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Industry

Heineken latest to harness 3D print power

The Dutch brewing company is utilising the power of 3D print at its manufacturing site in Spain.

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The desktop 3D printing solutions from Ultimaker are aiding the manufacturing sector

Despite still being in the early stages of its use, Heineken has seen increased productivity and a reduction in production costs by using 3D printing technology to create tools and parts on-demand.

Using a set of Ultimaker S5 printers, engineers at the site in Seville can design and print safety devices, tools and parts on-demand, taking away the need to outsource to external vendors.

“We’re still in the first stages of 3D printing, but we’ve already seen a reduction of costs in the applications that we found by 70-90% and also a decrease of delivery time of these applications of 70-90%,” says Isabelle Haenen, global supply chain procurement at Heineken.

“Local manufacturing helps us a lot in increasing uptime, efficiency and output. We use 3D printing to optimise the manufacturing line, create safety and quality control tools, and create tools for our machines which help us to reduce change over time. I think there will be even more purposes in the future.”

We use 3D printing to optimise the manufacturing line, create safety and quality control tools and create tools for our machines which help us to reduce change over time

The Seville brewery produces several Heineken-owned beers, reaching a production capacity of up to 500 million litres of beer each year.

Ultimaker began producing 3D printers in 2011 and has gone on to support a range of companies with its technology, including Ford, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Volkswagen Autoeuropa and Siemens.

“Every company has its own unique challenges in the production process, which is why the ability to create custom solutions straight from the factory floor is such a game-changer for the manufacturing industry,” says Jos Burger, CEO of Ultimaker.

“Heineken is a prime example of a company that is utilising the Ultimaker S5 as an all-purpose manufacturing machine. We have enjoyed watching the use case evolve over the past year, from safety applications to the creation of fully functional parts for machines that lead to significant savings, and we cannot wait to see what they come up with next.”

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