MFFF Liebherr-bracket-hero

Engine bracket by Liebherr Components Colmar SAS

Integrating metal parts into the supply chain

Established in 2011, Liebherr-Components Colmar SAS is dedicated to the development, design, assembly, as well as the testing of large diesel engines. Main applications for these engines are mining trucks and excavators, and power generation.

Liebherr Components is a specialist in the development and production of high-performing components. The range covers components from the areas of mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical drive systems, and control technology.

The components have outstanding quality and are distinguished by their sturdy design. Be it aerospace or the wind industry – our individual components and systems offer solutions for many items of equipment in a whole range of sectors and areas.

Challenge

Liebherr uses an engine bracket to secure their engines that are only needed in low quantities. When traditionally manufactured using CNC machining, the low volume requirements result in a part cost of up to $102 each. The time required to machine these parts also results in months of lead time.

MFFF Liebherr-bracket1
3D printed bracket by Liebherr Components Colmar SAS in Metal FFF technology

Solution

This is an ideal additive manufacturing application since it is an auxiliary component that is non-standard and only needed in limited quantities.

After using their research and development expertise to validate the potential of metal FFF technology, Liebherr was able to fully integrate this use case into their supply chain and manufacture functional parts that were mounted on their engines.

Topology optimization was used to inform a redesigned, printable bracket. Brown part stability simulation was also performed for printability, virtual debinding and sintering, for structural simulation, as well as further virtual assembly simulation. Additionally, vibration analysis was conducted to evaluate whether the four engine brackets could withstand the very high operating loads.

MFFF Liebherr bracket2 (in practice)
3D printed bracket by Liebherr Components Colmar SAS and installed in one of their diesel engines

Results

Liebherr Components and BASF Forward AM developed a new design that exceeded current load cases while reducing the mass of the original bracket by nearly 60% and providing three times the load-bearing capacity for added safety.

The cost of the new part was almost halved and lead time was reduced to weeks, providing a much better ROI.

Leverage the power of metal 3D printing

Liebherr Components is one of many companies realizing the difference metal 3D printing can make in their production.

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