3D printing is one of the key technologies in the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). Shifting from traditional manufacturing methods to additive technologies allows companies to achieve extensive process optimizations, cost reductions, and shorter lead times.
In this article, we will describe these benefits, provide key figures, and offer specific examples of 3D printing applications in manufacturing companies.
3D Printing for Factories and Maintenance Departments – Benefits in Numbers
3D printing can be used at various stages of production, including the creation of finished product parts, tools, robot grippers, and mold parts.
An excellent example of the numerous potential applications of 3D printing in production is our project for one of the leading automotive manufacturers. The client needed a tool to streamline and expedite the car body painting process. We designed a solution and provided the client with a tool that completely eliminated issues related to painting time and operator error. The entire process became faster and safer.
However, most commonly, factories use 3D printing to manufacture spare parts for production processes. Using additive technologies in this way offers significant advantages in terms of reducing operational expenses (OPEX).
In the following points, we will describe where these savings come from.
Inventory Cost Reduction by 20-60%
The fast lead time of 2-3 days is a significant advantage of 3D printing over competitive solutions. This enables companies to eliminate the need for large orders and the necessity of storing spare parts on their premises, which involves the risk of losses, damages, and even parts becoming obsolete.
Quick and easy access to 3D-printed parts eliminates these problems and allows for the implementation of a just-in-time production model, meaning ordering parts according to current needs. Depending on the number of plastic components, factories can save up to 60% through inventory reduction.
In our case study of collaboration with Colgate Palmolive Manufacturing, we describe how a large factory managed to reduce the number of stored parts by as much as 35%.
50% Reduction in Shipping Time
The large production capabilities of modern HP Multi Jet Fusion printers and a 24/7 production cycle allow us to significantly accelerate the fulfillment of customer orders.
This enables lightning-fast delivery of parts to customers in case of urgent needs and eliminates the risk of production downtime in the factory.
Another significant advantage is the design and implementation of innovative projects. In the case study for Avon, we describe a situation where the use of 3D printing in the design and production of format parts reduced the lead time from 2 months to 2 weeks.
12-15% Reduction in Plastic Parts Maintenance Costs
Knowing how often specific parts require replacement, we can create advance orders or establish inventory state buffers that inform us when to place an order.
Additionally, 3D printing as an additive technology provides broader design possibilities, allowing for the reduction of material usage or the improvement of designs with additional threads and air channels, further reducing the cost of ordered parts.
We reduce the maintenance costs of plastic parts by 12 to 15%. Knowing how often certain parts break down, we can print and send them in advance, even when inventory is running low.
Discover How Much Your Factory Can Gain from 3D Printing
For companies interested in implementing 3D printing into their processes, we provide full support in determining the most optimal scope of using 3D-printed components and assist in estimating potential gains.
Contact us, and we will assess how 3D printing can benefit your factory.
Explore Factories That Have Benefited from Our Service
In the following case studies, you can read about other factories that have successfully implemented 3D printing: