Incorporating in-house 3D printing at the engineering and fabrication workflows of end-use parts for their automated machines is saving NGNY over 40,000€ a year, while significantly accelerating their processes and facilitating customization from beginning to end.
Founded in 2015, NGNY Devices works on the design and construction of machinery and automated equipment for elements operation in repetitive processes. Their products are usually located in automated clinical laboratories – those that test blood and urine samples when our doctor requests an analysis.
To simplify, these machines manage test tubes: they classify, uncover, make copies, retake, centrifuge, label and identify them. And they can classify up to 1,000 tubes per hour, which, in the case of those laboratories who work 24 hours, sums up to 24,000 tubes per day!
Each NGNY’s machine serves different purposes, and has to be completely customized for the client. Therefore, the company works constantly on conceiving new pieces which will enable new functions. In order to accelerate their design and fabrication processes, NGNY uses in-house 3D printing to develop, test and produce end-use pieces for each machine they construct.
In-house 3D printing yields savings of tens of thousands
Before they started integrating additive manufacturing into their workflow, the staff at NGNY would design each new iteration and send it to an external supplier, where it would be machined. This was a slow and expensive process, with a minimum cost per piece of 30€.
Each design would then have to be tested and, if any changes needed to be made, a new piece would be machined, adding 30€ more to the total cost. Machining an average of 70 final pieces -not counting the different iterations created in the process- would yield a minimum cost of 2,100€ per machine, adding up to around 50,000€ a year.
According to Tomeu Ventayol, Project Manager at NGNY, 3D printing has represented an absolute revolution of their process. Nowadays they 3D print “50 to 100 end-use pieces per machine, at a total cost of under 100€”. The math is simple: through 3D printing, over 2,000€ are saved up per machine – with a total savings amount of 40,000€ per year!
“Our case is almost a textbook example: high added value, low production, high complexity – 3D printing fitted like a glove!”, asserts Tomeu Ventayol. “The first phase was changing our whole process, and the second has been to start designing parts for FFF and fabricating them, for which our BCN3D Sigmas have worked ideally”.
From functional validation to fabrication of end-use parts
At NGNY, then, they develop the parts, 3D print them in PLA or PA depending on their intended use, and start testing them. They go through an iteration process, in which the product designers maintain the original specifications while adding slight modifications until they come up with a part that fulfills all mechanical requirements.
The final step of this operation is to implement the new parts in the specific machine that is being constructed: once they have found the optimal design, at NGNY they fabricate many of the final pieces using their Sigma 3D printers. And they do so with complete confidence on their solid performance, because, as Joan Viladomat, CEO of the company, states: “With 3D printing we obtain perfect results every time”.
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