DAIMLER BUSES STARTS 3D PRINTING SERIES PRODUCTION
Daimler Buses is already over 25 years active in 3D printing although in a prototype construction stage. Now it has announced it has transferred from the prototype fase to series production. Using 3D printing, Daimler Buses will use the technique to react quickly, flexible, economically and environmentally responsibly to urgent customer requirements, such as rarely ordered components or special customer requests.
This includes covers and handles, extending as far as a diverse range of individual brackets in Genuine Parts quality. The production and delivery of a 3D printed part takes only a few days as opposed to several months. Also, this manufacturing technology produces considerably less waste and any unused material can be immediately used for the next 3D printed order.
Today, complex, non-safety-relevant 3D printed components, are already being used in the bus interior. Furthermore, at present the "Centre of Competence for 3D Printing" is examining over 300,000 current bus spare parts in detail as to their suitability as 3D printed parts – around 200 of them have already been identified for 3D printing, some off which were displayed at the Daimler booth at Busworld. Until now relevant 3D parts were produced by external service providers in accordance with specified quality standards. The 3D printed parts meet the specifications of the tightened directive ECE R 118.03 for fire-proof interior materials used for passenger transportation and offer all the necessary certificates.
In the next stage, Daimler Buses wants to continually expand on this business model, with the overall aim of being able to directly print 3D spare parts in-house for customers. The objective is to reorganise the value-added chain of the individual production areas and to derive a new business model from it. This includes the establishment of a "digital warehouse" with comprehensive 3D printing data which can be purchased and called up via the Omniplus On portal in the "commerce" section. The idea is that instead of simply purchasing spare parts as was previously the case, customers will buy a printing licence which they can then have implemented by the advanced printers in the Omniplus printing centres. From mid-2020, Omniplus will also be able to supply 3D-printed personalised interior decor components for retrofitting in accordance with specific customer requests.