Leading Omnibus Manufacturer EvoBus Started Using 3D Printing in Production

EvoBus GmbH, a subsidiary of the Daimler Group, is one of the leading manufacturers in the global omnibus segment. In order to continue expanding its pioneering role in times of increasing competitive pressure, EvoBus decided to pursue two strategic aims: sustainably increase its profitability and enhance its capacity to innovate. Additive manufacturing and industrial 3D printing became their key tool in reaching these targets.

Click Image to Enlarge

For years, the Customer Services & Parts (CSP) unit of EvoBus GmbH has been confronted with rising costs for warehousing and logistics, as well as long lead times. These challenges are driven by the company’s increasingly broad portfolio, coupled with its promise to customers to supply spare parts for buses over a period of more than 15 years, even after series production has been discontinued. EvoBus currently manages over 320,000 active spare parts, many of which are kept on stock – and this number is continually growing. 
Problem with overproduction 
Minimum purchase volumes frequently lead to overproduction. In many cases, the company was forced to purchase 15, 20, or even 100 parts, even though only one was required. This dependency on innumerable suppliers caused a great deal of uncertainty: with repeat orders, there is the risk that the supplier no longer has access to the necessary blueprints and tools, or that financial modifications may be required.

With conventional production processes, finding an answer to the growing challenges would be far more difficult for EvoBus GmbH. By contrast, the company saw a great deal of potential in the production flexibility offered by additive manufacturing.
– By implementing 3D printing within our CSP business model, we hope to reduce the rising warehousing and tool costs caused by our growing inventory of omnibus spare parts, while also continuing to improve supply performance to our end customers, says Ralf Anderhofstadt, Project Manager CSP 3D-Druck.

Starting point: "part screening and selection"
In order to successfully integrate industrial 3D printing within its organization, Daimler Buses decided to rely on the expertise of Additive Minds, the consulting division of EOS, right from the early project phase. Additive Minds examined EvoBus' entire supply chain and determined how they could exploit the potential of industrial 3D printing to the fullest. By applying a “part screening and selection” methodology EvoBus identified a total of 2,600 such parts. Of these, 35 metal and polymer components were selected for an initial implementation phase.

Industrial 3D printing has already solved many of the current CSP challenges faced by EvoBus. In the long term, it also has the potential to increase the company’s profitability and innovative strength, as well as safeguarding its pioneering role. As the project continues, EvoBus’ additive manufacturing portfolio will be expanded to include additional spare parts made from polymers and metals. Another phase of the project will also fully digitize any remaining analog components to improve the overall efficiency of the spare parts division of the business.

Unproductive downtime was reduced
Thanks to the shorter lead times, the unproductive downtime of their buses is reduced to the bare minimum. Moreover, additive manufacturing allows the complexity and functional integrity of the produced parts to be optimized, empowering EvoBus GmbH to respond even more effectively to specialized customer requirements in future.


Applications | 27.2.2019

Latest articles

Wärtsilä software will enable a new Simulation Centre to meet needs of cruise, ferry and superyacht clients

The technology group Wärtsilä is to supply and configure the software solutions for a new, state-of-the-art, purpose built simulation centre.

R&D | 20.5.2019

Safe chemical storage is essential for safety, health and business prosperity

Many industries use and store dangerous chemicals, and the chemical waste produced. Storing these substances safely is essential to protect workers’ health, the environment, and the public from the effects of potential chemical spills and gas emissions. In this article the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health, EU-OSHA, gives tips on how to keep workers safe and healthy.

HSE | 16.5.2019

Safe and sustainable airport maintenance with tractors

Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers are already a reality, but can the same idea be applied to a 7-ton machine clearing an airstrip from snow? Valtra and Nokian Tyres partnered up with three other Finnish companies for a joint proof-of-concept project at the European Union’s northernmost airport. 

Applications | 15.5.2019

Maintenance Performance and its Measurements

Maintenance performance can be difficult to measure.  But, measurements drive behavior and it is therefore important to think through what to measure.  The measurement should be designed in order to achieve the following:

Asset Management | 25.4.2019

Implementing RCM? 5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you are considering to employ  RCM analysis  at your facility, it means you have recognized the need for a change in your maintenance strategies. Reliability-centered maintenance is an excellent way to keep your plant or machinery up and running by helping you choose the optimal maintenance strategy for all of your important assets. 

Cmms | 19.3.2019

Save Energy in Steam and Condensate Systems

The oldest paper mill still operating in Germany detects defective steam traps with digital ultrasonic testing technology

Partner Articles | 15.3.2019

Time to Invest in Europe’s Water Infrastructure

THE WATER AND SANITATION sector is an important part of the European economy. It represents more than 500,000 people directly employed in water and sewerage companies, operating thousands of facilities and several million kilometres of networks.

Editorial | 14.3.2019

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016