Page 34 - 3D Metal Printing Winter 2019
P. 34

Digital Factories Coming Soon
Going digital doesn’t have to be complicated, but manufacturers must make it happen.
  Apple, Amazon, Google and Face- book have accomplished this. So, too, will manufacturers, as the shift toward digital workflow designs and additive manufacturing (AM) processes gains momentum. The accomplishment? The creation of plat- forms to transform customer experi- ences. We’re talking everything from market analysis to design; product development to manufacturing; and supply-chain relationships to final pro- duction. In short, manufacturers need to break free from the traditional factory floor, with its long lead times and gener- ations-old processes, and become digi- tal operations.
Going Digital
So how do you get there? Your factory becomes a digital operation when your product intellectual property is digital. With digital workflow intellectual prop- erty, your manufacturing methods and your supply-chain relationships become digital. Digital factories aug- ment, rather than replace, traditional manufacturing.
We see this in digital part designs that create strong value propositions, reduc- ing the overall time-to-market with the right material combinations and 3D printers. Establishment of digital work- flows enables manufacturers to create more shapes in more ways, for applica- tions such as medical devices and com- plex aerospace structures.
Getting started need not be difficult:
Vyomesh Joshi is CEO and president of 3D Systems, Rock Hill, SC,
Design a part, print it and ensure that the form and functionality provide the expected outcome. AM becomes power- ful because you speed time-to-part ver- sus traditional manufacturing process- es. Once completed, the engineer looks to scale the design, eventually leading to a digital factory.
Perfect for Today’s Economy
Today’s service-oriented global econ- omy, calling for new business models based on rapid response to consumer
“Establishment of digital workflows enables manufacturers to create more shapes in more ways, for applications such as medical devices and complex aerospace structures.”
demand and rapid design iteration, demands digital factories that enable manufacturers to increase their speed and agility.
Designing for AM offers innovative ways to create complex parts and sim- plify or eliminate assembly, with 3D- printing ecosystems able to perform the initial run or build the entire run to thousands of parts. New 3D printing platforms bring repeatability, durability, productivity and lower total cost of
operation to the factory floor, while design technologies and new materials enable a variety of products, parts, com- ponents and tools previously thought impossible.
As for the plants, digital factories must be modular, scalable solutions, complemented by new materials and design methods for uniform results and repeatable quality. New metal alloys and precious materials such as stainless steel and titanium now are available. Material innovation will continue driv- ing the AM industry, accelerating devel- opment of digital factories.
Manufacturers that revamp their engineering processes and business models to become digital factories will gain a clear competitive advantage, with key imperatives such as customer inno- vation centers, new materials and appli- cation engineering becoming necessary components of the digital-factory ecosystem. Such factories will be known for their agility, ability to win new work and attract new talent, and for being on the delivery end of disruptive manufac- turing processes.
Manufacturing does not exist to cre- ate great molds and tooling, but to cre- ate great products. Digital factories align goals, processes and systems in a digital workflow. The results: shorter time-to- market, increased quality and lower total cost of operation. Furthermore, the reworking of goals, processes and sys- tems into a digital workflow offers a new industrial paradigm: an all-digital syner- gistic workflow for competitive disrup- tion and increased profitability.

   32   33   34   35   36