Car glazing manufacturer Saint-Gobain Sekurit has utilised 3D printing technology from BCN3D to produce tooling components at improved costs and in reduced times.
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The company has been using 3D printing technology in-house at the L’Arboç plant in Barcelona since 2019, after years of outsourcing the manufacture of its tooling, saving hundreds of thousands of Euros. Saint-Gobain Sekurit counts Daimler Mercedes, Stellantis Group, Volkswagen Group, Renault Dacia and Ford among its customers.
Harnessing several BCN3D Epsilon W50 series 3D printers and accompanying Smart Cabinets, Saint-Gobain Sekurit has reportedly found it easier to develop new ideas, create prototypes in a shorter amount of time, and carry out tests in a matter of days. Additive manufacturing has been integrated into the company’s tooling operations which facilitate the production of rear and side panels for vehicles. 3D printing has been deployed for tooling components such as templates and positioning fixtures that are said to contribute to more efficient glazing production lines.
In the printing of packaging grippers, of which four units are required a year, the company was able to reduce cost per part from €230 to €2.50 and lead time from one week to six hours, while the printing of a housing cover (eight units per year) saw cost per part reduction from €210 to €8 and lead time reduction from three weeks to six hours. An eight-unit order for control gauges, meanwhile, returned annual savings of €4,072 with cost per part down from €510 to €0.10 and lead time down from one week to 30 minutes. Two of the company’s biggest successes are for circle focalisation and square focalisation components, both of which were produced in annual units of 80. The 3D printed circle focalisation parts saw annual savings of €12,720 and the 3D printed square focalisation parts retuned annual savings of €8,453 – cost per part: €0.45 and €0.60 respectively.
Since adopting the technology in 2019, it is projected that Saint-Gobain’s Sekurit business has saved around €170,000 and reduced lead times by 93%.
“At Sekurit, we have been manufacturing automotive components for 90 years. Thanks to 3D printing, we have experienced a significant cost reduction and a faster workflow adapted to our needs in the manufacture of tooling since we incorporated this technology compared to external suppliers we used in the past,” commented Angel Salas, Saint-Gobain’s Maintenance Engineer at the Barcelona factory.
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