Manufacturing - ERP/MRP

Manufacturing Software News, Case-Study Applications, Product Information, Best-Practice and Thought-Leadership Articles

Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures

09-Nov-2017
Maximizing production efficiency with 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures
Helena Trincheiras, Pilot Plant Engineer at Volkswagen Autoeuropa  says: "3D printing developments result in a 91% cost reduction and 95% reduction in tool development time. Ultimaker makes it possible to improve tool ergonomics by 28% and the final product quality by 35%." 

By using 3D printed tools, jigs, and fixtures, Volkswagen Autoeuropa reduces cycle time operation, labour, and the need for reworking, while improving tool ergonomics. Furthermore, they achieve this at a tenth of the usual cost. The company estimates that they are on track to save €325,000 by the end of 2017.

Company: Volkswagen Autoeuropa
Industry: Automotive
Challenge: Develop customized solutions to address specific problems, re-engineer application of concepts applied on auxiliary assembly, get rid of paperwork, and shrink implementation time.
Solution: The initial concept is converted to a digital file, then sent to a 3D printer. Afterwards, the part is post-processed and evaluated through functional testing, saving both money and time.

Results:
  • Cost optimization 
  • Time optimization 
  • Robustness and process flexibility 
  • Innovation 

Volkswagen Autoeuropa - Introduction
Traditionally, subtractive processes focus on manufacturing tools for mass production or production of stringent requirement components. In contrast, the additive approach dominates rapid prototyping processes – providing much greater flexibility in the necessary construction time.

With Ultimaker’s 3D printers, Volkswagen Autoeuropa could test solutions without having to contact suppliers, saving considerable time. As a result, purchasing costs were reduced (by 91% when compared to working with external suppliers), implementation time cut (95%), ergonomic improvements were made, assembly processes and quality indices improved, and potential problems were easily anticipated at the concept stage.

The company’s short-term goal is to create more prototypes, gauges, tools, and spare parts in-house, reducing development time and acceptance testing even further. Ultimaker provides the flexibility and autonomy for continuous improvement, with a direct impact on ergonomics and quality. In the future, they look to further expand on these benefits – with the production of large series which will be applied to the final product.

Challenge
Before working with Ultimaker, Volkswagen Autoeuropa used third-party suppliers to manufacture their tools. The process took several weeks, especially when multiple designs or assemblies were required. It also meant more paperwork, quotations, and the adoption of a trial-and-error approach, all of which were holding up the tool manufacturing process – at additional cost.

Solution
After validating the concept in 2014, Volkswagen Autoeuropa now has seven Ultimaker 3D printers in operation, with 93% of manufactured tools previously made externally now created in-house. Within two years, their assembly-tooling cost savings rose – from 70% to 95%. Ultimaker enabled Volkswagen Autoeuropa to test solutions without having to contact suppliers, reducing the time taken by an average of eight weeks.

Results
Volkswagen Autoeuropa can now avoid processes that waste the company’s time and money, which benefits the team and improves the final product. As Luis Pascoa, Pilot Plant Manager at Volkswagen Autoeuropa, told us: “It’s a simple process – we just convert our idea to a 3D file, send to the 3D printer, post-process the part, evaluate with functional testing, and finish by implementing the idea.”

Ultimaker enabled Volkswagen Autoeuropa to:
  • Make even complex concepts a reality 
  • Develop ideas quickly and easily 
  • 3D print concepts on the same day as design – shrinking the development process from months to a matter of days 
  • Reduce costs by testing prototypes, rather than redesigning or altering an existing mould 

Costs
The reduction in time taken and cost to produce prototypes led to a higher ROI, a better quality product, and more customer satisfaction. Innovative 3D printed products of Volkswagen Autoeuropa are being used in several applications and are considered best practices in the Volkswagen group. 3D printing enabled them to test construction and assembly tools, reduce their development times by 95%, and avoid the bureaucratic process of dealing with suppliers. By printing prototypes in-house, Volkswagen Autoeuropa achieved a 91% cost reduction (approximately €325,000 per year).

2.0 TDI liftgate badge
External suppliers
COST - €400/part 
PROJECT - 35 days 

Ultimaker 3D printers
COST - €10/part
PROJECT - 4 days

Ensures correct positioning of the 2.0 TDI emblem, repeatedly and efficiently

Rootstock Software Names Per Norling General Manager, International To Spearhead Worldwide Growth
3 days ago
Ansys 19.1 Delivers The First Comprehensive Solution For Simulation-Based Digital Twins
4 days ago
The Future Of ERP
1 week ago
UK manufacturing growth slows, but there are some silver linings…
2 weeks ago
Synchrono® Presents Get Lean on Inventory at IndustryWeek Expo
2 weeks ago
Growing pains? Subcon releases new research on export and subcontracting in UK manufacturing and engineering
2 weeks ago
"Fashion Goes Digital" takes the Lead in Fashion Technology
2 weeks ago
TouchPath Launches Latest Performance-Driven Manufacturing Execution System
3 weeks ago
SAP Introduces SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
3 weeks ago
UNEX Manufacturing Brian C. Neuwirth Named MHI Outstanding Young Professional at MODEX 2018
1 month ago
Lectra’s Cloud Applications take the Fashion World by Storm
1 month ago
Brockhouse forges ahead with turnover up a third
1 month ago
UNEX Manufacturing Acquires SpeedCell to Expand Company Product Line with Dynamic
1 month ago
Optimising productivity at warehouse packing stations
1 month ago
SYSPRO's Latest ERP Release Supports Globalization, Growth, and the Digital Economy for Manufacturers
1 month ago
Teamwork Reimagined: Lectra Connected Design and Lectra Connected Development
1 month ago
Subcon partners with Automechanika Birmingham to open doors to all visitors
2 months ago
4 Reasons Robotics Will Continue To Dominate The Manufacturing World
2 months ago
GST Achieves Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Unique Partnership with Lectra
2 months ago
GE Spurs Product Innovation Through Multi-Year Agreement With Ansys
2 months ago
Ansys Discovery Live Enables Real-Time Digital Exploration For Every Engineer
3 months ago
Engineering The Future: Visitor Registration Opens For Subcon
3 months ago
From Single-Task Machines to Backflipping Robots: The Evolution of Robots
3 months ago
Bonlok Invests In Khaos Control Cloud ERP To Centralise And Enhance Business Operations
3 months ago
UNEX Manufacturing Order Picking and Material Handling Solutions to be Showcased at RILA Retail SC Conference
3 months ago
Eurotech and ALTEN Calsoft Labs partner up to provide innovative solutions in the IoT space
3 months ago
Langhammer Presents a Compact Layer Palletizing System
3 months ago
Ansys Tames Product Complexity And Spurs Productivity With Release 19
3 months ago
Epicor Announces Two New Executive Leadership Appointments to Take Company through Next Phase of Growth
3 months ago
Lectra announces the acquisition of Kubix Lab
3 months ago
UK manufacturing sector holds the line as bad debt looms, data from Creditsafe reveals
4 months ago
Russell Roof Tiles Builds in the Cloud with Infor
4 months ago
2017 Marks 2nd Consecutive Year of Record Growth for UNEX Manufacturing, Inc.
4 months ago
Romanita : A Cut Above The Rest With Lectra
4 months ago
Imperial Brands Will Upgrade to QAD Cloud ERP in 21 Facilities
4 months ago
Gartner Says By 2020, Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates
5 months ago
Lectra appoints Nathalie Brunel as Vice-President Sales, Fashion & Apparel
5 months ago
Hayward Tyler and Lanner win OR Society’s President’s Award 2017
5 months ago
Evolution of fashion professions at heart of Lectra’s 8th education congress
5 months ago
Reactive Downhole Tools Selects Epicor ERP to Support Ongoing Growth
5 months ago
Business Insights drives productivity in ERP
5 months ago
Armor-Lux selects Lectra Fashion PLM 4.0
5 months ago
TouchPath Launches Cutting Edge IoT Solution For Manufacturers
5 months ago
Determining the venting capacity of bags with a mobile unit
6 months ago
OPW cushion manufacturers boost bottom line with Lectra’s newest airbag cutting solution
6 months ago
Total Economic Impact Study Reveals Epicor ERP Customers Can Achieve 264% ROI
6 months ago
London College of Fashion
6 months ago
UNEX Exhibits Lineside Picking and Flow Cell Solutions at The Assembly Show
6 months ago
UK manufacturing sector back in growth, new research reveals
7 months ago