Siemens able to customise its production with Stratasys FDM 3D printing
In order to meet the time and cost barriers of the d...
The German manufacturer, Siemens, has seen a rise in customer demand for one-off customised parts.
In order to meet the time and cost barriers of the demand with low-volume manufacturing, Siemens turned to 3D printing.
Through the integration of a Stratasys Fortus 900mc 3D printer, the manufacturer could produce parts of demand.
The additive method is more time and cost effective, benefiting both Siemens and its customers.
“Customizing low-volume production parts using FDM 3D printing has been transformational for our customer service offering, as well as our supply chain,” stated Michael Kuczmik, Head of Additive Manufacturing – Spare Parts at Siemens.
“Not only are we taking orders on-demand, 3D printing has also given us the flexibility to meet customer requirements faster with no obsolete parts created in the process.”
The manufacturer has found that additive manufacturing has particularly helped within its transport sector in Ulm, Germany.
“Our production services for end-use parts have become much more flexible and tailored to our customers’ needs since we introduced the Fortus 900mc into our manufacturing process,” explained Tina Eufinger, Business Development, SIEMENS Mobility Division.
“Before we integrated 3D printing into production, we were limited to higher quantities of parts in order to make the project cost- effective.”
“For small volume part demands from customers, we would store excess parts until they were used, discarded or became too outdated to use.”
“With the Fortus 900mc, we can now create a design that is 100 percent customized to specific requirements and optimized several times before it is 3D printed.”
“This takes our production time down from weeks to a matter of days, in a way that we can now produce a single customized part cost-effectively in low-volumes.”
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.