Additive Industries, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, reports that ABB Turbocharging, Baden, Switzerland, a manufacturer of high-end turbochargers, has invested in a MetalFAB1 Additive Manufacturing machine. ABB will utilise the new machine to produce spare parts for its 500 kW to 80+ MW turbochargers for diesel and gas engines on-demand. The companies are jointly optimising the integrated process to replace casting and move part fabrication to the digital space.
ABB has over 200,000 turbochargers in its installed base in the marine engine and emergency power generation businesses. To secure availability for the thousands of different turbocharger spare part designs, with casting lead times up to nine weeks, a large number of spare parts need to be carried in inventory. With the MetalFAB1, the spare parts manufacturing lead times can be reduced to a week, allowing spare parts inventory levels to be reduced significantly.
“In Additive Industries we have found a partner that not only understands what is required to use 3D metal printing in an industrial environment, but they also share our passion for digital technologies to continuously improve the service to our customers,” stated Egon Seegers, General Manager Service Parts of ABB Switzerland Ltd, Turbocharging.
Ian Howe, CEO of Additive Industries, added, “With ABB we have added another market leader to our very focused list of customers. They are committed to drive progress in the domain of digital spare part manufacturing, very relevant in a time where shortening the lead times and limiting logistical movements around the world is key.”
Mark Massey, Additive Industries’ CCO, concluded, “ABB services over 200,000 turbochargers around the globe on ships, in power stations, generator-sets, diesel locomotives and large, off-highway vehicles. The potential for on-demand 3D printing of spare parts is immense. We are very happy to be able to support ABB in further improving customer service and satisfaction by greatly optimising the manufacturing process of parts for turbochargers.”