Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that the average company loses more than 20% of its productivity to what’s known as “organizational drag.” These are structures and processes that take additional time and prevent workers from being efficient. That 20% means you might be losing a day of work each week due to this “drag.”
The secret to scalable growth is efficiency. When it comes to Additive Manufacturing, that means rigid compliance to practices and procedures using software that keeps processes fool-proof.
Scalable Growth in Additive Manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing is poised for even greater disruption as it becomes less expensive and easier to scale. In fact, the Additive Manufacturing market is estimated to grow at a 13% annual rate. That would take it from a $9.77-billion market to a $31-billion market for 3D printing by 2029.
Manufacturers that harness the power of Additive Manufacturing will be positioned for scalable growth. Here are a few examples of companies that have used AM to realize significant productivity gains.
GE Aviation is 3D printing fuel nozzles. These AM parts are five times more durable and are 25% lighter in weight.
Faster Time to Market
Ducati was able to cut its development process for high-performance engines from twenty-eight weeks to eight weeks using Additive Manufacturing.
Customization at Reduced Cost
Medical device manufacturer Anatomic cut the cost of bespoke medical devices by up to 50% with reduced tooling costs and reduced material waste. Bosch reports an 80% savings on fuel control gear for the same reason.
There’s some concern regarding the 3D printing of parts or rapid prototyping in that the costs to deliver stay the same no matter the quantity. With traditional manufacturing methods, producing in greater quantities tends to be more cost-effective. However, these companies are examples of how Additive Manufacturing can lead to scalable growth.
Overall, costs for Additive Manufacturing are continuing to decline. McKinsey predicts price decreases of more than 60% as usage becomes more mainstream. Cost is already approaching those of traditional manufacturing methods, especially for items like plastic parts that have previously been fabricated using injection molding methods.
None of this happens, however, without automation and Additive Manufacturing software for precision processing and quality control.
Automation in Additive Manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing software is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Algorithms are being deployed to optimize volume packing for managing nesting and part orientation. Here are other ways that AM software is providing efficiencies:
- Build optimization and shape sorter functions, allowing builds to be organized around a master part’s orientation
- Adjustable packing parameters, such as density and speed
- Orientation that is arranged relative to the bounding box (or other parts)
- Parts automatically arranged by outbox or real contours
Workflow software creates an automated order management process. Spreadsheets and email can only work for small-scale productions, when the volume of requests is low. When striving for scalable growth, you need an agile and flexible software solution that can adapt as your business evolves.
Hybrid Solutions in Additive Manufacturing
Many companies are creating hybrid processes. A combination of traditional and AM techniques is being used in manufacturing environments that must deliver large-scale production runs and limited-part runs. Economies of scale can be achieved in larger productions, while Additive Manufacturing is deployed for small parts or customized parts that would be cost-prohibitive to produce by traditional methods.
Streamline Your Production Process
At the heart of every manufacturing operation is quality. If you don’t get the quality right, it doesn’t matter how rapidly or efficiently you can produce items. When your goal is scalable growth, streamlining your production process—while maximizing quality—is vital to efficient operations and profitability.
A robust Quality Management System (QMS) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can serve as the hub for streamlining processes while delivering consistent quality.
Bluestreak | Bright AM for Scalable Growth in Additive Manufacturing
Bluestreak | Bright AM is an innovative and extensible real-time MES/QMS Additive Manufacturing software solution. Developed for better manufacturing production control and workflow management, it provides powerful QC tools to drive quality on the production floor.
Bluestreak | Bright AM is being used by some of the world’s largest AM production facilities and provides the precision control that efficient Additive Manufacturing demands for scalable growth. It has the built-in functionality that other MES, QMS, ERP, and MRP systems lack.
Having MES/QMS software that is flexible enough to grow with your Additive Manufacturing business is crucial.
A Focus on Additive Manufacturing Control and Workflow Management
Unlike traditional MES/QMS systems, Bluestreak | Bright AM was designed exclusively for Additive Manufacturing and service-based manufacturing environments where the primary focus is real-time processing visibility, production control of each operating step, and integrated quality management.
Here are additional ways that Bluestreak | Bright AM can optimize Additive Manufacturing operations:
- Enhanced management of nonconforming scrap parts
- Advanced dispositioning and control of 3D-printed parts
- Serialization functions for multiple parts with different serial numbers printed on the same build plate and other advanced build plate ID functions
- Validation of dynamic part quantities through the workflow
Bluestreak | Bright AM can also help facilitate scalable growth by tracking the real-time splitting and combining of parts in operational steps with work orders to optimize production floor routing.
If your service includes Additive Manufacturing, we provide specific solutions in our Bright AM software. To request an Additive Manufacturing software demo, click here!