Why You Need an Additive Manufacturing Strategy
3-D printing can bring great benefits to your manufacturing environment, but only if everyone -- from the CEO down to the design-engineers -- understands how it works and how it will be applied.
Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to completely redefine manufacturing in certain areas. So of course manufacturers of every size are now looking seriously at 3-D printing as a complement to existing and traditional manufacturing methods.
But before you start any serious capital expenditure on the technology, it is critical that you create a top-down corporate strategy that reflects areas where your manufacturing operation and end-use parts and products can truly benefit.
Implemented properly, additive manufacturing can significantly reduce material waste, reduce the amount of production steps, inventory being held, and reduce the amount of distinct parts needed for an assembly. But you need a strategy to make it work.