Today, 3D printing is used at Daimler Buses primarily in the after-sales area in order to react quickly and flexibly to urgent customer requirements, for example for rarely needed parts or special customer requests. © Daimler Truck AG

Many locations and long aisles full of well-stocked warehouse shelves everywhere. And a warehouse clerk who, when asked, sets out to find the spare part needed and bring it in – if it is available. That’s how it was yesterday. At the latest when certain components are missing in production or in response to enquiries, faster solutions have to be found. Regardless of whether only a spare part is needed at short notice, whether delivery times are to be reduced or suppliers are lost: additive manufacturing offers possible solutions. Daimler Buses, one of the largest manufacturers of buses and an internationally active division of Daimler AG, has developed special 3D printing services for this purpose. These can not only satisfy a need that has arisen at short notice, they also help to save costs in warehousing, tool procurement and scrapping. Currently, almost 40,000 bus spare parts are 3D printable. Some of these are already available today exclusively as 3D-printed spare parts after corresponding digitisation steps, approval processes and numerous product tests, and are stored in the “digital warehouse” with all the necessary information for printing.

Now the Daimler Buses 3D Printing Competence Centre is expanding its range of services and offering additive manufacturing services to customers in other industries as well. According to the company, the portfolio includes “in addition to various consulting services, data preparation, digital warehousing and, of course, individual component production if required”. Companies can, for example, order a potential part analysis adapted to their parts portfolio as part of a part screening. Webinars and workshops are also offered, providing a quick introduction to additive manufacturing as part of “Quick Start” concepts. “We at Daimler Buses have been intensively involved with additive manufacturing since 2016. We have had many positive experiences with 3D printing technology and have built up a lot of knowledge – we would like to pass this on. We will also advise customers from other industries with our own consulting unit and support them in the digitalisation of parts procurement,” says Bernd Mack, Head of Customer Services & Parts Daimler Buses.

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