Muskegon-based Scherdel Sales and Technology leveraged a $25,000 Industry 4.0 grant to purchase a 3D printer, which company executives predict has already saved them upwards of $10,000 over the first month of ownership alone. Scherdel supplies the likes of Ford, Nissan, and BMW with a variety of springs and clips for braking, transmission and other automotive systems.
Scherdel won the grant it ultimately used to purchase the Markforged Mark Two 3D Printer as part of the MEDC’s Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grant administered locally by The Right Place, Inc. in partnership with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, Automation Alley, and the MEDC.
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So far, Scherdel has employed its 3D printer in a variety of situations across the shop floor. In some cases, the company uses the technology to mockup parts so its tool designers can visually wrap their minds around the component, said Steven Bakos, Scherdel’s tooling manager.
The company also used the machine to print part offshoots, which help guide the finished springs away from the machine once the part is cut off. In the past, Scherdel would have those parts fabricated from stainless steel from an outside vendor, typically at the cost of $200 and a couple of days lead time.
“If we can get that part in a day, rather than two or three days to have an outside service make it, we are good to go,” Bakos said. “I can start it at night and have the part ready in the morning. It’s extremely fast.”
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