AWS for Industries
Replique: Venture of BASF incubator Chemovator builds a digital solution on AWS to manufacture spare parts on demand
Replique, a venture of chemical company BASF’s business incubator Chemovator, uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide a fully encrypted digital inventory solution for on-demand manufacturing and shipping of spare parts. Comprising the whole process, Replique’s turnkey solution provides original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the benefits of cost reduction, unlimited global availability of spare parts, and rapid local delivery.
Replique solves OEMs’ challenges in the aftermarket
“In our interviews with over 50 OEMs across all industries, we identified that 66 percent of the OEM spare parts in storage are for appliances no longer in production. Product life cycles are getting shorter. Still, producers are obliged to provide associated spare parts to their customers for an average of 15 years,” explains Dr. Max Siebert, Co-Founder of Replique. “We know that after serial production ends, with traditional remanufacturing and distribution, the cost of a spare part increases by up to 20 times. This is due to reasons such as high costs of tooling, huge minimum order quantities, and high inventory and logistics costs. Low plannability of aftermarket parts moreover negatively influences the customer experience because parts might not be available or delivery times are long.”
To solve these challenges, the Replique team offers an integrated solution that combines the secure storage of designs and the on-demand and decentral manufacturing and distribution of parts. Instead of physically storing spare parts in an inventory, part designs are now virtually stored and monetized by 3D printing them on-demand and close to the end location. For industrial production, Replique uses a global network of quality-approved 3D printing service bureaus. This solution not only reduces overhead costs of OEMs to a minimum but also secures the fast availability of spare parts for the customer. Besides that, Replique’s digital inventory solution can have a positive impact on the environmental footprint of customers with less waste in warehouses and shorter transport routes.
A secure solution with complete encryption
One of the biggest challenges that Replique solves—and that is often OEMs’ reason for not using other solutions—is the secure storage and distribution of the OEM designs. This is the only way for OEMs to retain control over the design data distribution and quality of their parts. “Our complete encryption of the OEM design means it is far better protected throughout the value chain compared to the complex, often nontransparent manufacturing processes of the past,” confirms Siebert. “Further, we enforce strict 3D printing and process parameters for the service bureaus and track them in order to ensure that all parts are printed in the requested quantity and the original OEM quality.”
Security is one of Replique’s main objectives, which is why the company chose AWS as a cloud service provider. Replique’s solution uses Network Load Balancer (NLB)— which lets users load balance Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), as well as Transport Layer Security (TLS) traffic with high performance — alongside Security Groups for establishing micro-perimeters. AWS provides AWS Trusted Advisor, which offers recommendations that help users follow AWS best practices, as an additional layer of monitoring and alerting tools. Additionally, AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS), which lets users easily create and control the keys used to encrypt or digitally sign their data, is used for all stored customer and application data. In Replique’s solution, AWS KMS is used to securely store data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), object storage built to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.
“One other aspect that was important for us is that AWS works alongside the most commonly used tools, which helped us to develop our solution in a short time,” says János Váradi, chief technology officer of Replique.
Replique’s infrastructure is based on Kubernetes, which facilitates the sparing use of resources, and uses Jenkins as a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tool.
All the infrastructure is made using an infrastructure-as-a-code approach. It is managed by Terraform, Ansible, and Jenkins DSL.
A turnkey solution in spare part management
The Replique solution is designed to provide customers greater flexibility, cost reduction, and higher customer satisfaction with spare parts being available anytime and anywhere. Having everything in one solution, companies can simply shift from a physical to a digital inventory for their 3D printable spare parts.
The benefits of our solution include the following:
- Digital inventory for spare part designs: OEMs reduce costs of warehousing and logistics with on-demand production.
- Connection to existing ordering and ecommerce channels: For a smooth solution integration, customers can order from existing ordering solutions, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and ecommerce solutions.
- Automatic order fulfilment: The production network integrates into the digital inventory solution, and manufacturers are automatically chosen based on their capabilities, capacities, and location.
- Complete encryption and monitoring: Intellectual property is secure; parts can only be printed in the requested quantity and the original OEM quality; and 3D printed parts are constantly monitored.
- Sales analytics: OEMs can use the solution to analyze their sales of 3D printable spare parts.
Offering a complete solution, Replique keeps it simple for OEMs. With Replique, OEMs can now manage transactions seamlessly using a unique solution, increasing convenience, speed, cost efficiency, and—above all—security. Moreover, Replique carries out the whole fulfillment process, reducing the total effort of OEMs to a minimum. “We have already proven the value of our solution in our customers’ different application areas. We look forward to inquiries from OEMs to help them make their supply chain more efficient,” says Siebert.
Learn more about Replique here: replique.io.