3D-Printed Spare Parts Cut Operations Costs by 50%

Machines are expensive and so is maintaining them. This particularly applies to special machines and older models, where the procurement of spare parts is often difficult and usually cost-intensive.

Machines are expensive and so is maintaining them. This particularly applies to special machines and older models, where the procurement of spare parts is often difficult and usually cost-intensive.

Oftentimes, the required parts have to be traced and produced individually. Costs and problems arise not only from the expensive, custom-made parts, but also from machine downtime.

Expensive spare parts for a winding machine

ContiTech Schlauch GmbH in Germany regularly encountered this problem when spare parts were needed for their winding machine. To wind up the brake hose yarn, it is guided back and forth along the bobbin. A cross-thread spindle was used to ensure that the thread was laid directly or via a thread guide guided through the groove.

Intensive use of the machine quickly resulted in wear and tear on the moving components. The complex geometry of the cross-thread spindle made the production of spare parts particularly cost-intensive. (Pictured below: a cross thread spindle in a winding machine)

The 3D printing service from igus® had a solution. Our engineers printed the cross-thread spindle using the laser sintering process from the wear-resistant plastic iglide® I3 within a few days. Now, the winding machine operates smoother than before.

By using the 3D-printed component, the company succeeded in significantly improving the sliding properties of the cross-thread spindle and reducing the costs for operation and maintenance of the winding machine by around 50 percent. Classic production would have been twice as expensive due to the part's complex geometry.

Fast and economical production of spare parts online

The SLS material iglide® I3 is characterized by particularly low wear and tear and high strength. Like all iglide® plastics, iglide® I3 also contains embedded lubricants, which eliminates the need for additional lubrication and maintenance of the printed components. In the case described above, the maintenance engineer still decided to use additional lubricating oil to counteract the excessive heating of the machine.

SLS-printed iglide® I3 components have detailed, exact surfaces, which is particularly important for the production of precise details - as is the case, for example, with the cross-thread spindle.

We can print spare, individual and series parts within one to three business days - no minimum order quantity is required. The easiest and fastest way to order parts is through our online 3D printing service . To learn how the service works, watch this video with Product Specialist Preston Souza. He'll walk you through the upload/order process.

More Igus Coverage

How Smart Plastics Decrease Plant Downtime while Ensuring Process Conformity Through Industrial IoT
igus creates "built-in" sensor technology with the development of "smart plastics" which bring intelligent monitoring to plastic products.
igus i.Sense EC.B Cable Sensor for e-chains Allows For Greater Long Distance Safety
igus®, has introduced the i.Sense EC.B – a smart condition monitoring system for breakage detection on e-chain® cable carriers over 35 meters. In the case of a break, the i.Sense EC.B system will immediately trigger a signal making...
Additive Manufacturing Insights From igus
Additive manufacturing refers to a process by which digital 3D design data is used to build up a component in layers by depositing material. It is becoming more widely used, and has many advantages. Paul Gomer, an additive manufacturing development...
Discover Digital Light Processing With igus Resin for 3D Printing
Company releases 3D printing resin for wear parts and gears.
New igus Sensor for Predictive Maintenance
igus has developed a sensor for its smart plastics software that calculates the remaining service life of energy chains, cables, linear guides and plain bearings during operation.
Editor’s Picks: April 7-13, 2022
One of the picks will be chosen as DE’s Editor’s Pick of the Week.
Igus Company Profile

Share This Article

Subscribe to our FREE magazine, FREE email newsletters or both!

Join over 90,000 engineering professionals who get fresh engineering news as soon as it is published.




#26284