Kimia Farma is an Indonesian pharmaceutical company which started in 1817. Today this pharmaceutical industry giant has ten production facilities operating across several cities in Indonesia. These ten production facilities create medicine, herbal medicine, vegetable oil, iodine, quinine, and quinine’s derivative products.
Kimia Farma’s most advanced plant is located in Banjaran. The Banjaran plant runs well to a high standard. However, there is one manufacturing area where Kimia Farma’s Banjaran location wished to improve.
Most of Kimia Farma’s operating machinery is imported from oversea suppliers like Romaco Siebler in Germany. Kimia Farma must import these pieces of machinery because the part is too complex to reproduce. Consequently, whenever a piece of machinery breaks, Kimia Farma must wait for the delivery of new parts from the original supplier. This process usually takes weeks. In the mean-time, the whole production line may come to a halt which can last for days. A machine has numerous parts each one fulfilling a different purpose, that could break at any time. Halting production each time a piece of equipment breaks costs the company problems.
Furthermore, there are countless parts for different functions in one machine. Kimia Farma needed a flexible solution to resolve this situation. Their Banajaran location decided to use 3D printing to improve their maintenance issues.
How 3D Printing Improved Maintenance Operations
The Banajaran bought the Pro2 Plus from Raise3D to replace machine parts. The Pro2 Plus is a large format 3D printer with a build volume of 12x12x23.8 inches. This industrial 3D printer was able to create accurate and functional 3D printed parts to replace the original spare part within hours. Angga Herdiana, the maintenance staff, described the result as:
” The Impression I felt when using 3D Printer Raise3D is the quality of 3d printed part is very good and acceptable accuracy like what we expected. It can be used to make spare part of production machine here in PT. Kimia Farma Plant Banjaran, Bandung.”
How 3D Printing Software Made Production More Efficient
Herdiana and her colleagues, Benny Yusak (Assistant Manager of Maintenance Department) and Bara Nuansa (Assistant Manager of Utility Department), implemented several 3D printed spare parts, each with a distinct geometry and function. All the 3D printed parts are well installed on the original machine body. Thanks to the large build volume and high resolution of the Pro2 Plus, they are able to create replicates with dimension from 420mm to 3mm.
Additionally, Herdiana and her colleagues use RaiseCloud, a cloud-based 3D printing management platform, to improve the efficiency of their 3D printing tasks. Before their adoption of RaiseCloud, Herdiana and her team shared one 3D printer for their own print list without coordinating. RaiseCloud provides them one shared dashboard with a visible print order list matching each 3D printer. Everyone can see which and whose print is on-going and which is next on the list. RaiseCloud creates a co-work platform accessible anytime and anywhere for any sort of staff. Even a team with a complicated hierarchy like the Kimia Farma plant.
Professional 3D Printing
All machines in the plant are designed for serious production tasks with a strong structure and heavy mechanism. Most original spare parts are metal with high strength and toughness. Therefore, plant staff chose engineering-grade filament to print replicas for decent mechanical performance.
ABS was chosen for the sprayer pump mount to prevent from cracking due to motor vibration during operating. This type of working condition is not friendly for a filament like PLA, which is brittle and absorbs less energy.
For maximum strength, a set of Siebler belt conveyor bridges was printed with PC filament to withstand high stress resulting from the stretch of the rubber belt and hangover mechanism.
Industrial 3D Printing’s Impact on Maintenance Operations
Raise3D technology unlocks many possibilities for staff to improve facility maintenance operations in various ways. Having experienced the value of 3D printing spare part replacements, plant staffs plan to step forward by 3D printing improvement parts and machine format parts. By 3D printing in-house, utility and maintenance staff are able to iterate implementation solution rapidly after observation, thus keeping the continuous evolution of maintenance operation, including cost reduction and performance improvement.