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Category: Case Study, 12.02.2024

Large-format 3D printed parts accelerates repairs of legacy industrial equipment

John Cockerill Services is a leading provider of industrial equipment maintenance solutions for a large number of industries such as chemicals, steelmaking, petro-chemicals, railways, ports, inland waterways, cement, mines and quarries, renewable and nuclear energy. It designs and supplies unique pieces of new industrial equipment, components and sub-assemblies (shunting locomotives, gearboxes, reducers, butterfly valves and diesel engines) along with spare parts for legacy equipment repair.

The Problem

John Cockerill Services faced a time-sensitive repair for a 200kW electric motor in the steel industry. The crucial terminal box cover was missing, leaving motor terminals exposed.

Traditional Challenges

  • Lead time: Sourcing a custom injection-molded cover would incur significant cost and extended lead times, hindering repair progress.
  • Cost: For a single, unique part, traditional manufacturing methods are often cost-prohibitive.
  • Material limitations: Finding a material suitable for the cover’s size and application could be challenging with conventional methods.

The Solution: print big parts in engineering materials

Leveraging their in-house Incremental Manufacturing department, John Cockerill Services turned to large-format FDM 3D printing with the Omni 500 LITE printer.

Omni3D FDM technology offered:

  • Rapid high-quality prototyping: A PLA prototype cover was designed and printed within 10 hours (design) +33 hours (printing), enabling quick visualization and iteration.
  • Cost-effectiveness: 3D printing proved more cost-efficient than traditional manufacturing methods for a single, custom part.
  • Material versatility: ABS ESD material offered the necessary strength, durability, and static dissipation properties for the large cover (410 x 480 x 120 mm).

The Results:

  • Reduced downtime: The final ABS ESD cover was printed in 145 hours, significantly faster than traditional methods, minimizing repair delays.
  • Cost savings: Compared to injection molding, 3D printing delivered cost advantages for this unique part.
  • Improved efficiency: The success of this project led John Cockerill Services to adopt 3D printing as a manufacturing option for similar large-format replacements, streamlining their repair process.

Benefits for the Railway and Industrial Maintenance B2B Audience:

  • Reduced downtime: Minimize aircraft groundings and production delays with rapid parts manufacturing.
  • Cost optimization: Produce custom, low-volume parts cost-effectively compared to traditional methods.
  • Inventory optimization: Reduce reliance on stocked spare parts with on-demand printing capabilities.
  • Complex geometries: Create intricate parts with challenging designs impossible with conventional methods.


Upgrade your maintenance service offer with Omni3D’s large-format industrial FDM 3D printing solutions.

  • Contact us today for a free consultation. ✅
  • Discover how 3D printing can optimize your business.
  • See real-world case studies of successful implementations.
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