3D printing to improve repairability

To sum up…

3D printing to improve repairability

In 2015, Groupe SEB announced the introduction of its repairability policy (10-year repairable guarantee). After a test phase with the Seb and Rowenta brands, this approach, which is beneficial both for consumers (economic advantages) and for the environment (reduced resource consumption and waste), has now been extended to all brands in all countries. A binding promise for which the Group has been preparing for several years.

To encourage repairs and engage consumers in the initiative, Groupe SEB has reorganised both the production and the long-term storage of its spare parts.

In 2008, it converted one of its former factories, located in Faucogney-et-la-Mer (Franche-Comté), into the nerve centre of its repairability policy.

The site, which includes a 15,000 m² storage warehouse, is dedicated to conserving nearly 5.7 million spare parts representing 40,000 lines. Over half are kept to meet repair needs in the coming years for products no longer being manufactured.

The site ships nearly 1,500 parcels daily to its network of 6,500 approved repair professionals in 60 countries. These technicians, regularly trained and inspected, can repair faults in appliances at any time, even beyond the guarantee period.

At this former factory, Groupe SEB has been studying progress in 3D printing over several years to guarantee lifetime supplies of certain plastic parts. The first repairs using parts printed on demand took place in May 2016. Ultimately, the goal is for repair professionals to be able to create the parts directly using this new technology.