Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021 11:35 GMT

3D print shortens train firm’s delivery by 85%

France’s national state-owned railway company The Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF) has invested in 3D printing software for the production of spare parts.

As the SNCF operates over 32,000km of rail route with over 14,000 trains running each day, 3D printing technology allows the smooth running of parts production.

The Agile PLM software is produced by additive manufacturing (AM) end-to-end workflow software firm, 3YOURMIND.

The solution allows the user to manage factors such as 3D files, weight, material, tolerance, cost of parts, recurrence of use, and order constraints.

Describing the need for such technology in a rail environment, 3YOURMIND says: “When a railroad component needs replacing, that replacement needs to happen quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. But railroad companies like SNCF suffer from a surfeit of spare and obsolete parts.

Identifying if an item is available or whether it needs to be manufactured can create costly delays. Not to mention the cost it requires to warehouse these spare parts

“Identifying if an item is available or whether it needs to be manufactured can create costly delays. Not to mention the cost it requires to warehouse these spare parts. A lack of technical information such as poor 3D drawings and messy ERP [enterprise resource planning] data for spare parts, all contribute to preventable delays and redundancies.”

The software solution also allows SNCF to use an AM part identifier functionalities and Digital Inventory tool to regularly monitor parts.

According to Laetitia Kirschner, AM leader at SNCF, the firm aims to swap 100 conventional sourcing references a year to additive manufacturing over the next three years.

Kirchner says that making this switch will allow the firm to save costs and shorten lead times “dramatically”.
3YOURMIND has been able to save SNCF up to 85% in delivery time, which is now ten days rather than 2.5 months.

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