Stratasys and Schneider Electric Plan the Factory of the Future

Share this Article

Schneider Electric SE is a French multinational corporation that specializes in the distribution of electricity, automation management, and producing the necessary installation components for the management of that energy. Schneider’s interest in helping others manage their energy efficiently is part of the company’s dedication to the very idea. And as such, they quickly recognized the potential that 3D printing held for further advancing their goals in that area.

As part of their efforts to streamline their processes, and to create the factory of the future, they have teamed up with Stratasys to incorporate 3D printing into operations in Grenoble, France. This comes after having used the technology already for several years as part of their prototyping process. The machines they have chosen are a combination of PolyJet and FDM printers suitable for things such as injection molding, assembly line tooling, and the development of products and prototypes. All of this is incorporated into the factory’s very own internal model shop known as Openlab.

digital-factory-3d-printed-injection-moldWith plans in place to launch 400 new products this year — a breathtaking rate of more than one per day — the speed of 3D printing is a major draw factor towards the technology. The manager of Schneider Electric’s mechanical design and engineering department, Yann Sittarame, explained the impact the integration of 3D printers into the company’s workflow:

“We are increasingly using 3D printing to design and engineer assembly line tools for validation- thereby saving time in the production of the final tools. This technology has changed the way we work and changes the way we think about doing things in the future. Looking ahead, we plan to 3D print the final tools, which is perfectly achievable given the accuracy and durability of our 3D printing process.”

stratasys-3The benefits are felt throughout the company and Vice President of GSC Transformation-Industrialization Sylavin Gire touts the improvements the technology has made in the timeline necessary for production, but notes that it’s not only speed that is provided through 3D printing, but significant financial benefits as well. While it used to cost as much as 1,000 euros to produce a single aluminum injection mold, the company can now create them with 3D printing for approximately 100 euros per mold. This leaves Schneider Electric very enthusiastic about the possibilities provided by the tech, as Gire described:digital-factory-stratasys-3d-printing

“We’re witnessing an astronomical cost-saving from 3D printing injection molds, but we’ve also drastically cut the time taken to produce them, so we’re looking at a win-win every time. Manufacturing the prototype molds in aluminum necessitates – in some cases – a lead time of as much as two months, but with Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions, the whole process is completed within a week. That’s a roughly 90% time savings, which would be unfathomable with any other technology.”

With these kinds of time and cost savings, there’s no question that this will be the direction for the factories of the future. And it’s already happening. Discuss further in the Schneider Electric & 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Stratasys]
Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

Industry Experts Interview Naomi Kaempfer

Ganit Goldstein Collaborated with Stratasys on New Fashion Collection of 3D Printed Jewelry and Shoes



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Architecture

3D Printed Art

3D printed chicken


You May Also Like

New 3D Printed Continuum Soft Robot Can Lift 3 Pounds

Usually when we think of robots in everyday life, it’s something anthropomorphic, maybe a cross between C-3PO and Rosie the robot maid from The Jetsons. But robots don’t always represent...

Interview with Ross Stevens on How He Uses 3D Printing to Go Beyond the Surface of Things

With indisputable expertise in digital filmmaking, New Zealand is leading the way into some of the most evolved new techniques in 3D printing. One place, in particular, is pushing the...

Shipboard 3D Printing Expanding Worldwide

Polar waters, icy environments and seemingly harsh surroundings make the Arctic one of the most difficult marine settings to work in, especially with regards to ship and marine technology. This...

VA Takes On Shoulder Surgery Using 3D Printed Models

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been one of the country’s biggest and busiest embracers of 3D printing. Making headlines seemingly every few months for the steady...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!