3D Printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, can help solve many Storage and Supply Chain Management (SCM) dilemmas. It is a solution to proof of concept, prototyping, and production. To elaborate, here are three ways 3D printing can better your supply chain management.
Solution to Warehousing
Whichever industry you may be a part of, there is a chance that you will need to produce parts and spare parts. You can acquire them and store them, but as machines continue to upgrade, stored spare parts can grow obsolete by the time they are needed. The solution to this may be having a digital inventory instead.
3D Printing has had a significant impact on the storage of a manufacturer. Spare parts can be 3D printed and saved in a digital inventory easily, developing a new warehouse system that is more convenient and efficient for the company.
Relatively anything is possible with a 3D printer. All you need is the design, no matter how simple or complex it is. You will have the freedom to choose how many are made and which parts are to be made. Additive manufacturing also gives you the choice of materials. From plastic to metal, 3D printers can make what you need.
Improving Storage System
The use of 3D printing could dematerialise the supply chain. There would be no need to store the item and waste space or hoard items that have the possibility of not being useful anymore in the future. With a digital inventory system, you can simply save the files’ designs and have them printed for you.
There is potential for this type of system to do incredibly well in automotive, medical equipment, and many others. Big industry names such as Whirlpool have been taking advantage of additive manufacturing, offering spare parts from a digital inventory. This, in turn, has reduced their costs since they no longer would have to pay for big warehouses for these parts, something your company can take full advantage of as well.
How 3D Printing will Impact the Global Supply Chain
Once everyone starts utilising 3D printing, manufacturers can take parts to customers and local markets faster, speeding up the supply process. Companies will rely less on imports since everything needed can be created from scratch.
And since you can enhance the customer experience from the service’s speed, customisation is not too far from a possible outcome. This makes the supply chain more adaptable and capable of meeting the market’s demands as it continually changes. With this type of technology, you can increase client involvement.
Overall, 3D printing will disrupt the way manufacturers do business by providing efficiency at every turn. Plus, it is much ‘greener’ to use this technology since it is zero-waste when it creates something from scratch. The no-waste is also much more cost-effective in the long run. And since the complexity of creating these parts is reduced, it can save on production costs and enhance lead times. On-demand production will then soon become the norm.
3D printing is a relatively new technology that can be utilised in many ways. The storage and supply chain management field has only started looking into the benefits of making work more efficient. If your facility does not have the equipment for it yet, you can find services nearby to assist you with your projects.
If you’re looking for quality 3D printing services in London, contact 3D Quick Printing. With your CAD data and step files, we can give you a 3D printing quote within the hour. For cost-effective services, get a quote from us today!