Spare Parts 3D, a French-based startup specialising in Additive Manufacturing for spare parts, has been selected by Braskem, headquartered in São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil, one of the largest producers of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, to assist the company in adopting AM for its spare part supply chain.
According to Braskem, having to manage a large-scale inventory of spare parts means the company has a number of opportunities for AM spare part adoption in its operations in Europe and the Americas, such as reducing long lead-times for critical parts, addressing obsolescence, managing emergency part needs, and reducing the cost of carrying heavy inventory due to high minimum order quantities.
In order to extract value from its spare parts, Braskem has chosen Spare Part 3D’s DigiPartTM software solution to efficiently establish its spare parts inventory’s suitability for AM.
The software’s unique approach (functional specificities analysis) enabled Braskem to efficiently sift through a vast amount of spare parts data from its ERP and establish which parts were likely to be additively manufacturable and those that were not. In eight weeks, the project team reports that it had analysed a 15,000 spare parts subset, categorised each part into a category based on how suitable it was for AM, and identified suitable technology for the AM part.
Spare Parts 3D explains that, with DigiPart’s business case decision tool and the know-how provided by its team, Braskem was then able to identify parts suitable for AM by looking at analyses based on part value, minimum order quantity (MOQ) and lead times. This enabled them to select promising part categories (such as nozzles, rotors, seats, etc).
In addition, Braskem selected a few concrete examples of parts to additively manufacture as proof of concept as part of a pilot programme in its Brazil operations.
Alexandre Pintor da Luz, project coordinator at Braskem, stated, “One of the important elements we needed was the capacity to have a reliable potential estimate based on a representative subset of our spare parts in a relative short amount of time.”
“Spare Part 3D Additive Manufacturing know-how, coupled with DigiPart efficiency, and the team’s presence on-site were key to the success of our project,” he continued. “We are looking forward to scaling the project to the next phase.”
Julien Bofill, COO Spare Parts 3D, commented, “The success of the Braskem project is also the result of having the right people included from the start. It was necessary to have everyone’s perspective from warehouse, procurement and engineering to get some of the intangible data that you cannot get from the ERP. That intangible data is also fundamental to obtain buy-in of key people on such disruptive projects.”