How Heineken is using 3D printing for on-demand brewery parts

Heineken is using Ultimaker equipment to customize and redesign custom parts for its production lines.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Heineken is using Ultimaker 3D printers to create tools and machine parts for its brewery in Seville, Spain.

Specifically, Heineken is using a set of Ultimaker S5 printers to design and print its safety devices, tools and parts. Previously, Heineken would outsource those parts to third party vendors. The upshot is that Heineken has been able to save about 80% in production costs due to the 3D printing approach.

Also: Everything you need to know about 3D printing and its impact on your business

Another perk has been uptime at the brewery. Heineken's Sevilla brewery produces about 400 million liters of beer a year. Heineken has been leveraging Ultimaker 3D printers for a year or so. It started with the Ultimaker 2+, but now uses Ultimaker S5 printers, which are larger.

Heineken's approach rhymes with the way 3D printing is typically adopted. Heineken started with one use case -- making safety gear -- and then expanded to custom functional parts. After a year, Heineken is using Ultimaker for:

  • Printing parts for the production line to avoid downtime and create parts on demand.
  • Tweaking and optimizing part designs. Heineken has retooled designs as it replaces parts.
  • Creating quality control and maintenance teams.
  • Bolstering safety by printing parts that prevent accidents.

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