4 Additive Manufacturing Industry Challenges That MES & QMS Overcome

4 Additive Manufacturing Industry Challenges That MES & QMS Overcome

Bright AM

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The Additive Manufacturing (AM) market has grown to more than $11 billion and is showing no signs of slowing down. Two-thirds of companies report that they have now doubled their use of industrial-scale AM in manufacturing. But manufacturers say that they are dealing with manufacturing industry challenges that are holding them back.

Approximately 85% of manufacturers report that they have three specific needs for efficient AM:

  1. High quality and affordable materials for AM parts
  2. Consistent processes
  3. An MES/QMS system to track workflow

Production planning for Additive Manufacturing is crucial to managing the AM process. It handles the crucial phases of production, including build preparation, scheduling, and monitoring and reporting of machine status.

Here are the top manufacturing industry challenges and how a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Quality Management System (QMS) can overcome them.

1. Tracking production data

Additive Manufacturing can quickly get complicated. MES/QMS helps keep track of complex workflows and manage the end-to-end process. MES provides the information that helps decision-makers understand how current conditions on the production floor can be optimized to improve throughput and reduce bottlenecks.

2. Consistent repeatability

Imprecise data and processes lead to rework, excessive scrap, and additional expense. When it comes to making AM work, one of the keys is consistent quality. To be efficient, Additive Manufacturing must encompass standardization. An MES/QMS tracks quality throughout and creates a standard process for repeatability, even across multiple locations or teams.

3. Operational efficiency

Another manufacturing industry challenge is maintaining operational efficiency. Not only must the process be consistent, but you must also be able to track each step in the AM workflow to maintain productivity. MES/QMS software allows you to find inefficiencies throughout the operation.

Bluestreak | Bright AM’s innovative MES/QMS has the ability to build a sophisticated process for a new work order on the fly and update customer part processes directly from the work order to save time.

4. Connectivity

Creating a digital thread of workflows helps integrate hardware and software systems so they can communicate effectively. MES/QMS enables the integration of existing software (including ERP and PLM systems) and AM machines.

With Bluestreak | Bright AM’s MES/QMS, data can be viewed on the shop floor, at remote locations, or on mobile devices. Complete connectivity tracks the entire process from end to end. Because every piece of data is collected into one interface, it eliminates disconnected data silos to manage customer data and contacts, quotes and price orders, and work orders; create job travels; generate Certs; cut Shippers; invoice and manage A/R; and allow for a paperless workflow.

The Benefits of an MES/QMS Solution in Additive Manufacturing

MES/QMS systems help you overcome manufacturing industry challenges, and they provide an assortment of benefits for increased productivity and efficiency, including:

  • Greater visibility
  • Automated processes
  • Reduced manufacturing costs
  • Reduced inventory costs
  • Scalability
  • Standardized process

Implementing a Dedicated MES/QMS Solution for Additive Manufacturing

When it comes to increasing the efficiency of Additive Manufacturing shops, implementing a dedicated MES/QMS combination geared specifically toward AM should be your top priority. Many shops that work in AM have become frustrated with the lack of MES/QMS options and find it difficult to maintain quality.

Overcoming these manufacturing industry challenges is essential for growth in Additive Manufacturing. Most operators (62%) say that they need more reliable technologies for efficient AM operations. That’s where MES/QMS comes in.

Because most Additive Manufacturing operations are smaller, service-based businesses, it doesn’t make sense to use systems meant for larger manufacturers in different industries. This is how Bluestreak | Bright AM’s innovative MES/QMS software can save time and money. It’s the leading platform for Additive Manufacturers and is designed exclusively for manufacturers, from the front office to the shop floor.

Find out what companies such as GE Additive already know: Bluestreak | Bright AM tracks the entire production process of 3D-print parts, including outside vendor services. It generates unique serial numbers for each part being printed and tracks all of them throughout the process. The Bluestreak | Bright AM MES/QMS solution quickly identifies problems for rapid intervention and provides real-time access to critical reporting metrics. It also generates work orders based on priority.

Contact Bluestreak | Bright AM

These are just a few ways that Bluestreak | Bright AM can make your Additive Manufacturing operations more efficient, productive, and consistent. Contact Bluestreak | Bright AM today for a free demo.

If your service includes Additive Manufacturing, we provide specific solutions in our Bright AM software. To request an Additive Manufacturing software demo, click here!