A worldwide pandemic is a cause for concern across all industries, but many manufacturers and other companies are facing logistical, supply chain, and production nightmares. Slowed or stopped production, laid-off employees, and interrupted supply chains are bad enough on their own but can be further complicated by machine breakdowns.
3D printing can really change the game in times like this. You can go from having a machine down for weeks (or months) due to broken components to printing repair parts in a house in days (or even hours). Or, you can go from not knowing when your suppliers will be able to fill orders for necessary parts to using a 3D printer to produce the same parts right there in your own facility.
Let’s dive into how 3D printing can provide you with peace of mind and more supply chain control even in the most uncertain times!
Top 3 Ways 3D Printers Give You More Supply Chain Control
In a typical business environment, implementing 3D printing into your supply chain process enhances it in so many ways! There are numerous cost, energy, and material resource savings, as well as increased innovation in every step, and a more sustainable process and product overall.
But, clearly, today’s business environment is anything but typical. COVID-19 has effectively changed our lives and businesses—for better or worse; we’re not sure yet—essentially overnight. With a global pandemic on our hands, we have to find creative ways to meet demand and keep the business running.
The top three ways that 3D printing provides you with additional supply chain control even in crazy times like these.
1. Reduced Supplier Dependency
When a part breaks in the COVID-19 landscape, the best you can do is hope that a supplier can send you a replacement part relatively quickly, if they’re able to send it at all. Not so if you have a 3D printer!
With a 3D printer in your own facility, you can produce replacement and repair parts as you need them instead of waiting on another company to deliver the same. This relieves you of the stress of hoping for the best from a supplier, as you’re no longer dependent on an external entity.
The same goes for production components that you might have previously needed to buy from suppliers. If you need a part, you can 3D print it!
2. Cutting Edge Production Components
With an additive manufacturing (3D printing) process, there is so much room for innovation. New materials can be utilized that are more innovative and have better overall performance. Testing before production is easier than ever and requires significantly fewer resources, resulting in better products, faster. And there are more options throughout the entire process, particularly when it comes to product finishes. In addition, to produce a better product, faster, cheaper, and under your own roof, this leads us to the next point.
3. Streamlined Processes
3D printing radically overhauls the manufacturing process and reduces your dependency on external suppliers. Where design used to be separate from testing and production, 3D printing allows integration of all steps into one smooth, adaptable sequence.
As technology advances, more and better data and insights lead to more accurate design parameters. Advanced software and technology, supplemented by simpler additive processes, allows for automation and faster production. Faster, cheaper, more innovative, and more sustainable production leads to more satisfied customers, even in hard times.
Be prepared to amaze your stakeholders as you continue meeting deadlines and making progress even as the world faces uncertainty.
While 3D printing and additive manufacturing aren’t the end-all solutions to all your supply chain control concerns, these processes can assist you in keeping your manufacturing business going in tough times. By providing some relief and giving you more control over a strained supply chain, 3D printing, and other additive practices help you to adjust and respond to quickly changing needs.
DesignPoint: Your Partner in Better Supply Chain Control Using 3D Printing
As you’ve read this article—even though it’s focused on these hard times—you’ve probably realized that 3D printing creates positive impacts across the board when it comes to supply chain control. If you’re ready to revolutionize your business by using a top-quality 3D printer, contact us today. DesignPoint is here to help you transform your business’s present and future, through good times and bad.