CNH Industrial has started to produce and test 3D printed spare parts in a move to add sustainability and efficiency to the parts process, the company says.

The company is piloting the process with four parts for buses and agricultural machinery. The parts were created by additive manufacturing. The process builds the part using layers of material under computer control on-location, using a digital file. Once printed, each part goes though precise testing to ensure quality.

Parts can be printed within a span of 24 to 36 hours, creating less waste and little to no leftover material, CNH says.

3D printing also enables on-demand manufacturing of spare parts — a major advantage for parts that are rarely needed or for specific parts that are hard to come by.

As of right now, all parts are manufactured in plastic, and CNH is conducting further tests which will enable the future production of metal components using this technology, the company says.

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