3D Spark Inks 3-Year Deal With Alstom

The 3-year extension of the 3D Spark license highlights the impact of the B2B Manufacturing and Procurement platform for the railway sector, as shown by Alstom's commitment.

The 3-year extension of the 3D Spark license highlights the impact of the B2B Manufacturing and Procurement platform for the railway sector, as shown by Alstom's commitment.

By tapping into 3D Spark’s “Digital Factory Twin” and “Supplier Panel,” Alstom reinforces its commitment to delivering parts quickly with minimal CO2 footprint. Image courtesy of 3D Spark.

Alstom, a railway technology company, alongside 3D Spark, an innovator in business-to-business manufacturing and procurement software, announces a 3-year extension of their partnership. This extension indicates an expansion of a collaboration, helping set new standards in rail sector manufacturing and procurement, according to the companies.

The partnership highlights how advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence-driven tools can enhance efficiency in part manufacturing and procurement. With 3D Spark's solution integrated, Alstom advanced its “Design To Print” initiative, empowering users to identify inexpensive, fast, and sustainable production options, according to the companies.

Digital Factory Twin Enables Manufacturability

On the production front, the implementation of 3D Spark's solution has led to time reduction for manufacturability checks (DfM) and quoting, decreasing the number of iterations, interactions, and thus bottlenecks, Alstom reports. These efficiency gains enhanced Alstom's capability to identify parts that can be printed in-house, promoting better capacity utilization of machines (CAPEX).

Make or Buy Decision Support 

Regarding procurement, Alstom targets a reduction in purchasing efforts by reducing unnecessary requests for quotations (RFQ), a strategy enabled by 3D Spark’s ‘make or buy’ decision support, Alstom notes. The software assists in evaluating in-house manufacturability and production costs vs. purchase prices and delivery times. 

When buying, 3D Spark’s “Supplier Panel” makes supplier selection easy, providing a complete list of Alstom’s qualified suppliers, supporting with manufacturability assessments, automated target-pricing, and one-click RFQ sending, ensuring a more focused procurement process for buyer and seller, the companies report.‍

Sustainable Manufacturing Decisions

Part of this partnership is the emphasis on sustainability. The introduction of 3D Spark’s automatic CO2 footprint calculation for each production option at no additional effort, is part of Alstom’s commitment to sustainable production choices, the company explains. Covering polymer, metal, and ceramic 3D printing technologies, as well as metal casting, injection moulding, milling, and turning, this feature helps Alstom align with EU directives like CSRD and CBAM. It furthermore helps save €80-100 per ton in certificate costs, with an increase in savings expected as regulations evolve.

Aurélien Fussel, 3D printing program manager at Alstom, reflects on the partnership's impact: “Our collaboration with 3D Spark has been a key factor in Alstom's achievements in additive manufacturing and the success of our DesignToPrint program. This partnership not only supports our innovation goals but also participates in our commitment to sustainability and operational efficiency.”

“As leading rail operators request at least 10% of train parts to be 3D printable for digital warehousing and spare parts on demand, 3D Spark emerges as a pivotal solution provider in meeting this requirement and driving innovation. This three-year contract renewal with Alstom solidifies our shared vision for a sustainable digital manufacturing future in the railway sector,” says Ruben Meuth, co-founder, and CEO of 3D Spark GmbH.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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