Additive Manufacturing Strategies

How 3ERP Avoids the Pitfalls of Rapid Prototyping in China

ST Medical Devices

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Rapid prototyping in China has an obvious appeal. Like other forms of manufacturing in the Asian country, rapid prototyping in China offers exceptional value, its low rates unmatchable by even the most affordable European and North American companies.

But with that affordability comes risk: Chinese manufacturing often fails to match the quality of its European and North American counterparts, and corresponding with a Chinese company can result in communication problems for non-Chinese clients. Furthermore, relaxed intellectual property practices in China mean that global customers are often hesitant to send their blueprints to a Chinese manufacturer.

Fortunately, not all Chinese rapid prototyping companies fit the stereotype. 3ERP, a Guangdong-based prototyping specialist offering CNC machining, additive manufacturing, vacuum casting and several other rapid prototyping services, has built a reputation upon its Western-style service, taking steps to ensure quality, confidentiality and reliability — not to mention fast turnarounds to customers anywhere in the world.

Superior quality

Perhaps the biggest concern for companies seeking a third-party manufacturer in China is the issue of quality. Yes, the price may look appealing, but will the customer be getting a prototype of suitable quality? Will the manufacturer be able to handle bridge production? Will those cost advantages prove a false economy if the product doesn’t work?

3ERP has no such concerns, priding itself on the skill of its staff, the quality of its equipment and the success of its projects. With years of experience and top-end equipment like Haas 5-axis vertical machining centers, 3ERP offers CNC machining services and other manufacturing services of a comparable or superior quality to Western CNC machining companies and rapid prototyping companies. Its ISO9001-2015 certification testifies to this quality.

Assurance

3ERP’s quality isn’t just a promise: it’s guaranteed by a comprehensive quality control system comprised of measuring and testing equipment and a multi-stage inspection process, all of which guarantees material and structural quality.

The quality control system at 3ERP HQ includes an X-ray material testing machine, capable of identifying and differentiating metals within 30 seconds. This process eliminates the possibility of incorrect material usage, saving customers potential testing problems when they receive their prototype. 3ERP also employs a high-tech on-site inspection system, which aids the machining equipment to accurately find the workpiece, as well as a profile projector for accurate measurement.

One of the most important stages in the quality control system is the use of a top-of-the-line Hexagon coordinate measuring machine (CMM). The CMM is used to precisely measure the geometry of a part by sensing points on its surface, allowing 3ERP to determine if a finished part matches the initial design.

Communication and turnaround

Another valid concern about rapid prototyping in China is the matter of geography. Even if quality can be guaranteed, many companies are skeptical of outsourcing to China for two other reasons: Chinese manufacturers are not always able to communicate in English, and a long-distance arrangement can result in slower turnarounds.

In becoming a respected international company, 3ERP has sought to eliminate each of these problems. Regarding the first, 3ERP’s workers are fluent English speakers, with many years of experience working with clients around the world. This means even the most specific project details can be discussed with total clarity and accuracy. Regarding the second, 3ERP offers incredibly fast turnarounds for international clients. With CNC machining projects, for example, quotes can be returned within 24 hours, parts shipped within seven days and delivery estimates met on 99% of orders.

Confidentiality

One of the most serious pitfalls associated with rapid prototyping in China is the issue of confidentiality — particularly the leaking of trade secrets due to contractual loopholes or an opaque supply chain. For many years, companies have been warned of the risks of third-party manufacturing in China, with intellectual property seemingly safer when kept within Europe or North America.

3ERP, however, takes every step to earn the confidence of its customers. The company encourages and fully complies with legally binding non-disclosure agreements, which serve to protect the intellectual property of a customer. By complying with watertight NDAs and carrying out its rapid prototyping services in-house, 3ERP ensures that its CNC machining, pressure die casting, sheet metal prototyping and all other services are carried out in full confidentiality.

Excellence, Efficiency, Economy

Rapid prototyping in China has always been economical, but 3ERP also guarantees excellence and efficiency, in line with the ‘three Es’ after which it is named. By choosing 3ERP as a rapid prototyping service provider, clients can avoid the pitfalls of prototyping in China, reaping the rewards of overseas manufacturing without sacrificing quality.

Contact 3ERP today for a quote.

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