The Société nationale des chemins de fer français (SNCF), France’s national state-owned railway company, has adopted German AM software provider 3YOURMIND’s Digital Qualified Inventory platform in order to avoid costly delays in parts production.
The SNCF is a crucial part of France’s infrastructure, with over 32,000 km of rail route running over 14,000 trains daily, employing 272,000 people and bringing in upwards of €33.5 billion annually.
When a railroad component needs replacing, it needs to happen quickly, efficiently and cost effectively, but many traditional methods pose barriers to these requirements: the company has a surfeit of obsolete parts amidst its spares and identifying whether a replacement needs to be manufactured anew can create costly delays. If a part does require manufacturing, a lack of technical information, like poor 3D drawings and messy ERP data, can further contribute to delays and redundancies.
In adopting 3YOURMIND’s Digital Qualified Inventory, the SNCF will acquire a standardised process for identification, evaluation and digital parts storage. The software is able to take into account such parameters as: 3D files, weight, material, tolerance, cost per part, recurrence of use, and order constraints. It is also customisable, taking each customer’s technical and economic specificities to be taken into account.
The 3YOURMIND platform was reportedly able to identify over 10% of relevant AM parts within a total of over 30,000 parts, and reduce AM part delivery time by an average of 85% (a change of ten days from two and a half months).
SNCF will deploy the tool for regular parts monitoring, allowing it to supply its digital qualified inventory with parts for Additive Manufacturing. It will employ the AM part identifier functionalities and will be able to identify and qualify AM parts according to material and process. This may enable the further dissemination of AM knowledge within the organisation.
It is planned that 100 parts references per year will be switched from conventional to Additive Manufacturing over the next three years; a real-life demonstration of how AM can be applied and scaled to the largest use cases.
“This improved ability for inventory analysis and use case screening will help enhance our cost saving and shorten our lead times dramatically,” commented Laetitia Kirschner, AM leader at SNCF. “We are thrilled to partner with 3YOURMIND and reap the full benefits of Additive Manufacturing.”
“We at 3YOURMIND believe that in order to scale up and industrialise Additive Manufacturing, we need to find massive use cases,” stated Stephan Kühr, CEO at 3YOURMIND. “Our digital qualified inventory allows SNCF to employ AM in such a use case, and will help revolutionise one of the cornerstone transportation industries in France.”