Case Study: Siemens / SWU Verkehr GmbH

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Stratasys FDM 3D Printing Enables Extended Customer Service Offering and Streamlined Supply Chain

Faced with the challenge of meeting increased customer demand for one-off customized parts, Siemens Mobility division required an alternative manufacturing solution to overcome the time and cost barriers associated with traditional low volume production. This was particularly exemplified during a recent project for German transport services provider, the SWU Verkehr GmbH. With the integration of a Stratasys Fortus 900mc 3D Printer into its production process, Siemens was able to address these challenges by 3D printing on-demand, customized parts rapidly and cost-effectively, reducing inventory costs for Siemens and customers. As a result, the Mobility division is now able to respond more quickly to low volume customer demands, while boosting its manufacturing flexibility – leading to an increase in client satisfaction.

Customized Low-Volume Production with FDM 3D Printing

Creating an armrest for an Ulm city train driver seat does not sound too complex at first, but the conventional manufacturing process is not that simple. If the part is not in stock, Siemens needs to purchase the machinery or tools to manufacture it, incurring large costs for the production of a one-off single part. Outsourced, the component is typically manufactured with the use of expensive tools and on the machines from glass fibre plastics, using traditional processes such as injection molding, welding and milling. Shipped to Siemens, the part is then tailored and treated to the exact specifications of the customer, who receives the final production part several weeks later. This is not only a lengthy process, but from a cost-perspective Siemens would be limited to only taking orders above 10 parts, with lower volumes unable to justify the production cost.

In a bid to overcome these limitations and offer its customers one-off parts, the Mobility division invested in a Stratasys Fortus 900mc 3D Printer.

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