Schneider Electric exploits the advantages of DLP 3D printing to create spare parts
Schneider Electric is a European company founded in 1836, operating worldwide. It is engaged in the development and manufacture of air circuit breakers, among others. They recently incorporated additive manufacturing into their business to address the lack of inventory in the supply chain for spare parts and tooling. Within the facility management department, they decided to adopt the Shape 1 3D printer, from RAYSHAPE, which enabled them to manufacture these parts more quickly and at lower cost. For more than 5 months, Schneider has benefited from all the benefits offered by this innovative resin additive manufacturing process.
In the manufacturing industry, spare parts are not mass-produced items, so any disruption in the supply chain can affect the entire industry on a large scale. This is where 3D printing comes in, which is a much faster and cheaper system to produce single pieces or short runs compared to other traditional manufacturing methods. Moreover, with the development of new advanced materials in the industry, this no longer prevents companies from adopting the technology. In fact, the latter was particularly important to Schneider, since most of its applications require materials with high toughness, but with adequate dimensional accuracy. To solve this problem, they turned to the Chinese manufacturer RAYSHAPE, dedicated to the development of professional DLP 3D printing solutions, including machines, materials and post-processing solutions.
Benefits of Adopting DLP 3D Printing
By integrating resin additive manufacturing into its business, Schneider has reduced the collaboration chain time, which requires engineers, suppliers and purchasing managers to create the final part. Using RAYSHAPE’s Shape 1 3D printer, engineers were able to solve the problem by designing and 3D printing the spare parts. Unlike CNC machining, which is a method that requires more effort and time, 3D printing is a technology with which frontline engineers can solve problems that arise the same day. Additionally, one of the great advantages of this technology is that it can manufacture parts in a single process and outside of business hours, so issues can be resolved instantly.
The Shape 1 is a desktop 3D printer capable of printing at speeds of up to 50mm/hour with high precision, meaning multiple 10cm tall tools can be created in the same time frame. time. With a build volume of 192×108×300mm, the machine created multiple 3D printed parts in about three hours using the full extent of DLP light-curing technology. To meet material requirements, RAYSHAPE recommended Schneider to use Pro 10 resin. This photopolymer has a Shore hardness of 86D and balanced mechanical performance in terms of high tensile strength, high flexural strength , lower strain rate and low creep.
The competitive advantage of additive manufacturing has helped engineers master processes and rekindle their passion for technological innovation. Business becomes more efficient, deeper and nuanced. The pace of production lines becomes more manageable, problems are no longer urgent and can be solved more efficiently. In terms of investment, the Schneider Wuhan team claims to be able to 3D print more than 110 parts in five months, enabling them to reduce costs by 80% and produce twice as much as they could with other methods. This is very positive compared to CNC machining. Thanks to 3D printing, they were able to recoup their investment as soon as the 100th piece was created. If you would like to learn more about how RAYSHAPE’s technology has enabled them to speed up Schneider’s production processes, you can visit their website here.
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*Cover photo credits: RAYSHAPE