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3D PRINTING 3D Printing, innovation, and supply chain resiliency: The future of manufacturing

Nov 18, 2020

At the Global Innovation Summit hosted by HP – a technology & solution provider who has been working & developing 3D Printing technology extensively and have been innovating previously unimagined areas, from next-generation manufacturing with voxel-level control & performance, to new 3D printed functionalities like electronics - presented a report throwing light on the possibilities of digital manufacturing technologies transforming the manufacturing industries. The article studies how digital manufacturing can drive economic growth, foster innovation, and more sustainable production in the year to come.

At its global Innovation Summit, HP and members of its worldwide partner and customer community, along with industry experts, showcased the power of digital manufacturing to transform industries. Underpinning the event was a new HP study delivering insights on digital manufacturing technologies and trends, such as industrial 3D Printing.

Surveying thousands of manufacturing executives across the globe, HP’s Digital Manufacturing Trend report finds that companies are increasingly investing in advanced 3D Printing solutions that provide the agility, speed and flexibility necessary to grow their business and become more resilient in an ever-changing environment.

One of the key insights from the global manufacturing industry is that regardless of the sector or location, companies are looking at 3D Printing to strengthen their supply chains, become more agile, and create more innovative product development & manufacturing strategies. This is underscored by rising investment in 3D Printing, support for 3D Printing as a viable alternative to traditional manufacturing and a greater desire for closer ecosystem collaboration to drive adoption. Manufacturing decision-makers also see opportunities for accelerated innovation, recognising that 3D Printing is uniquely suited for the mass personalisation of new products by reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable economy.

“The global manufacturing sector is clearly signalling a desire for greater supply chain resiliency, more manufacturing flexibility, increased speed of innovation and stronger environmental sustainability,” said Ramon Pastor, General Manager, HP 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing. “And they are seeing industrial 3D Printing as a way to not only lower costs and go to market faster but as a unique competitive advantage that accelerates innovation for customers,” he added.

The Digital Manufacturing Trends report highlights include:

Digital manufacturing technologies are spurring economic advancement and agility

  • 99% of the global respondents believe that digital manufacturing technologies can lead to economic growth

  • 89% of the respondents are looking to evolve their business models because of the current world business environment

  • Over the next 12 months, 71% plan on investing in digital manufacturing technologies & over four in five respondents (85%) indicated that their company plans to increase their Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing investment

  • Three-quarters of respondents said that Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing helps their company be more agile, is a viable alternative to traditional manufacturing and is a backup for traditional manufacturing

  • Over nine in ten respondents said they are investigating new production/supply chain models, with 59% evaluating hybrid models and 52% looking into localised production

Accelerated innovation transforms industries

  • The most cited benefit by respondents using Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing is the increased ability to innovate

  • The top new areas of innovation that companies are investigating include mass customisation for direct-to-consumer products, production on demand and digital warehousing/virtual inventory

  • In particular, 91% of the respondents want to explore the innovation that mass customisation provides and believe it could be applicable to their business if parts could be personalised through Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing

  • The medical industry and automotive were called out as the industries most ripe for innovation in Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing over the next five years

Opening up new opportunities for collaboration

  • 85% of the respondents indicated that collaboration across sectors to embrace new digital manufacturing technologies is important

  • 81% indicated their company has future plans to collaborate with government entities on digital manufacturing products

  • The top barrier to entry in Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing for respondents is finding a qualified workforce

  • To address this skills gap, 64% want to offer more professional training services and 53% want companies, governments, institutions and citizens to work together to make investments in educational and job-skilling programs

Sustainable production will continue to be a business imperative

  • The top ways that Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing can reduce waste and promote a circular economy are reducing the number of materials used and better matching supply & demand, followed by shortening & simplifying traditional supply chains and improving service options that can prolong the life of products

  • 90% of the respondents said that the recyclability of additive manufactured/3D printed powders & parts are important

  • 88% of the respondents believe that it is important that governments create a sustainable ecosystem by incentivising investment in and development of socially & environmentally beneficial digital manufacturing technologies.

Courtesy: HP Inc India

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  • 3D Printing is uniquely suited for the mass personalisation of new products by reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable economy

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