Schneider Electric has an internal fablab where industry has a 3D printing workshop in Grenoble of an OpenLab,
As Sylvain Gire, Vice President in charge of the processing and industrialization at Schneider Electric, industrial launch of the order of 400 products per year, so any innovation and technology involved in the improvement of the “Time to Market” is welcome. Several 3D printers have been implemented in the OpenLab industrial including to produce tools for the Assembly but also lines to make the molds. Cost reductions can reach up to 90%
Parts of moulds made in 3D printing
The use of 3D printing in the workshops of prototyping is now increasingly common in industry. This is the case of Schneider Electric, which uses its 3D printers Stratasys FDM (deposit of molten wire) technology 400mc and object 500 (Polyjet technology which allows to obtain very smooth surfaces) to produce prototype parts, but also of mussels.
Usually, create a mold aluminum for a prototype part represents a period of several weeks, until 2 months of waiting before producing the hull of a prototype of electric equipment. With 3D printing, the mold is available in one week only at a cost on the order of a hundred euros, against EUR 1 000 for the same aluminum mold making.
The production is now interested in 3D printing
If 3D printing has made a place in design and prototyping phases, it is now spawning a place on the production side. The prototypes of tools are still made in additive manufacturing in order to verify the effectiveness of the tools and their ergonomics and officials Schneider Electric now raise the possibility to realize the final tools with CNC machines, but in 3D printing. Sylvain Gire evokes even the production of small series for new products or spare parts.
Source : “Schneider Electric’s ‘Factory of the Future’ Strategy Incorporates Stratasys 3D Printing to Improve Manufacturing Efficiencies and Accelerate Time to Market”, Stratasys press release, September 30, 2016