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3D printing results gives a maintenance company considerable cost savings.

Employee of vanLochem on a building installing a 3D printed object

“The total design time can take 5-10 times longer than the actual turnaround time when outsourcing.”

Founded in 1969, Van Lochem is a family-owned company that has a vast experience of specialising in maintenance, renovations and transformations. The company is certainly open-minded when it comes to the way in which it operates and that means that they are constantly looking for new methods and techniques to enhance the way they work. Innovation is at the forefront of everything that they do because the company understands that evolving technology can help them to work more efficiently and effectively. Therefore, they are able to commit to projects and ensure to deliver every single time.

They consider themselves and are considered by many to be a leading market player, driven by their ambition and forward thinking. Therefore, cutting-edge technology underpins everything that they do, take for example, the way in which they adopted the use of drones, incorporating them into their way of working. This proves that they are simply striving to deliver and stand out in a market that is competitive, where thinking outside of the box can be the difference between success and failure.

The challenge and solution

Multiple cost savings

Working on renovation projects that included properties constructed in the 1930’s, it came to their attention that a number of mounting clips were broken and of course, could no longer be purchased as they were no longer in production. Therefore, this would mean that the entire casing would have to be replaced – at a considerable cost. However, this was not required because they opted to use the industrial Tractus3D printer, enabling the maintenance company to create 3D drawings of the clips before having them printed. This saved them a lot of money on products, man-hours and problems that arise with using original materials and methods.

Faster ways of Working

Van Lochem Nederland takes great pride in their work and that is the reason why they are so highly regarded. In recent decades, their methods and the technology meant that they had to work slowly in order to complete renovation jobs to their high standards.

Methods that had stood the test of time would be implemented by the company and if the work took a matter of days then that is what it would take – ultimately, it was out of their control. Things have now changed as they are now adopting a completely different method by using Tractus3D printers to carry out certain aspects of their projects. Their ability to carry out building transformation work or renovations has been enhanced by the fact that they can now increase the speed at which they work. The use of a 3D printer takes their digital model and creates it into the required product in just a few hours. This is a huge amount of time saved by the company, enabling them to focus on other areas of the project while still ensuring they meet the high standards set by themselves.

Work More Accurately

For every maintenance company accuracy is crucial when carrying out renovation or transformation work. And this is time consuming. In particular, working on a project such as that of a 1930’s property means that certain parts have to be made by hand to obtain the detail that they require.

They found that by using a Tractus3D printer, they could cut the time it took to create the required objects by a considerable amount. In fact, there is no other way that you could achieve this level of accuracy that is also accompanied by speed. After scanning the relevant objects, they were able to upload the design to the 3D printer. The final design was completed in just a matter of hours as opposed to several days.

Reduction in Labour Costs

Restoration work is known to take time. In fact, part of the service that the maintenance company offers is that they take their time to ensure that the finished project is at the level expected by their client. In many of the projects that they take on, and in particular this project on a 1930’s property would usually mean that they have to get a lot of men working on the project. As mentioned, this can take days to complete and all of that labour comes at a cost. However, 3D printing has offered them the ability to significantly reduce their labour costs because there was no longer a need to have a number of men working on one job. The design was simply created using special software and then uploaded to the 3D printer. The printer then took on the hard work of creating the object over just a few hours. Therefore, the company can now plan in advance the way in which they use their budget and how much man power they actually need.

Low Waste Generation

Many companies these days, choose to consider the environmental impact when they carry out their work. They acknowledge the fact that the majority of the waste they generate on projects has to be recycled or disposed of in other ways. Often, disposing of waste comes at a cost but more importantly it can contribute to the damage that is caused to the environment. Working responsibly, the maintenance company ensures that they do all they can to make a difference and this is where 3D printing has enabled them to meet their own targets when it comes to reducing waste. The great thing about 3D printing is that any waste that is generated can be recycled and used again.

Reducing Safety Concerns

In this maintenance industry companies are faced with a wide range of healthy and safety concerns. These concerns stretch from looking after their own workforce right through to looking after the public. Often, they can find themselves working at height and in this particular job, they found that they needed to consider the stability of the property and the way in which their workforce could work safely, minimising the risk to them. Handling heavy, fragile objects certainly increases the risk and that means that they had to spend time and money on ensuring everything is in place to make it go to plan. In this instance, 3D printing has allowed them to look at the health and safety risks from a different angle because it has meant that many of the dangerous jobs that take place on site are replaced by 3D printing. Creating objects using 3D printing means that they are lighter and more durable and that makes it possible for them to work in different ways. They require less heavy machinery to lift objects and they can put objects in place in different ways, making sure that they are secured properly. 3D printing models comes with many benefits but there is of course no bigger positive than reducing health and safety risks.

3D Printing as the new solution

For many maintenance companies 3D printing has given interesting new possibilities. It is changing the way in which they work, the methods they use and how they consider the environmental impact of each project. When it is considered that they can now work more efficiently, plan tighter deadlines and meet them consistently, it has made it possible for them to increase their output without compromising on quality. The level of accuracy has never been possible before without hundreds of man-hours and so, they can now take on projects that require intricate workings because 3D printing makes it all possible. Managing Director Jack van Van Lochem explains, “It is almost impossible to imagine all of the applications beforehand. We will continue to roll out 3D printing in our company and will certainly be putting 3D printers into use in a wide range of cases in the future.”

This maintenance company has undoubtedly benefited from 3D printing and that is exactly why it has become a technology that will now shape the way in which they move forward.

Maintenance company employee installing a 3D printed clip

Benefits

  • A lot of time is saved as designing is kept in-house
  • Ability to recreate objects that are no longer produced
  • Versatility in designing objects
  • The prototyping process is now very swift when compared with the traditional approach, which required several intermediate steps.
  • Prototyping is incredibly fast, allowing for trial and error.
  • Because the process does not have to be outsourced, they are able to cut costs drastically.
Many 3D printed mounting clips
The 3D printed mounting clips
3D model of a mounting clip
Designing the object before it is send of to the 3D printer
3D printed mounting clips
3D printed object which is ready for use