The premise behind the quite substantial services that SAP offers is to make life easier for everyone, beginning with that large company taking a large number of orders—and accepting nothing less than perfection in quality and customer service as they strive to deliver. This is especially helpful as corporations delve into 3D printing and need to have quality models made to order, and on deadline.
Last we checked in with SAP, and UPS, the supply chain company was getting ready to handle all phases of the manufacturing process for 3D printing orders from UPS customers in an end-to-end system. In learning about that process, we began to understand why exactly what SAP does is so important.
Now, SAP will also be working with Airbus subsidiary APWorks, allowing them to manage orders better as they manufacture 3D printed components like armrests and brackets, under obligation to deliver to industries such as aerospace where safety and quality is key. In working with SAP, APWorks will also be able to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions as they handle all production.
The signing of this ‘co-innovation agreement’ was just announced at the Farnborough International Airshow being held July 11-17 in Hampshire, England. Many may wonder exactly what that type of partnership entails, and SAP outlined it in a recent press release, as they plan to address:
- Digitalization and simplification of the production part approval process
- Screening and validating parts for 3D printing
- Designing and redesigning of parts or systems to optimize for on-demand manufacturing and 3D printing
- Accelerating and standardizing processes for certifying the manufacturing of parts by 3D printing firms
- Securing an on-demand budgetary price for manufacturing firms to evaluate 3D printing parts versus traditional manufacturing including cost components such as tax and warehousing using the SAP Product Lifecycle Costing solution
- Covering each stage from production floor to customer door, allowing for seamless routing of all orders
“The ability to 3D print all the possible components of an A350 aircraft could reduce the weight of it by nearly a ton,” said Joachim Zettler, CEO of APWorks. “On-demand 3D printing cloud service from SAP can help us to develop our vision for distributed, on demand production of aerospace components and still meet the high quality standards necessary to make it fly.”
As SAP has been examining and analyzing the 3D printing industry to further help their customers, they are noting the move past simple industrial prototyping as companies begin exploring and actually using metals, plastics, and ceramics in 3D printing too—all part of causing that drastic change we see occurring in manufacturing, and accelerating.
In light of this progress, at another recent show, Sapphire Now, SAP said that they would work to expand their solutions for streamlining the supply chain in terms of collaborating and offering certification cloud services for industrial 3D printing, based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, as well as providing an on-demand 3D printing manufacturing network. This all fits in with their plans regarding APWorks too, offering manufacturing services with greater savings, along with taking all the supply chain issues out of the equation—and again, reducing CO2 emissions and environmental waste.
“Innovation in on-demand 3D printing is now revolutionizing traditional manufacturing. In the next few years, 3D printing will be widely adopted across manufacturing industries. The Aerospace and Defense market will transform digitally to strive to achieve near-zero, unplanned downtime on commercial flights as well as support high production turnaround at a lower cost,” said Torsten Welte, Global Head of Aerospace and Defense Industry, SAP. “What makes 3D printing most attractive in aerospace is the removal of many costs associated with traditional manufacturing like stocking inventory. Users are enabled to print the parts they need–as needed.”
This also just marks one more interesting bit of progress by way of APWorks, always forging ahead and innovating, whether in sharing the details of beta testing a new 3D printer like the MetalFAB1 Industrial 3D Printing System, a new partnership with Altair, or even the versatile design and prototype for their 3D printing electric motorcycle. If you’re interested in finding out more about this latest, SAP will be discussing more about this co-innovation agreement with APWorks at its ‘Digital Exchange’, hosted at The Aviator alongside the Farnborough International Airshow on July 12. Discuss further in the APWorks/SAPS 3D Printing Partnership forum over at 3DPB.com.