Additive manufacturing conference 3D printing, AM set to revolutionise spare parts supply

Editor: Briggette Jaya

AM – Parallel to Metav 2016, the Inside 3D Printing Conference will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre on 24 and 25 February, offering a complete conference package responsively themed around additive manufacturing (AM) with metals and plastic components.

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Metal AM technologies are suitable for prototyping, but increasingly also for the production of end-use and spare parts.
Metal AM technologies are suitable for prototyping, but increasingly also for the production of end-use and spare parts.
(Source: Schulz)

The core sectors to be addressed at this conference are aviation, the automotive industry, the machine tool industry and medical technology. To quote Dr Eric Klemp, responsible for the conference program: “Visitors to the Inside 3D Printing will want to explore the limits of the methods currently available for 3D printing – in terms of both technology and commercial viability.”

Among the diverse range of applications, AM is predestined for spare parts supply and manufacturing parts on demand, since spare parts for long-lived industrial goods are often produced in advance for stock. By means of additive methods, any components required can be easily printed out, fast and flexibly, in any desired geometry: this is the experts’ vision for the future, the organisers say.

Ulli Klenk, chairman of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group in the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), is confident: “AM offers companies completely new options and opportunities in terms of efficiency, speed, and flexibility. The entire value creation chain within an organisation or company benefits from these advantages: this subsumes not only development and manufacturing, but also and above all spare parts supply and service support.”

This means companies can swiftly manufacture not only prototypes, but also produce individualised products and spares. In commercial terms, too, this is an extremely interesting scenario: spare parts or components are produced only on demand and as close as possible to the place of use. Storage and dispatch costs are eliminated, as are delivery times. The administrative outlay required is reduced to a minimum. Nonetheless, AM is still a niche area Klenk adds.

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