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

OPW cushion manufacturers boost bottom line with Lectra’s newest airbag cutting solution
3 weeks ago
Total Economic Impact Study Reveals Epicor ERP Customers Can Achieve 264% ROI
3 weeks ago
London College of Fashion
1 month ago
UNEX Exhibits Lineside Picking and Flow Cell Solutions at The Assembly Show
1 month ago
UK manufacturing sector back in growth, new research reveals
1 month ago
Bmp Invest In Syspro Erp To Deal With Their Diverse Product Ranges And Allow For Future Growth
1 month ago
Hayward Tyler and Lanner win OR Society’s President’s Award 2017
1 month ago
VIA University College, Denmark Fuses Fashion and Function with Infor
1 month ago
Uk’s Largest Stockholders Of Quality Engineering And Advanced Thermoplastics Chooses K3 Syspro Technology
1 month ago
Bromford Iron & Steel invests £50,000 to fuel growth
1 month ago
New Fully - Automated Security Patching for Oracle’s E - Business Suite
1 month ago
Lectra and Faurecia renew their partnership agreement
1 month ago
Lectra appoints Olivier du Chesnay as Chief Financial Officer
1 month ago
Today's Manufacturers and 3PLs Need Close Ties
2 months ago
Bailey Trailers Hitches Its Wagons to Brockhouse
2 months ago
Centrax Gas Turbines Boosts Performance with Infor
2 months ago
The Future of ERP: Public Cloud
2 months ago
Next Generation of Infor CloudSuite™ Industrial Machinery Now Available
2 months ago
K3 SYSPRO wins contract to help global textile company with diverse product range and future growth
3 months ago
Galdi Selects Eurotech to Explore IoT Technology in Industrial Applications
3 months ago
Jungheinrich wins biggest lithium-ion contract ever
3 months ago
ANSYS Helps Startup Companies Worldwide Accelerate Product Development
3 months ago
Ansys Acquires Computational Engineering International
3 months ago
Apex to showcase latest automated dispensing solutions at PPMA 2017
4 months ago
Lectra, ESTIA, Today Tomorrow Textiles Foundation and JPS Conseil launch ‘Biarritz Active Lifestyle Integral’
4 months ago
Vanderlande opens new Manufacturing and Distribution Center in USA
4 months ago
Jungheinrich Group provides free 5-year warranty on its lithium-ion batteries
4 months ago
Robust, Dexterous and Pink - Wall Colmonoy Limited (UK) moves in a new direction with Jungheinrich
5 months ago
Automotive Manufacturers See the Future in Big Data
5 months ago
Epicor Helps Islay Whisky Manufacturer Blend Heritage with Technology to Deliver the Perfect Dram
5 months ago
The new Lectra Fashion PLM gears fashion companies up for the fourth industrial revolution
5 months ago
The UK manufacturing sector continues its growth
5 months ago
Big employment boost for Eurozone manufacturers
5 months ago
Whelen Engineering Company Partners with Infor to Support Digital Transformation
5 months ago
Cosmetic Laboratories Dr Irena Eris Gets Beautiful with Infor M3
5 months ago
Same-day production and delivery of replacement parts? Live experiment by DHL, Siemens, and AXIT show the way
5 months ago
Maxco Supply Selects Infor to Help Establish Future-Ready Infrastructure
6 months ago
Thermax partners with Infor on business transformation journey
6 months ago
Synchrono® Sponsors 2017 IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo for Third Consecutive Year
6 months ago
New IntelliChief ECM Workbench Enabling Automated Document Management
6 months ago
Lectra empowers airbag cushion suppliers with the flexibility to scale up their manufacturing footprint
7 months ago
ANSYS Taps Matthew Zack To Lead Corporate Business Development
7 months ago
ARCA Banks Business Improvements on Infor CloudSuite Industrial Machinery
7 months ago
HellermannTyton Heads for the Cloud with Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise
7 months ago
Synchrono® Vice President John Maher Receives Distinction from Supply & Demand Chain Executive
7 months ago
Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) channel set for take-off, says LCP & Cranfield report
7 months ago
SKRAW-MET Selects Infor to Manage Increasing Production Demands
7 months ago
Manufacturers value Lectra’s fabric cutting room: 3000 Vector® sold in 10 years
8 months ago
4 Ways IoT Will Remake Manufacturing in its Image
8 months ago