The Benefits of Additive Manufacturing

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The global competitive landscape is changing at a rapid pace. This pace of change introduces both excitement and uncertainty into how companies manage and thrive. Companies are forced to reassess their business models, approaches to product innovation and introduction, and the manufacturing, production and delivery of their product

Across a range of industries, companies are realizing the strength and benefits of additive manufacturing in responding to industry change and in supporting how they reframe their business strategies. Additive manufacturing allows companies to be proactive and respond to customer requirements with speed, precision and quality.

Companies that embrace additive manufacturing soon become leaders for their ability to respond to industry demands including: personalization and customization, accelerated new product introduction cycles, faster time-to-market, and delivery of lighter, smarter and better parts and products.

Benefits of Additive Manufacturing

The continual and steady growth of technologies, materials, processes, and capabilities has positioned additive manufacturing as the ideal solution for multiple industries. When companies have chosen to integrate additive manufacturing into their business, the benefits have revolutionized the product lifecycle. 

The power of additive manufacturing for design, test, production, and delivery is unlocked when companies can harness the following benefits of additive manufacturing.

1.   Accelerated Time-to-Market

From the design through quality assurance to final product delivery, additive manufacturing reduces the time-to-market from months to days. The dependency on traditional manufacturing tooling, designs, fixtures, and materials is eliminated.

Designers can put multiple iterations of 3D printed prototypes into the hands of quality assurance, certification and human factors experts faster, speeding the review and approval time of new products and reducing the downtime that comes with lengthy review and design cycles.

2.  Mass Customization and Personalization

The Internet age has given rise to demands for increasingly customized and personalized products. Initially, companies attempted to respond to this demand within traditional manufacturing processes, resulting in very slow response times and limited options for true customization.

Now, thanks to additive manufacturing capabilities, customers can, for example, log into a secure website and design a custom pair of running shoes with the exact colors, materials and cushioning they want and receive the shoes within a week. The costs that come with warehousing, shipping and eventually disposing of end-of-life products can be minimized in industries and markets where the demand for custom parts and products is becoming the de facto standard.

3.  Distributed Manufacturing and Production

Geography is no longer a barrier to getting customers the products they need when and where they want them. The Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network connects factories around the globe enabling distributed manufacturing, allowing companies to design in one location and manufacture in one that is closer to the end consumer. Inventory management shrinks to managing a digital file that is easily sent across platforms to manufacture a product in the ideal consumer location.

Traditionally, the ability to produce low- and mid-volume production batches has been cost-prohibitive and logistically challenging. Now, when we combine the benefits of distributed manufacturing with local distribution capabilities, the barriers to low- and mid-volume production are eliminated.

4.  Local Distribution

On-demand local production and distribution is a true game-changing benefit of additive manufacturing. Heavy equipment, transportation, automotive, industrial machine, and aerospace companies no longer need to manage, staff and support large warehouses of legacy parts across the globe.

Additive manufacturing allows companies to position themselves in geographic locations closest to primary consumer bases. It also enables the speed of delivery and support of new products to consumers, quick repair of parts with additive manufacturing processes and reduction of legacy warehouse shelves to a folder of digital files that can be printed when and where they are needed. Realize and benefit from true just-in-time manufacturing with your local production capabilities.

5.  Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Rely on manufacturing rigor to produce reliable parts that consistently and repeatedly meet qualifications and certification standards. Additive manufacturing gives you the confidence that your part design is not impacted by flaws in the tooling, molds and fixtures used in traditional manufacturing.

With improved design and better materials comes BOM consolidation., Customers benefit from lighter components and better overall parts and assemblies, allowing for the maintenance of quality assurance and quality control standards.

6.  BOM Consolidation

The benefits that come from shrinking a component from 60 individual parts to just five parts has a massive trickle-down effect throughout your entire business model. The supply chain is tightened and improved, the reliability and consistency of production increases, parts are lighter and use smarter design geometries, tooling and fixture costs are eliminated, and the durability and lifecycle of parts increase.

7.  Low- and Mid-Volume Production

So many companies are limited by the costs and logistics that come with manufacturing and delivering low- and mid-volume production batches. However, in this era of personalization and customization, the ability to deliver a low-volume production run cost-effectively and quickly is a business requirement.

Thanks to the combined benefits of faster time-to-market, smarter designs and materials, distributed manufacturing and production, and on-demand and on-location production, companies can be relied on to meet customer demand for low- and mid-volume production batches.

Differentiate with Jabil Additive Manufacturing

The benefits that come with Jabil additive manufacturing allow your company to stand out and differentiate itself. Be the company that consumers turn to when they need products and parts that are innovative, reliable, available, and consistent.

Contact us to learn how Jabil can help you remove barriers to entry and position your company as a leader in design, manufacturing and customer satisfaction.