12/12/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Spare Parts 3D and Whirlpool Collaborate on 3D Printing Project

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Spare Parts 3D and Whirlpool have joined forces on a 3D printing project to improve Whirlpool’s after-sales services and accelerate industrialization.

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Spare Parts 3D and Whirlpool have started a collaborative 3D printing project based on spare parts production in pursuit of improving Whirlpool’s after-sales services.

Whirlpool is introducing a new way of viewing spare part management in after-sales by scaling up the production of the company’s first 3D-printed spare part, a push button made out of nylon with Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology.

“I know we won’t make large production batches with this technology, but there is an excellent value in solving obsolescence and shortage issues that generally fold into low volumes demands,” says Franco Secchi, head of consumer services and quality for Whirlpool EMEA. “This way 3D printing can have a direct significative impact on our customer care.”

Spare Parts 3D developed an online software called Digipart to help customers estimate potential benefits of using 3D printing and determine which parts would be the most profitable. Beta testing of additional features such as the digital inventory repository and the quotation and ordering system are ongoing and will be released to all Spare Parts 3D customers by end of the year.

“We are proud to count Whirlpool as one of our most valuable partners. Committing in 3D printing is proof of a creative mindset and leadership for such a well-known company,” says Paul Guillaumot, CEO of Spare Parts 3D.

The collaboration between the two companies started in 2017 with a pilot project on 150 parts covering various typologies, materials and technologies. In a catalog analysis conducted in 2018, Spare Parts 3D reviewed more than 11,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) automatically with Digipart to tackle two key issues: obsolescence and shortages cases. Seven percent of the SKUs were identified as profitable economically and suitable for production via ´╗┐additive manufacturing.

The next step will be to expand digitization to a larger pool of parts. Some models have already been produced based on demand and delivered to customers. Going forward, Whirlpool and Spare Parts 3D plan to intensify their collaboration to scale up production in the coming months.

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