The North American department of automobile producer Volvo Vans has 3D printed 500 manufacturing instruments and fixtures, together with a one-piece diffuser used within the paint atomizer cleansing course of.
Absolutely incorporating Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) expertise, Volvo’s New River Valley (NRV) plant in Virginia, the place all vehicles for the North American market are produced, has enabled faster manufacturing and steady high quality enhancements in its automotive elements.
“Volvo Vans started exploring the usage of 3D expertise with a prototype strategy, figuring out alternatives to enhance high quality within the manufacturing course of,” mentioned Franky Marchand, vice chairman and normal supervisor of the NRV plant.
“A number of years later, we will now say that 3D printing has grow to be an integral element to our manufacturing processes and tradition at NRV.”
Volvo Vans’ 3D printing technique
As early as 2015, Volvo Vans has adopted Stratasys’ 3D printing programs at its engine manufacturing facility in Lyon, France. The turnaround occasions of meeting line manufacturing instruments dropped dramatically, quoting a 94% lower. Final yr, Volvo Vans has joined a 3D printing manufacturing partnership with SLM options to scale back the time to market of latest merchandise.
Adam Crowder, supervisor of Superior Manufacturing Expertise at NRV, is main a world manufacturing-focused community representing 12 Volvo Vans’ crops worldwide. Collectively, these Volvo Truck manufacturing bases are collaborating to develop new 3D printing purposes and methods for improved manufacturing.
Volvo Vans has diminished turnaround occasions on sure clamps, jigs, and helps by way of a partnership with Stratasys. Picture through Stratasys.
SLS in Volvo Vans
Volvo Vans primarily use SLS in its manufacturing course of which permits engineers to design and produce elements in a matter of hours throughout a working day or in a single day. In comparison with conventional tooling strategies, this cuts down the variety of hours spent constructing elements considerably. This additionally eliminates the wait for brand spanking new elements from distributors because the elements additively manufactured in-house.
Furthermore, additive manufacturing has improved the standard and precision of Volvo’s merchandise. by eliminating error in manufacturing, and streamlining the manufacturing course of. This will increase the possibilities of the primary time by way of (FTT) manufacturing of meeting instruments and fixtures. For the plant, FTT would get rid of the area wanted to deal with historically produced instruments and scale back stock bills.
After years of inner exploration with 3D printing and fine-tuning, the NRV store ground now gives greater than 500 3D printed manufacturing instruments and fixtures. All of those elements had been printed on the Volvo Revolutionary Initiatives lab on the Dublin facility.
Additive manufacturing instruments and fixtures
Lately, Volvo Truck has used 3D printing to develop a one-piece diffuser used within the paint atomizer cleansing course of. Apart from saving the corporate greater than $1,00zero per half, 3D printing has additionally eradicated the necessity for a a number of piece element. Considering forward, the Volvo workforce has additionally produced spare elements for the twenty diffusers created. Ought to put on happen, diffusers will be simply and shortly changed.
Different examples of 3D printed elements in use at Volvo Vans embody: roof seal gauges, fuse set up platens, drilling fixtures, brake piston gauges, vacuum drill ducts, brake valve becoming gauges, hood drilling fixtures, energy steering adapter holders, baggage door hole gauges and baggage door pins.
“Whereas the expertise has solely been in use for a handful of years, it’s already proving to be a beneficial element of the manufacturing course of at NRV, considerably saving manufacturing time and elements prices and frequently enhancing high quality,” concluded Crowder.
3D printed one-piece diffuser used within the paint atomizer cleansing course of on the New River Valley plant in Dublin. Picture through Volvo Vans.
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