As iPhones, iPads, galaxy phones, androids, and the multitude of other mobile devices continue to multiply, the market for accessories becomes a place for razor-sharp competition. Known as peripherals, things such as headsets have found a booming, high tech marketplace where the differences are measured in incredibly fine units. Much as Olympic athletes have come to compete for thousandths of the second advantages in order to win, so must these peripherals companies compete in order to survive.
The award-winning headphone manufacturer Fujikon has found itself pushing hard to hold onto its leading edge. In 2011 the company decided to redirect the focus and update the practices of its 200-member research and development team to bring them in line with the advantages offered through modern technologies. The company, based in Hong Kong, prides itself on its ability to maneuver through the field of innovations in its area of specialization: headsets and speakers. They continually strive to push the envelope in order to be at the forefront of advances in noise cancellation, wireless connectivity, and overall sound quality.
As such, they began to investigate the possibilities offered by new technologies in 3D printing. Over a period of a year and a half their research and development team closely examined the number of 3D printing systems based on characteristics of build platform size, precision, surface finish quality, and material properties. They wanted to determine if it would be possible to produce high quality products quickly and efficiently using the latest 3D printing technology.
After a great deal of in-depth investigation, it was determined that the Projet 7000 was the only machine available that matched all of their specifications. By May 2013, the machine had been installed and staff had been trained for its use. Company spokesman Wu Chunxiang described the fit:
“As soon as we started, we could see and experience the stability of the Projet 7000. This was perfect die-less manufacturing: we produced accurate samples with arbitrary and complex geometry that we would not have considered before. The Projet 7000 instantly started to help our customers, our engineers. We could think up a new idea, and within a day could evaluate the design, perform validation and verification of the parts and assemblies, conduct acoustic testing, review packaging design, and reduce the risks associated with producing tooling for the new products. Before, the same process would have taken a longer time.”
Fujikon is already realizing the benefits of their choice to embrace the cutting edge of 3D printing. The savings that are estimated for the first year are approximately 5% of total production development time and a minimum of 11% material savings. In addition, when compared with the older 3D printing machines the company previously used, the production of 3D parts is now over 60% faster.
“With the competitive market environment, and increasing manpower costs, we have to find ways to be better at what we do. The Projet 7000 is allowing us to meet demand and compete in the market. We complete product development effectively and efficiently, and we are excited to see how 3D printing from 3D Systems will improve our competitive edge as we go forward.”
Such adoption will likely spur competitors who are not already using this type of technology to now consider it. Let’s hear your thoughts on Fujikon’s use of 3D printing in the Fujikon printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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