Mercedes-Benz is introducing 3D printing for truck parts as part of the standard production method in parts departments. Later this year, 30 genuine spare parts will be available for order and supplied at the press of a button from the 3D printer.
“In keeping with our brand promise ‘Trucks you can trust’, we set the same benchmarks for reliability, functionality, durability and economy for spare parts from 3D production as for parts from conventional production”, said Andreas Deuschle, Head of Marketing and Operations in the Customer Services and Parts Mercedes-Benz Trucks Division. “However, 3D offers many more possibilities; this is why we shall be rapidly extending the production of 3D printed parts.
“We benefit from our extensive experience at Daimler with 3D printing processes in prototype construction. The available spare parts consist of high-quality plastic components. Covers, spacers, spring caps, air and cable ducts, clamps, mountings and control elements are just a few examples of economical spare part production in top quality made possible by using the 3D printing process.
The ‘printed’ spare parts are created with state-of-the-art 3D printers based on the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing process. For Mercedes-Benz Trucks the process parameters have been optimised and determined by the Daimler research and development divisions.
Every 3D spare part can be ordered by the customer using the special spare part number under which it is recorded in the order code lists and the spare parts catalogues at Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
The challenge in the spare parts business lies in securing supply even for model series which are no longer produced and for which there is only a low demand in small quantities every year. Producing them is uneconomical for suppliers, production facilities and tools often have to be retained and maintained for years.