Distribution centers and jobbers couldn’t possibly afford to stock every single part that a truck owner might need at a given point in time. The massive inventory would tie up far too much space and capital. The best they can do is play a numbers game, focusing on parts used in the widest volume of vehicles, and trying to limit investments in the components that are likely to gather dust on a storage rack.
STUTTGART, GERMANY – Engineers working for Daimler’s European truck brand, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, have successfully used a 3D printer to create a metal thermostat cover – proving a process that could reshape the way spare metal parts are produced and distributed.
With the potential of decentralizing production, 3D printing could improve parts availability, shorten delivery times, and reduce warehousing and distribution costs, the company notes. Daimler’s brands in North America include Freightliner and Western Star.
“With the introduction of 3D metal printing technology, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is reasserting its pioneering role among global commercial vehicle manufacturers,” said Andreas Deuschle, head of marketing and operations – customer services and parts with Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We ensure the same functionality, reliability, durability and cost-effectiveness with 3D metal parts as we do with conventionally produced parts.”