There’s a great deal of optimism and ambition in additive manufacturing today as the growing industry looks toward tomorrow. HP Inc. has long been on record as saying it was entering the field especially to disrupt the status quo not only in 3D printing, but in manufacturing overall. As ambitious as the aim is, HP has also been in business long enough to recognize some universal truths of the business world, especially in a field so innovative and quickly-growing as additive manufacturing. One of those truths is that no single entity will ever bring about an industry-shaking disruption on its own. To that end, from its first initiatives in bringing 3D printing into its business practices, HP has been working with a closely-knit and intelligently expanding group of partners across business and materials operations. Today, HP is announcing an alliance with Deloitte as the two companies deepen the breadth of their work together, seeking to “accelerate digital transformation of the $12 trillion global manufacturing industry.”

Bringing together the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing platform powered by HP with Deloitte’s wide-ranging expertise in digital transformation, the collaborative effort is heralded by both companies as being a “first-of-its kind” alliance. The intention behind this work is to help customers accelerate their product design, speed production, create more flexible supply chains, and optimize the manufacturing lifecycle. This week in Palo Alto, California, the CEOs of both HP Inc. and Deloitte are speaking with a curated group of analysts and media to discuss the intricacies of the alliance.

“This partnership represents the next evolution of building an additive manufacturing business. It’s a powerful statement in joining these forces together,” Chris Connery, VP for Global Research Analysis at CONTEXT, told me as we discussed today’s announcement at HP HQ in Silicon Valley.

During our time in Palo Alto, the HP team has provided context to their forward momentum, including a tour this morning of the “birthplace of Silicon Valley,” the original HP Garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard initially began their work on the effort that would become the tech giant known around the world today. A series of sessions have shown the forward mindset in action at today’s HP, including looks into design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), tours of labs and facilities at HP and partner Jabil, and the opportunity to talk with executives from both HP and Deloitte regarding today’s alliance announcement.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. No sector of the global economy is undergoing more radical transformation than the US$12 trillion manufacturing market. Companies investing in digital reinvention are poised to outpace their peers. Building on our disruptive 3D printing technology, together with Deloitte we are focused on helping customers transform and win in this new era,” said Dion Weisler, President and CEO, HP Inc.

For its part, Deloitte is regarded around the world as a powerhouse in digital operations, bringing with it a global client reach and deep relationships spanning manufacturing along with a strong history in supply chain transformation for large companies around the world. The alliance is set to take MJF 3D printing technology into large-scale manufacturing environments. Deloitte will offer high-level consulting for Jet Fusion 3D printers and materials.

“The digitalization of global manufacturing operations and practices will impact companies and consumers around the world, and 3D printing will play an important role in fundamentally changing manufacturing as we know it. This alliance comprises two exceptional brands and brings together HP’s leading 3D printing platform with Deloitte’s digital manufacturing experience and global client reach,” said Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen.

As with many of HP’s activities in 3D printing, this alliance will initially focus on the US market before expanding into other regions. The companies note that they will offer solutions bringing together Deloitte’s business transformation expertise with HP’s managed print, device-as-a-service (DaaS), commercial mobility, and cyber-security offerings.

On a call ahead of the announcement, HP and Deloitte noted that the work is “not so much about reselling, but about working with customers, jointly. This is about providing business solutions, not about a direct reseller agreement.”

The transformation timeline for that $12 trillion opportunity is, they said, “probably not” going to be just a couple of years, but rather it will take the work of several companies several years to make a true impact. This relationship is focused on building scale; the companies have been working together for a long time, they noted on the call, and are “leaning in big” together, and will be working closely with other partners as well.

The importance of partnerships remains a key note in this move as the impact of this alliance is intended to be much wider-reaching than a collaboration between only two companies. Jabil, a foundational partner in MJF technology from the start, has played an important role in this week’s hosted event in Silicon Valley. Yesterday’s tour of the Blue Sky Center in San Jose showcased that company’s global reach and impact. Jabil’s work with companies including Deloitte and HP informs and extends their offerings to customers, increasingly including 3D printing technologies.

“3D printing empowers design freedom and product personalization while delivering a digital thread to transform supply chains and open the door for distributed manufacturing,” said John Dulchinos, VP of Digital Manufacturing at Jabil. “As part of this powerful ecosystem, Jabil works with leaders like HP and Deloitte to help customers across different industries benefit from HP’s groundbreaking Multi Jet Fusion technology to make production-grade parts in volume and ramp additive manufacturing innovations.”

During yesterday’s tour of the Blue Sky Innovation Center, Dulchinos noted to those of us gathered, “We’re all going to overestimate how quickly this will impact manufacturing. But when we look further out, it will be monumental. We’ll be super excited to see where this leads. We have major investment around the world.”

Other partner companies, including Siemens and SAP, have also voiced their approval of the extension of HP and Deloitte’s work together, as the allied entities look to a more disruptive future in additive manufacturing.

Tony Hemmelgarn, President and CEO, Siemens PLM Software, said, “This new alliance reinforces the longstanding relationships Siemens has built with HP and Deloitte, and creates greater opportunities to digitally transform the global manufacturing industry. We see enormous potential in the next generation of product design, engineering, manufacturing and business innovations that elevate the voxel control and production-ready capabilities of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology.”

Dr. Tanja Rueckert, President IoT & Digital Supply Chain, SAP SE, noted, “As a long-standing partner of both Deloitte and HP, we are pleased to see the synergy of their unique strengths combined to drive worldwide adoption of 3D printing across industries. SAP continues to accelerate efforts to drive a global, scalable and open manufacturing business network for industrial 3D printing with SAP Distributed Manufacturing. HP’s disruptive Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, Deloitte’s manufacturing domain expertise and SAP’s global, cloud-based manufacturing business network help to deliver the power, speed and quality of the distributed manufacturing digital transformation today.”

Historical landmark: the birthplace of Silicon Valley

Among HP’s many relationships are 3D printing in business at companies including BMW Group, Jabil, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, and manufacturing service bureaus in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region; the company notes that its manufacturing ecosystem includes engineering, software, enterprise, and manufacturing workflow leaders such as SAP, Siemens, Autodesk, and Materialise as well as members of its unique open 3D materials platform including Arkema, BASF, Evonik, Henkel, Lehman & Voss, and Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical Co.

Deloitte’s Supply Chain and Manufacturing Operations business works to assist in the application of digital business strategies to manufacturing initiatives. Digital collaborators counted among Deloitte’s ecosystem include Amazon Web Services (AWS)Cloudera, Dassault Systèmes, Google Cloud, SAP, and Siemens, to accelerate clients’ digital transformations. The company is set to help businesses to bring 3D printing into their supply chains, which it describes as “a move that has the potential to fundamentally impact the way manufacturing organizations function.”

The benefits of cost and part reduction, increased production speed and design freedom, local manufacture, and more that 3D printing offers to global business operations are set to, as HP notes with its trademark ambition, help to “unlock the promise of a new global industrial revolution.”

An expansion of a major partnership between major global enterprises with a focus on taking 3D printing further into global manufacturing has the potential to move additive manufacturing into a more common business reality.

[All photos: Sarah Goehrke]

 

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