Impact of 3D printing is 60% less production time and costs
“3-5 times less costs can be accomplished with in-house 3D printed parts”
When you hear the name Exalto, you might struggle to recognise the brand, however, all is not what it seems. This is a brand that is making a difference in ways that has never been seen before. In fact, their innovation and forward thinking, has enabled Exalto to design, develop and manufacture products that are having a huge impact all around the world, proving that appearances can be deceiving. The team at Exalto is made up out of individuals who are driven and motivated to design and create products that are going to enhance the lives of others. Their professionalism speaks volumes and their products prove that they are serious about what they do. They are not a company who is pretending to be a big player with big ideas. They meet the promises and targets which they set, and that highlights just how hard they work. However, their desire and focus has been supported by the introduction of an industrial Tractus 3D printer into their processes and working methods.
Impact of 3D printing for Exalto
Exalto is made up of three divisions – Propulsion, Parts and Wipers and it is the Exalto Wipers division that is starting to reap the rewards of advanced thinking and new production methods. Exalto Wipers is a name that is highly regarded and extremely popular in market sectors that rely on windshield wipers such as ships and trains – many of which use their products to great effect. Their success has been driven by the quality of the products they produce and the way in which they respond to the needs of the customer. All of this has been underpinned by the way in which the customer has been involved in the product “A train with a broken wiper is not allowed to leave the station and every part of a boat has to be made so that it can withstand the harshest conditions.” This is exactly why the engineering department at Exalto has played a pivotal part in what they have achieved so far. In 2016, a Tractus3D T850 delta printer was installed to help strengthen the team and the way in which they perform. The impact of 3D printing was huge.
Production time is cut by 60%
Not only has Exalto made some great decisions in the way in which they work, they have made it possible for their in-house innovators to work and think freely. This helps them to show their skills and bring out the best, which can be seen in the products they design and soon Exalto was recording a world first. “We were working on the development of a rain sensor for train windows. In the first week that we had the printer, we were able to produce 12 prototypes of the key component for this innovation. Normally, that would take us more than half a year. This rain sensor for trains is the first in the world and, as we speak, it’s already being installed on new trains in Switzerland.”
Senior Design Engineer, John Minderhoud is very satisfied regarding the way in which the Delta 3D Printer has made a impact, “This has in many respects made our division quite independent. In the past, prototyping was always outsourced, but now we can do it ourselves. The printer is on non-stop. We can try out any ideas that we come up with, with no obstacles or delays”. Using traditional methods, it took a lot of time and effort to get the results they needed. It required eight people from both buyers and external parties as well as a two week production time and many Euros per mock-up before they even got to the final product. This old method of working was time consuming, inefficient and held back the way in which the design team operated. “The biggest payoff is not the savings in external costs, material or anything like that. The biggest impact of 3D printing is the fact that we have cut out all the intermediate steps.” These results of 3D printing made it possible for Exalto to really change the way in which they work. They could plan easily, test their products and ensure that the final product was right in every way. This level of control over the production process made it possible to fine-tune their production and design to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The Tractus 3D printer had made it possible for them to work in a different way, to step away from old methods that were holding them back and move into an era where production comes at a reduced cost, with shorter timescales and better results.
The ability to design and create
In a market that is already very competitive, Exalto always had to rely on skilled workers and a tight team to develop products that work. However, traditional methods took time because it involved a lot of discussions, a lot of planning and even then, when the time came to make a prototype, it could prove to be a waste of time. Exalto required a new way to think about how they can get a product to market in the fastest possible time and this is where 3D printing became a very useful tool as part of the process. 3D printing had a huge impact and completely changed the way in which they operated. It turned them into a team of specialists that could work quickly to create a product that worked. They can now take an idea and use 3D software to create a prototype that can be altered and changed until they are satisfied. Once they are happy with the design, they can then upload it to the Tractus3D printer for printing. Even then, if they are not satisfied with the final product they are able to go back and make small adjustments without having to go back to the start and begin the process all over again. This level of design enables them to become a market leader.
The 5 advantages of 3D printing
These are the 5 specific benefits for Exalto. When you want to read about the impact of 3D printing, we would like to recommend this article about the advantages of 3D printing.
It is crucial for Exalto to always look for ways in which they can stay ahead of the competition. If Exalto has the ability to agree a design with a customer and then go ahead and create it within a matter of hours, still providing them with the scope to make changes, then they are certainly going to remain ahead of the competition.
In this industry, Exalto have had to look at ways in which they can streamline their process because time is money and time can cause them to lose their standing against competitors. Of course, traditional methods used to take days and weeks and it could take even longer if there were problems, but 3D printing has made a big impact and changed everything. They can now alter the way in which they plan their work and they can work tighter deadlines, ensuring that their output is high without compromising on the quality that they are known for.
Exalto can’t afford to make errors during the process. Whether that is design or creating the parts. Fortunately, the impact of 3D printing is that it has significantly reduced the number of errors but it also means that should an error occur, it does not take long to go back and put it right. Removing these errors, makes it possible to enhance their reliability but also to create products that are perfect. This level of reliability and design enables them to really deliver on a a number of fronts and that in itself makes it possible for them to offer more than their competitors.
When it comes to costs, Exalto has to do all they can to deliver a product at a cost that works for both them and their customers. Using traditional methods it was a laborious process that took time and effort and a lot of manpower. So this cost time and it cost money. However, with 3D printing, materials are becoming readily available and that means that the price is far less than it once was. It makes it possible for Exalto to create wipers that are cheaper per unit without waste and loss of manpower.
They have to stay ahead of the competition in a way that makes it difficult for anyone to match what they offer. Using previous methods, it was possible for designs to get lost or stolen and that meant that competitors could gain possession of them and benefit in a number of ways. The impact of 3D printing is that they can keep everything in-house, which means that there is less of a chance of designs being stolen and also that the designs can be protected using passwords and such. This level of confidentiality has completely changed the way in which Exalto work because it has given them a lot more freedom.