Azoth transforms spare part supply chain with RIZE 3D printing on demand

Following the formation of a partnership last June, PSMI (Production Services Management Inc.) has revealed how it’s reducing lead times by up to eight weeks and part costs by up to 98% with RIZE 3D printing technology.

Recognising the growth tooling applications within the additive manufacturing industry, PSMI created a wholly-owned subsidiary, Azoth, to provide on-site AM solutions through “digital tool cribs” for prototype tooling, gaging, fixtures and more.

“We have a void in our supply chain and we really see additive manufacturing helping to fill that void,” said Scott Burk, President of PSMI. “The void exists for customers that need special one-off parts that the traditional tool and die shop would charge a lot of money for because they need to strip down and rebuild a machine to make those parts. Those usually take six to eight weeks or more in lead time, and the price is usually exorbitant.”

Six months on and Azoth engineers have designed and reverse engineered a range of functional service parts such as moulds, tooling and machine spares. In one case, Azoth designed and printed a mould with a complex geometry for a custom polypropylene seal, prepared with several heat-set threaded brass inserts used in the base. The low surface tension of RIZE’s RIZIUM material meant that no mould release was needed before casting. As a result, the mould was ready for testing in one day at a cost of 30 USD compared to an average of 6-8 weeks at 4,000 USD for a machined mould.

For one of its aerospace customers, Azoth designed gripper fingers for part moving to streamline production at one of its plants. The 3D printed gripper fingers included part orientation detail and neodymium magnets pressed into the parts to assist in the location of the detail. Using the RIZE ONE, RIZE’s flagship 3D printer, Azoth reduced the cost of the part by 50% and can deliver the part quickly enough to reduce the stocking quantity to one piece.

For another customer, the team was able to print torque gun holders for assembly components which have significantly cut inventory costs from 200 USD per part with a four-week lead time to just 45 USD with a one-day turnaround.

Azoth says it selected the RIZE ONE 3D printer primarily for its safe process and materials which enable it to be used in its customers’ plants, most of whom have strict safety and compliance standards. In addition, the team is leveraging the RIZE ONE’s ink marking capabilities which allow users to print features such as part numbers, instructions and QR/bar codes on parts for traceability and authenticity.

Scott commented, “Today’s process for finding a legacy part is going into an archive to try to find the part information. Then, we make sure that part information is correct and reverse engineer it with a tool and die shop because the company that made the machine and its spare part are long gone. With a QR code embedded within the 3D printed part, I can scan that part and know every little detail, what iteration it is, when the last time we made it was, etc.”

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