mercedes-Benz and Smart. EvoBus is a subsidiary of the company focused on manufacturing buses under the Setra and Mercedes-Benz brands.
Since 2016, Daimler has continued to implement 3D printing through its various divisions and subsidiaries. It was initially announced that the company would begin 3D printing spare parts for its vast range of trucks. Daimler revealed further details in 2017 when it announced the production of its first metal 3D printed spare parts, and stated that it would begin 3D printing spare truck parts on demand using SLS technology.
Recently, Daimler and industry partners EOS and Premium AREOTEC completed their Next Generation Additive Manufacturing (NextGenAM) project. The NextGenAM pilot plant focuses primarily on the production of aluminum parts for automotive and aerospace applications.
Using internal 3D printers, Daimler Buses plans to set up its first service bases in 2020, which will act as 3D printing centers for spare parts and individualized components. The company found that sourcing parts externally would sometimes take several months, whereas 3D printing a part would take a matter of days.
The Sintratec S2
Released in late 2018, the S2 is a modular system capable of covering the entire process chain, from production to post-processing. It is comprised of a Material Core Unit, Material Handling Station, Blasting Station and Polishing Station. Together these units facilitate the clean and safe post-processing of 3D printed prototypes, and can be scaled to meet demand.
As well as manufacturing parts, the Sintratec S2 3D printer will be used for training at the EvoBus facility in Neu-Ulm. Additionally, the system will be leveraged to advance the optimization and development of printing materials.
“Special thanks to the entire EvoBus GmbH team for letting Sintratec participate in this outstanding event and present our vision of the digital factory as well as our Sintratec S2 system. We are very proud of this partnership and are looking forward to more fantastic projects where we can shape the future together,” adds Gabor Koppanyi Head of Marketing & Sales, Sintratec.
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Featured image shows a bus manufactured by Daimler. Photo via Daimler.