3D printing is a modern manufacturing method that you cannot afford to overlook. The process involves a digital printer that will read the blueprint and drop the building materials periodically. It will follow a set of instructions to produce the final product.
Since the economy demands some particular products, anybody in the manufacturing and supply chain must be innovative that ever before. With the presence of some notable companies like Alibaba and Amazon, the buyers decide concerning how fast they will get the product.
By implementing 3D printing in the supply chain, you will create your product quickly and cause them to access the market as appropriate. The 3D printing process puts the consumers in the driver’s seat, which is another game-changer.
How to apply 3D printing on the Supply Chain
The type of effects on additive manufacturing on the supply chain will depend on your industry. If your business is large, it may have every part of the manufacturing like warehousing, manufacturing, production, assembly, or shipping. It will cut costs and save time.
3D printing and supply chain will save time and money in different ways as listed below:
a) Removes the Suppliers
In the normal arrangement, the supply chains will include a producer of raw materials. A supplier will convert the raw materials into useful items. Lastly, the manufacturer will change the items into products.
By implementing additive manufacturing, it will take over the role of the manufacturer and the supplier. What does that mean? Whenever you have raw materials that can make a particular item, then involve the 3D printer in the supply chain to create the perfect product.
Industries like aerospace require an array of products that can produce the needs parts based on demand. If you outsource the 3D printing to any partner, you will benefit in the following ways:
- It saves them money and cuts the supplier.
- You outsource the operation to enhance efficiency.
- The 3D printed parts are more accurate.
b) Limits Stock
Among the most expensive parts of a supply chain is the warehousing. If the goods remain on the warehouse shelves for a longer period, it will imply that the costs will increase. If you want to improve on efficiency, then utilize the least possible warehouse space.
You should also strive to reduce the inventory. One way of achieving such is by producing goods whenever you need them. The 3D printing supply chain should remain flexible by scaling the inventory at will. Whenever you need a product or a part, just place the order on the 3D printer and produce it on the spot.
As you implement additive manufacturing, your business will lower the reliance on warehousing. You can produce stock when you need it and provide the shipping convenience.
c) Decentralizes Production
The technology will allow any part or products to get at any location using a printer. As such, it lowers the time and the associated shipping costs. The 3D printing in supply chain management allows people in business to facilitate production at the local market.
There will be a shift in focus from mass production in favour of local assembly hubs in low-cost countries. Companies will produce them at home and delink from relying on imports. Such a design will be advantageous in extreme conditions like trade wars, geopolitical tension. Difficult situations will put a demand on the products that will have high prices globally.
d) Generating Complete Products
The most overlooked aspect of 3D printing impact on the supply chain is the capacity to print incredibly intricate products. One perfect example of this is the generation of the entire cardiovascular system. It is noteworthy that additive manufacturing involves printing something that has a blueprint.
The process can be costly and time-consuming but still be a wise investment.
e) Improves Resource Efficiency
3D printing and supply chain is a cost-efficient production method. It is also energy-efficient as it will not pollute your environment. Or even better, it creates zero waste as it maximizes all the available materials. You will not experience the risk of overproduction, leading to excess inventory. It also reduces the carbon footprint.
f) Revolutionize Logistics and Inventory
When the demand for production goes high, the urge to transport the goods across continents and countries goes down. It will still affect the warehousing and logistics, leading to a new model of overcoming tariffs.
The Future of 3D Printing and Supply Chain
It is an undeniable truth that additive manufacturing is taking over the traditional model. It is an innovative way of maximizing production to your advantage. Many consumers will settle for the right products, which are durable and more accurate.
Many industries will strive to remain competitive and overcome the market heat. That calls for more innovation and refining of the said technology. The traditional supply chain will begin to remain irrelevant as 3D printing impact on supply chain becomes a reality.
For instance, a client can place a serious order. In the meantime, the 3D printer will process the order by creating such a product within no time.
Before long, the drones will take over and deliver the order to the customer.
The trajectory is that more businesses will adopt it and improve on efficiency. As a result, goods will reach the consumer market easily since the production process is cost-effective. More so, many countries will manufacture goods locally and eliminate the need for unnecessary imports.
3D printing and its impact on the supply chain remains relevant in future. It is a technology that will rival the current methods of production and reduce them to irrelevance. The technology empowers several companies to reduce costs. Furthermore, it is a way of driving innovation for a competitive change.
As we make rapid advancement, it will affect the global supply chain significantly. Many will be encountering a highly responsive and flexible supply chain. The customer places the order, and the goods will get manufactured and delivered within a short period.
The future is great for you if you implement this technology. It is more efficient and less costly.
Contact 3DLT if you are looking for 3D printing solutions.