HP strengthened its partnership with DECATHLON ADD LAB (ADDitive Manufacturing LABoratory), the brand’s research center fully dedicated to 3D printing solutions, located at the BTWIN VILLAGE in Lille (France). The laboratory is now equipped with two HP JetFusion 5200 3D printers (Production range), four processing stations and six manufacturing units making it possible to print on different materials: PA12, TPU and PP. Thanks to HP’s 3D technology, DECATHLON can now provide its partners with 3D printed spare parts of its products for repairs.
DECATHLON ’s ADD LAB was created in May 2016. Besides repairs, the center meets several needs including prototyping, design validation, manufacturing of small tools, and even small production runs. More than 100,700 projects have been completed by the ADD LAB since it opened, with over 60,000 of these dedicated to finished products, such as making spare parts or fittings for shops. For example, the center can 3D print a made-to-measure prototype of a defective part on a home trainer bike or the post for a table tennis net.
Once the parts have been tested and validated, they are added to the ‘Spare Part Index’ catalog, shared by all the regional workshops in France and around the world. This makes it possible to repair products on the spot without having to wait for the parts to be delivered, or even to make parts that had never previously been produced. This service is available in-house and for DECATHLON’s customers.
A benchmark site for Jet Fusion technology
Sending prototypes to the different production countries in the past generated costs and several hours’ work. The creation of the ADD LAB has radically changed the production process at DECATHLON. Driven by Julien Guillen, in charge of additive manufacturing, and Romain Courtecuisse, AM Prototyping Leader, along with a wider group of people working in the ADD LAB, 3D printing has definitively entered into the design process for the company’s products.
“We are delighted to count DECATHLON as a benchmark site for the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology allowing businesses, whatever their sector of activity and wherever they may be, to discover this technology in service and benefit from DECATHLON’s valuable feedback,” explained Nicolas Aubert, Director of 3D Printing, HP Inc. France. DECATHLON’s ADD LAB regularly receives customers for Design For Additive Manufacturing sessions.
The potential of 3D printing is well established. HP technology has many advantages, notably that of optimizing part availability – meeting the need in real-time – and producing functional, industrial-quality parts with complex details. The HP JetFusion printers offer great dimensional precision and guarantee perfect repeatability.
Additive manufacturing also makes it possible to increase efficiencies by establishing a regular printing time whatever the part, managing production both in a centralized and local way, streamlining workflows and providing greater flexibility and agility for the production process as a whole.
Lastly, 3D printing radically opens up a broad range of applications with innovative materials. The HP JetFusion range is regularly supplemented with new thermoplastics with advanced mechanical properties, going from ductility to rigidity. For example, DECATHLON prints on PA12, TPU and PP materials whose properties make it possible to print soles, water bottles, handlebar grips for adults’ and children’s bikes, etc. Another advantage is that the parts produced have a smaller carbon footprint thanks to the incomparable reusability of HP’s 3D materials.
“DX”: The Store of the Future
In September 2020, DECATHLON opened an innovative store, “DX” (for DECATHLON eXperience & eXploration) at the DECATHLON Campus in Villeneuve d’Ascq (France), the brand’s headquarters where part of the ADD LAB teams is based. One of the goals of DX is to bring DECATHLON closer to its customers and make them key players in the brand’s projects and products. Through DX, DECATHLON wants to help customers understand the value of its products and discover the ‘know-how’, from design through to second life.
“HP’s 3D printing technology prefigures tomorrow’s practices in terms of additive manufacturing, such as dimensional precision and ease of operation. HP is convinced of the need to evolve towards a circular, low-carbon economic model. Businesses like DECATHLON which ensure their sustainable growth without increasing their consumption of raw materials will be better prepared to face up to a not-too-distant future where resources are limited, and be well-placed to help their customers do the same,” concluded Aubert.
The ADD LAB team walks customers through the different processes put in place and produces made-to-measure 3D printed parts produced with the HP JetFusion 5200, making it possible to repair, optimize and customize parts (HP PA12 additive spare parts). DX offers other innovative services, such as cashless payment, conferences, and co-creation workshops.