AM Energy

German Automotive Giant MAN Truck & Bus Taps Replique for 3D Printed Spare Parts

Electronics
AMR Military

Share this Article

MAN Truck & Bus, the Munich-based, leading producer of commercial vehicles, has collaborated with BASF spin-out Replique, a digital manufacturing platform also based in Germany, to 3D print spare parts. Leveraging Replique’s global network of on-demand manufacturing partners, MAN was able to source the bronze manifold for a marine engine that was out-of-stock, with the casting mold for the part also unavailable.

MAN is a subsidiary of Traton Group, itself a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group (Traton was formerly known as Volkswagen Truck & Bus AG). Notably, in 2021, Volkswagen announced its goal to 3D print 100,000 parts per year by 2025.

Using the bronze alloy m4p Brz10 and powder bed fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing (AM), MAN went from its initial inquiry to receiving its first spare parts in less than two months. According to Replique, the Central Material Technology department at MAN demonstrated that the parts printed in m4p Brz10 outperformed the original in tensile tests. The parts’ subsequent demonstration of success in real-world scenarios resulted in MAN’s ordering 10 more units.

In a press release about MAN Truck & Bus’s use of Replique for on-demand digital manufacturing, Thomas Hauck, from MAN’s Spare Parts Logistics department, said, “The collaboration with Replique was seamless from our initial contact to the moment we received the finished parts. It allowed us to promptly assist our spare parts customers, and we are already in the process of realizing another 3D printing project with Replique.”

CEO and co-founder of Replique, Dr. Max Seibert, said, “The use of [AM] enables companies to overcome traditional production challenges. We are happy to work together with MAN to ensure a reliable and efficient supply of spare parts in the transport and marine sectors.”

Replique’s distinction from other digital inventory platforms is underscored by its ability to enhance technical performance beyond the original part, particularly through the utilization of m4p Brz10. In an interview last summer, Replique Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer Henrike Wonneberger described to me how prioritizing materials qualification is at the center of Replique’s focus.

This announcement also reinforces the argument I made in an article from October, about how the next phase of AM’s scale-up could be largely driven by the increasing demand for automated quality control of spare parts sourcing for transportation-related sectors. As I noted in that story, the state of the technology supporting AM-centered distributed manufacturing still makes such distributed manufacturing more of a dream than a reality.

Nevertheless, a company like Replique working with a company like MAN is precisely the sort of business relationship that can serve as a precursor to the widespread deployment of distributed 3D printing. The fact that MAN and Replique are already in the process of working on more printed spares hints at the likelihood that in 2024, the AM sector will bring distributed production of on-demand spare parts even closer to reality.

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Poll of the Week: Networking Events at Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2024

Lithoz Expands Ceramic 3D Printing to Japan via New Network



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

Solize Debuts on the Tokyo Stock Exchange: A Milestone for Japan’s 3D Printing Industry

In the dynamic landscape of Japan’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Solize Corporation has emerged as a beacon of innovation, particularly in the realm of 3D printing technologies. On February 7,...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: January 28, 2024

It’s another busy week of 3D printing industry webinars and events! Stratasys continues its advanced training, while Nexa3D and Headmade Materials will discuss ColdMetalFusion in a webinar. 3DHEALS is hosting...

Electronics 3D Printing Company Electroninks Partners with Japan’s SAKATA INX

Electroninks, the Austin-based manufacturer of metal complex inks for electronics applications, has partnered with SAKATA INX, a Japanese company that manufactures a variety of inks, including materials for the electronics...

Featured

EPSON and Development Bank of Japan Bet on 3DEO’s Metal 3D Printing Tech

Japanese investment into the additive manufacturing (AM) sector is increasing and it’s bringing new, powerful players to the table. Los Angeles-based 3DEO announced a substantial investment from the Development Bank...