Preparing for the successful adoption of Additive Manufacturing. | So Good News
UK manufacturing and engineering firms to recover from COVID-19; loss of workforce; disruption of supply chains; rising costs of raw materials; They face many challenges from high energy costs and the transition to a greener economy. It’s not a pretty world to be in manufacturing right now.
But without challenges, there will be no change. Change brings opportunities for growth and development.
To reduce their costs today; Companies that are adopting multiple digital technologies to improve their performance and gain the agility needed in such uncertain times are the same as today’s successful companies, positioning themselves for long-term competitive advantages.
These companies are growing successfully by embracing Additive Manufacturing.
Based on our experience supporting clients in this field over the past decade, we see 3 general trends leading to successful adoption and integration of Additive.
1) A non-silo approach
Strategy and support for Additive Manufacturing must be at the senior management level, but should involve and commit to all departments.
While the initial drive and immediate impact may be led by Engineering, the successful adoption of Additive will involve all other teams. Take for example.
Procurement – Searching for multiple references; placing purchase orders and managing multiple suppliers; How can heavy time burdens be reduced while reducing budget spending across the organization? 3D printing parts in-house and on-demand, so lower costs; more agile, Reduced lead times and purchasing management.
HR – How to acquire and retain talent? The workforce not only expects to use, but is also motivated to access the latest tools. in particular, Young engineers are equipped with CAD skills to accelerate the use of 3D printing in an industry. In addition, Additive to support manual processes; It can also be used as a catalyst to reduce workplace injuries and open up jobs to a wider range of able-bodied people.
Freight and Storage – Is it logical to store 100s of parts for weeks or months after being transported from the Far East? Using Additive Manufacturing, you can shift these parts to on-demand production through a digital warehouse, reducing costs and space, creating a greener footprint, and working offshore without experiencing potential supply chain disruptions and shipping delays.
Sales – How to differentiate your products and services. How can we respond to demand for customized products and enter new markets? Additive provides design freedom and the ability to produce obsolete and unique components – helping your sales teams tailor custom offerings.
2) Build your Additive Roadmap.
If you’ve looked at 3D printers in the past over the past few years and that technology just isn’t right for your organization; My advice is… watch it again.
All technologies evolve over time, and Additive Manufacturing is no different. We are now moving from Additive Manufacturing being used for ‘basic prototyping’ to now being a valuable engineering tool and a viable solution for low volume production.
As with any technology, A road map is essential.
Get started now with your quick win. Additive is a solution for those apps today, for example your design, R&D and manufacturing assistance; Identify engineering teams for NPD and manufacturing efficiencies. You will see a quick return on investment and positive results.
Then build a roadmap for appropriate applications as the technology continues to evolve over the next 5 years. for example, promoting production; Digitizing your warehouse and integrating Additive technologies into your company’s systems and processes, including CMM and ERP.
3) the right machine; correct application; The right stuff
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will solve all your engineering problems and meet all your applications today.
Additive embraces many different technologies with different capabilities; Different materials are used, parts of different sizes are produced and used for different purposes. It also has the ability to integrate the hardware into the company’s systems and processes.
building your road map; The review and evolution process will reveal what additional technologies will be integrated. in fact, For some applications additive is not the right solution, but depending on the requirements you should take the same approach to additive as you would to your traditional manufacturing method.
The key is to build a comprehensive toolbox of additive technologies; So your teams have the right tools to use for the right jobs. Taking a transparent, coordinated approach to 3D printing across your organization allows you to produce enhanced products and services to your customers. It will accelerate agility and flexibility. Not only will you gain and maintain your competitive advantage in this uncertain environment, but your teams will be able to manage large-scale processes, Product and price developments will be recognized more quickly.
And my last tip… above all. Get advice. Come and talk to us. You are passionate about manufacturing and passionate about additive. Together we will help this successful adoption.
My team and I are Smart Factory, Will be at G23. Come and get 15 minutes of ‘speed-advice’ from us. We truly want to help you succeed with Additive Manufacturing.
Book a 15-minute appointment with us here.
About the author
CREATE3D, Managing Director Simon Chandler In 2012, Additive Manufacturing specialist CREAT3D was formed. We have worked with forward thinking companies in Automotive, Defence, Engineering, FMCG and Technology. Simon is a firm believer that the UK can be a manufacturing powerhouse and global innovator. change In challenging and innovative times, Additive Manufacturing can be revolutionary in providing competitive advantages.
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