As additive manufacturing continues to make its way into more global operations across a broader variety of verticals, increasing attention is being paid to the business implications of digitization. With so many important design files in play across digitized business operations, intellectual property is in focus. Partnerships between software suppliers and participants throughout the supply chain, from hardware manufacturer to end user, enable a more secure approach. Identify3D has been progressing in its pursuit of enabling the digital thread.
At the recent RAPID + TCT, I appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Stephan Thomas, Identify3D Co-Founder and CSO, and Tim Rose, Vice President of Business Development, for a conversation about the company’s approaches and strategies.
The value proposition, they explained, comes down to three primary factors:
- Manufacturing repeatability
Partnerships, Thomas and Rose underscored, are very important to their strategic approach, and during RAPID they had several new high-profile partnerships to discuss.
Longstanding work with Siemens recently solidified into an integration with Siemens NX and Sinumerik CNC motion control. Identify3D is also partnering with SLM Solutions for an end-to-end solution in additive manufacturing security. The day of our conversation, the company further announced a partnership with 3YOURMIND.
“Partnerships are important for a variety of reasons: to protect data, create a license to use or manufacture, specific authorizations for digital manufacturing rights, and enabling decentralized manufacturing with the confidence of control of intellectual property as well as consistency of parts made,” Rose told me.
These collaborative efforts have only been increasing as Identify3D picks up steam — and recognition.
Security, repeatability, and traceability are critical concerns as manufacturing goes global, with the agility of a digital workflow allowing for convenient decentralized manufacturing. For such high-security applications as aerospace and defense, integrity throughout every aspect of the supply chain is of the foremost importance. Identify3D understands that need and has created, Rose and Thomas explained, a “seamless experience” for operations that need integrated solutions.
To illustrate their thinking, Thomas and Rose used the analogy of the shipping container. Seemingly a simple solution, the shipping container was a revolution of sorts for logistics in enabling global trade.
“As the shipping container changed global trade, with a closed box instead of loading and unloading pallets allowing for more security and traceability, so we want to be the container of digital manufacturing,” Thomas said.
“We will ensure safety and security. Shipping containers lowered costs; we want to do that, automating more. Shipping containers can go on a train, on a plane, on a truck; we want to go to CAD to manufacturing to supply.”
Securely enclosing information, as a shipping container does for physical goods, allows for safer transport of digital files. Adaptable throughout each link of a supply chain, the ‘shipping container’ can only be accessed by those authorized. Among the benefits of digital manufacturing are the elimination of excess physical inventory, elimination of handling costs, and a reduction in distribution needs.
In addition to 3YOURMIND, Siemens, and SLM Solutions, Identify3D maintains partnerships with an assortment of companies. Thomas and Rose pointed to work with software partners Dassault Systèmes and Materialise and hardware partners EOS and Renishaw. More partnerships will emerge as Identify3D continues on its path toward deployment.
“We are a small company; we have to go one step at a time,” Rose acknowledged, noting several conversations in the works now.
Identify3D is a San Francisco-based company that also maintains an office in Lexington, Kentucky. The three-year-old enterprise has a core competency in software security with clients in the aerospace and defense and energy sectors, and will soon be adding transportation customers.
Discuss partnerships, data protection, and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Photos: Sarah Goehrke / Slides provided by Identify3D]