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Rheinmetall unveils revolutionary mobile smart factory for spare parts of military vehicles.

| 2023

The German defense company Rheinmetall, announced on June 28, 2023, that during an event organized by the European Defence Agency (EDA), Rheinmetall presented a new solution for the mobile production of spare parts for military vehicles.
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The mobile Smart Factory from German company Rheinmetall. (Picture source Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH, a primary Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for tactical and logistic tracked and wheeled vehicles, showcased its innovative mission support concept, the Mobile Smart Factory (MSF). The MSF offers metal 3D printing and postprocessing capabilities and is wholly integrated into Rheinmetall's digital ecosystem, the Integrated Rheinmetall Information System (IRIS).

The MSF is embodied by two 20-foot mobile shipping containers, with one functioning as an office space housing an air-conditioned workstation, storage, a polymer printer, and a handheld scanner for quality control. The other is a production container equipped with a Metrom P7000, a dynamic 6-axis hybrid machine. Not confined to wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) technology, it also facilitates on-site finishing and postprocessing through an incorporated CNC milling facility. This combination provides Battle Damage Repair personnel with comprehensive repair and overhaul options, reinforcing the "Mobile Smart Factory" moniker.

Capable of manufacturing components of up to 700 mm in diameter and 450 mm in height, the machine utilizes all weldable wires and polymers and exhibits a metal deposition rate of up to 600 cm3/h.

What sets the Mobile Smart Factory apart is its harmonious incorporation into the IRIS© platform. Rheinmetall, being a military vehicle OEM, prioritizes secure data exchange and the continuous monitoring of printed parts. The IRIS platform, backed by cloud technology, facilitates the seamless operation of IRISwork and IRISfleet applications in conjunction with the MSF, adhering to IT security standards as stringent as NATO Restricted. IRISwork and IRISfleet provide operators and maintenance personnel with access to technical documentation, spare parts catalogs, and a comprehensive fleet management tool, respectively. A digital product passport for each printed part is maintained within IRISfleet, ensuring optimal system security.

The multi-tenant IRIS platform enables secure integration of armed forces and defense industry partners, providing swift additive capabilities deployment on the modern battlefield.

Defense News June 2023

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