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© Stratasys General | October 25, 2017

GKN Driveline updates its production processes with 3D printing

GKN Driveline Florence is expanding the deployment of Stratasys 3D printing across the manufacturing floor to replace several traditional production processes.
The division has reported a reduction of almost 70% in lead times when 3D printing customised assembly tools in place of traditional plastic and several low-loaded metal tools – eliminating expensive downtimes of the production line and ensuring business continuity. The team is also 3D printing replacement parts for manufacturing equipment, on-demand, reducing the dependency on suppliers and accelerating part delivery to customers, a press release reads.

GKN Driveline service car manufacturers with its automotive driveline systems and solutions. Among its clients we find Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group but also the likes of Maserati and Ferrari. As customer lead times continue to shorten, the division has identified several new factory-floor applications where 3D printing can replace traditional manufacturing processes to increase productivity.

According to Carlo Cavallini, GKN Lead Process Engineer and Team Leader at the Florence plant, since the introduction of a Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer, the team can now produce complex assembly tools for the production line in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods.

“Utilizing our 3D printer, we developed a tool that dramatically improves grease distribution and eradicates the need to clean up time-consuming spillages. This has been crucial to streamlining the production cycle of the half shaft, enabling us to provide customers with premium quality final parts,” Cavallini explains.

To further improve efficiencies on the factory floor, the plant is also extending the use of 3D printing to produce customized replacement parts, on-demand. The Florence plant recently 3D printed a missing cable bracket for a robot, saving at least one week versus the time it would have taken to receive the part from the supplier.

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November 14 2017 8:30 PM V8.8.9-1