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Daimler Buses says its Omniplus service brand removes the need for a convoluted ordering process or time-consuming shipping. Picture: SUPPLIED
Daimler Buses says its Omniplus service brand removes the need for a convoluted ordering process or time-consuming shipping. Picture: SUPPLIED

Owners of Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses will soon be able to produce several spare parts quickly and cheaply at their own premises.

All they need is a certified 3D printer, a one-off registration process and a licence for the required part in the desired quantity to create the bus/touring coach company’s own “mini parts factory”.

Daimler Buses says its Omniplus service brand removes the need for a convoluted ordering process or time-consuming shipping. Instead, the flexible, 24/7 supply of spare parts from within the company ensures rapid availability of spare parts that will keep fleets on the road.

This is all made possible by the new 3D printing licence shop from Omniplus. More than 100 parts of the roughly 1,500 different 3D-printable components will be available as the first licences from the digital warehouse. Additional spare parts will follow as digital licences.

Daimler Buses says the service is similar to streaming services or media libraries, where record collections and fixed airtimes are now things of the past, and anyone can enjoy their show or favourite music at any time and from anywhere.

Bus companies need to complete a one-off registration process at the 3D Printing License eShop with their 3D printers. At the shop, customers are only shown the parts that are  compatible with their own printer.

Next, customers purchase an encrypted 3D printing licence for the component they require in the desired quantity and can print it out within their own enterprise. After having successfully printed the component part, the respective licence expires without the data being saved. Alternatively, customers can let their nearest Omniplus service partner know about their requirements. The latter can then acquire the corresponding licence and take care of printing. “Wibu Systems” encryption technology is used to ensure the data is protected throughout the process and that the ordered quantity is kept to.

Because of the data and the individual building instructions, the digital twin at the digital warehouse and the provision of encrypted 3D printing licences allow spare parts to be made available worldwide in the quickest possible way, and exactly where they are needed.

The benefits are faster availability of parts, shorter supply chains and cost savings, says Daimler Buses.

The company has focused on the potential of digital production technology since 2016. In the meantime, the Omniplus service brand has designated about 40,000 bus/touring coach spare parts from the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands as suitable for 3D printing. Initially, Omniplus is concentrating on more than 7,000 parts that are to be digitised gradually.

A kind of digital warehouse will be created in this way which is being expanded continuously. It includes both regularly required spare parts as well as rarely required parts for special customer requests.

Mercedes-Benz Buses is investigating if the 3D printing service will be suitable for the SA market.

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