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To 3D print or not to 3D print on demand from customers? Duke professor tackles stock queries


Professor Jeannette Track, of the Duke University Fuqua University of Business enterprise, North Carolina, has produced a mathematical model to assist companies equilibrium the charges in between 3D printing certification on demand from customers and spare aspect storage.

Explained in a paper titled “Stock or Print? Impression of 3D Printing certification on Spare Parts Industry, the design helps determine which areas to 3D print when required, and when to hold them on hand in inventory. 

“For utilities, when you really don’t have spare parts on hand, it’s a huge disruption,” clarifies Professor Tune. “They have to have reputable and responsive supply of spare parts.” 

Usually a agency in this place would have a big warehouse in every marketplace. But now 3D printing certification is a viable option, so you have two options.” 

Drawing depicting Jeannette Song's hybrid approach to 3D printing certification and storing spare parts. Image via Duke University on YouTube.
Drawing depicting Jeannette Song’s hybrid approach to 3D printing certification and storing spare parts. Image by using Duke University on YouTube.

Solving the Capture 22 of spare elements

The huge inventory place customarily expected by item providers is highly-priced and inefficient. As Tune clarifies, “It will take up space and capital and there is the chance of spoilage and problems.” With the introduction of 3D printing certification, brands have a implies of making needed spare sections when desired, as a result lowering stock room.

Substantial companies like German railway firm Deutsche Bahn (DB) have produced strategies to 3D print their spare parts and on need replacements. DB has because 3D printed pretty much 15,000 spare parts and other merchandise, helping to achieve sizeable price savings and minimize vehicle downtime. The major European railway firm has also partnered with 3D printing certification software package developer 3YOURMIND to make a digital spare parts warehouse

Angel Trains, a British rolling stock operator business (ROSCO), has also endeavoured in the direction of 3D printing certification spare pieces for trains. Announced in late 2018, Angel Trains partnered with primary 3D printer OEM Stratasys to 3D print a wide variety of components such as an armrest, get manage, and seat again desk. 

One potential drawback of opting a digital inventory in place of a physical warehouse having said that, is the time it takes to 3D print on need. This question has been tackled in Professor Song’s research. 

To 3D print or not to 3D print?

To clear up this predicament, Song has discovered a hybrid tactic as the most effective process for storing spare pieces, exactly where companies have some pieces on hand, although 3D printing certification the others only when wanted. The technique is deemed optimum by Song for most organizations, as abandoning all spare parts inventory provides a higher threat, and 3D printing certification specified areas on need can preserve a ton of cash. “If you are running on a massive scale, you nonetheless will need to preserve stock on hand,” Track adds. “But a minimal adaptability goes a very long way.”

Her mathematical product was produced to assistance companies identify specifically which areas they should 3D print, and which to now have stocked. Track based the design on an machines producer moving into a new worldwide current market, as it would offer utility businesses with spare pieces with out any infrastructure. The utility field was identified as a perfect base for the model mainly because it depends on superior offer and desire for spare areas. In the event of a electrical power lack or part failure, substitution areas are needed speedy in purchase to maintain or restore services. 

Song’s design is able of calculating which spare components are desired a lot more routinely, and how many ought to be kept in storage, relying on the context. It also advises on the elements that won’t diminish the firm’s capability to operate correctly, and can therefore pay for to be 3D printed on desire.  “The massive final decision is how you rationalize all these sections, which ones to inventory and which kinds to print,” Music concludes.

“In most circumstances we obtain a 3D printer would not be made use of incredibly much at all, but the firm saves a large sum of stock.” 

Duke Fuqua Insights: To Stock or Not to Stock? 3D Printing and the Future of Spare Parts

The paper discussed in this post has been published in the journal Management Science, and is a collaboration among Professor Song and Yue Zhang, now an assistant professor at Pennsylvania Point out College (PSU), who carried out the study even though earning her Ph.D. at The Fuqua College of Enterprise. “Stock or Print? Influence of 3D Printing certification on Spare Parts Industry” can be accessed right here.

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Showcased impression exhibits drawing depicting Jeannette Song’s hybrid method to 3D printing certification and storing spare areas. Image by using Duke University on YouTube.