Competition drives innovation, and the manufacturing industries haven’t seen competition this intense since the invention of an assembly line in 1913. While 3D printing, also know as additive manufacturing, has been around since its early invention in 1986, it is just now becoming a cost effective and reasonable way to manufacture goods. The transition from traditional methods of manufacturing to 3D printing is coming faster than most might think.
The Shift of Power
Traditionally a product goes through a process of design, production, and delivery and you are left with picking from an array of products to find what fits your needs. Although, 3D printing is bringing a whole new aspect to the world of production; giving the consumer the power to customize and design products based on their own personal needs. The adaptability of 3D printing allows low infrastructure countries to manufacture goods on a large scale with very little investment. This shift away from reliance on large manufacturing companies levels the playing field and creates a whole new level of competition.
Drastic Change in Shipping
Movement of products from production plants to consumers is multi-billion dollar industry; this is partially due to the distance that products must travel to reach consumers. The infrastructure required to achieve an efficient distribution of goods is costly and drives up the overall cost of products you buy every day. What could 3D printing do to alter this expensive and clunky process of distribution?
- Cost Effective: It will eventually be cheaper to download a file off the internet, and print the product at a local 3D printing facility. By taking out the middle man there is no need for certain items to be shipped.
- Availability: The consumer will have access to products in hours rather than days. Some products can even be printed in the owner’s house in a matter of a few hours!
- Standardized Quality: Products can be designed on a software system and be brought into production with very low tolerances and excellent uniformity.
- Decreased Inventory: The ability to create products anywhere in the world in a timely manner allows companies to keep less inventory in warehouses. Printing products on demand rather than stockpiling goods drastically reduces the cost of storage space and shipping. The reduction in costs for companies directly results in cheaper products for consumers.
The Competition Rises
As more and more companies invest in 3D printing technology more businesses will spring up, more innovations will be made, and those that fail to keep up with the fast changing pace of the industrial world will become obsolete. The changing future is putting power in the hands of those who seek to seize opportunity and are willing to adapt to their environment. Implementation of 3D printing in manufacturing is beginning to shape the future of the industry and the transition from traditional manufacturing to 3D printing is just on the horizon.
Is your company ready for the future of industry?
3D printing may not be a solution for every machine builder, but the technology is spreading faster than ever. At IMTS 2014, the world's first 3D printed car came to life. Now at IMTS 2016, new, faster, better iterations of many technologies are hitting the industrial market.
PanelShop.com can help streamline your company to stay competitive with evolving technology. If control panel building is draining resources from your core business, let us build your panels so you can refocus on your value-added processes. Check out our guide on outsourcing control panels:
You May Also Be Interested In Reading
- The 4 C's of the Perfect Panel Building Partner
- 4 New Frontiers in Advanced 3D Printing
- The Cutting Edge of Additive Manufacturing