This case study shows how Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) factories in Poland used Zortrax 3D printers to significantly reduce production costs and optimise processes. Furthermore, TMMP reveals how long it took them to recoup their investment in 3D printing equipment. It’s extremely low!
Toyota’s factories in Poland install engines in cars assembled in Europe, where the vehicles hit the road, satisfying all customers who prioritise comfort and dependability. Toyota employs over 3000 people, and thanks to optimised processes, they are able to meet the demands of the ever-expanding automotive market. Toyota, on the other hand, felt the need to further optimise their production process and cut costs.
The factories use Zortrax 3D printing solutions to reduce production costs and shorten the manufacturing time of various instruments.
Toyota’s Polish facilities have been using Zortrax 3D printers for years, having invested more than 100,000 PLN in additive manufacturing equipment. Their 3D printing lab includes the Zortrax M300 Plus. Because of its dependability and low maintenance costs, the printer is used for manufacturing tools that optimise workflow on assembly lines. A growing proportion of such factory tools are now 3D printed in LPD technology.
Zortrax 3D printers
The Toyota plant 3D prints four types of parts: positioning jigs, assembly jigs, assembly tools, and covers. Components 3D printed on Zortrax M300 Plus are frequently combined with parts made with other manufacturing technologies. Toyota uses gauges with 3D printed bodies and pins that contact metal surfaces made of nylon on CNC machine tools to increase durability. Toyota engineers were able to significantly extend the life of these instruments in this manner. Early prototypes lasted more than six months before being replaced. When this happened, it only took 7 hours to print new ones.
“3D printing is not that much about manufacturing time, as it is not the fastest technology on the market, but it surely is the most flexible. We do not have to store spare parts, because we can 3D print them on demand. We can optimize our projects freely since 3D printers materialize nearly all geometries imaginable. We can start a 3D printing process whenever such a need occurs. We don’t have to wait until our tooling department, or an outsourcer, has the capacity to take care of our orders. 3D printing shortens waiting time for needed tooling from weeks to days, or sometimes even hours.”– Łukasz Kondek, the engineer responsible for 3D printing, Toyota
Before Toyota began using 3D printers, assembly line jigs were made in a separate department primarily using CNC machines. As a result, engineers had to design these tools while keeping in mind the constraints imposed by traditional manufacturing technologies. This problem was solved by 3D printers such as the Zortrax M300 Plus, which significantly reduced costs and shortened lead times. The entire investment in 3D printing equipment used at Toyota’s Polish factories paid for itself in less than a year.
“One of the key benefits of implementing Zortrax 3D printers in manufacturing & industry is their tried and true, stable construction and ease of maintenance. That means that global manufacturers like Toyota can rely on them while printing equipment critical to keeping the assembly line running. Reliability is essential, as even short delays can generate losses that far exceed the value of the printers themselves. Therefore, what we offer large industrial customers is the assurance that our 3D printers will perform as they should every time.”– Michał Siemaszko, Head of Research and Development, Zortrax
About Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP): Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland’s main activity in Wabrzych and Jelcz-Laskowice is the production of conventional and hybrid drives as well as gasoline engines for Toyota vehicles assembled in the Group’s plants in Europe and Africa.
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.