Mar 27, 2018 | By Benedict

Volvo Construction Equipment, the construction equipment subsidiary of the Volvo Group, has introduced 3D printing in order to deliver spare parts to customers more quickly and efficiently. Parts 3D printed so far include plastic coverings and sections of air conditioning units.

The 3D printing of spare parts is becoming more common amongst manufacturers of all kinds of products. And why wouldn’t it? By keeping digital 3D printable files of spare parts on a hard drive, instead of mountains of physical spare parts in a warehouse, companies can save huge amounts of money—by ridding themselves of the cost of a warehouse, and by ensuring they never make more copies of a spare part than they actually need.

And while not every part can be 3D printed—some are made in unprintable materials, or have a function that demands a molded structure—there is a growing consensus that a huge amount of spare parts can be digitized and 3D printed on-demand in this way.

The latest major company to join the digitization of spare parts is Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, which also makes trucks, buses, etc. Volvo CE says it has introduced 3D printing in order to deliver spare parts to customers more quickly and efficiently, and is investing in 3D printing methods in the research and development of its prototype machinery.

“We are supporting customers through the life cycle of their equipment,” says Jasenko Lagumdzija, Manager of Business Support at Volvo CE. “It’s especially good for older machines where the parts that have worn out are no longer made efficiently in traditional production methods. Producing new parts by 3D printing cuts down on time and costs, so it’s an efficient way of helping customers.”

Those customers might have bought a Volvo CE product several years ago and worn out one of its specific components. By 3D printing a replacement part in a thermoplastic 3D printing material, Volvo CE can quickly and easily fix that product. Parts can be of virtually any shape and size, and can be made for any off-road Volvo machinery. Items 3D printed so far include parts of a cabin, plastic coverings, and sections of air conditioning units.

“The customer is getting exactly the same part in replacing plastic with plastic,” says Annika Fries, Aftermarket Branding Manager at Volvo CE. “We do a lot of quality assurance: the 3D parts have the same specifications and go through the same process as the original, and get the same warranty, so customers can be confident they are getting a genuine Volvo-approved part.”

In terms of turnaround, these plastic 3D printed spare parts can take as little as a week to make “since there are no minimum order quantity requirements,” while Volvo CE is apparently considering the possibility of 3D printing metal parts in future. The company is also using additive manufacturing equipment to make new components for prototype machinery.

“As we only need to produce low volumes of parts for prototyping, it’s a good way to see what works,” says Fredrick Andersson, Development Engineer for Wheel Loaders Powertrain Installation at Volvo CE. “We have a lot of knowledge and we can make changes quickly and easily with 3D printing. And because of this, it means that the time to market for a new product is quicker, so it’s of great benefit to our company.”

The Volvo Group hasn’t publicly announced any plans to start 3D printing parts for its vehicles, which include heavy-duty trucks and buses, though the independent Volvo Cars (which now belongs to Ford, not the Volvo Group) could benefit from additive manufacturing in the future. Ford CEO Jim Hackett is said to be open to the prospect of utilizing advanced manufacturing technologies.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


pippo wrote at 3/27/2018 11:16:01 PM:

ma volvo è ora di geely cinese

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive