Additive manufacturing software is growing in demand as new players implement AM strategies into their production operations. According to a 2020 survey by HP, 79% of digital manufacturing and 3D printing decision-makers believed 3D printing could secure supply chains and make them more agile.
Indeed, AM can deliver tangible supply chain benefits, including simplifying processes, minimizing bottlenecks, and reducing costs. However, to enable these benefits, additive manufacturing players must integrate with existing methods in supply chain and AM ecosystems to support continuous and automatic operations.
Navigating Benefits and Challenges of Additive Manufacturing
The goals of additive manufacturing can vary significantly by industry and use case; however, three key areas remain consistent in practically every AM strategy: reduce production lead time, lower costs, and improve part quality.
Nevertheless, a lack of technical knowledge of 3D print processes or an unclear automation strategy often hamstrings AM operations, preventing these goals from being achieved.
To help address these challenges, enterprises adopting additive manufacturing strategies can partner with an AM software vendor like 3YOURMIND to explore business use cases and automation opportunities.
How the Right AM Software Can Help
3YOURMIND is the only software provider that offers continuous data flow from part identification through print production. Data continuity is critical to success in additive manufacturing and helps eliminate information silos from poorly integrated AM workflows. This end-to-end data helps to address AM challenges while serving the goals of AM-supported enterprises.
Here are three ways 3YOURMIND software modules can work together, or independently, across the entire value chain to help to reduce production lead time, lower costs, and improve part quality.
Identify the Right Parts
Additive manufacturing is not suitable to produce every part, whether its technical or cost limitations, carefully analyzing parts is necessary to determine strong business use cases for parts traditionally produced by conventional manufacturing.
By using manual processes, highly qualified AM engineers can easily spend months analyzing parts one by one to identify cost-saving solutions using AM. 3YOURMIND’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) helps remedy this by empowering companies to experience up to 80% time reduction in finding suitable use cases
Agile PLM lets companies upload massive amounts of file data to evaluate parts based on technical and economic feasibility to create qualified digital inventories. As a result of Agile PLM’s inventory analysis tool, companies can identify the top 5-10% of AM parts currently in their inventory, resulting in millions saved in production costs per year.
Streamline Order Management Processes : Define and validate your print project
Once AM suitable parts are identified, the next challenge is reconciling order management workflows. For example, order intake, price-to-quote time, and part-printability evaluation can all eat into production lead time.
On average, AM engineers spend 40 minutes per part to evaluate printability. In addition, it often takes up to a week for AM teams to get price quotes and production time estimates from internal and external suppliers. These operations underutilize specialized workers and prevent AM firms from reducing production lead time.
3YOURMIND’s Agile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution automates order management processes through its part evaluation tool, which empowers customers and users to evaluate part printability for greater part quality, select materials, and see calculated part costs automatically. As a result, AM production facilities experience full process automation, including automatic price quoting, with up to 100% data transparency and a 75% reduction in manual work time. Those savings can lead to shorter lead times and enable companies to scale up their AM production.
Digitize and Automate Production With Ease
Without integrated software, production planning can be a major pain point, requiring non-digital processes like whiteboards or excel-based production planning. As a result, AM shop floors may experience underutilized production capacity, quality oversights, and scheduling inefficiencies.
3YOURMIND’s Agile Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) software manages order intake and production planning to ensure on-time delivery. By eliminating manual, or non-integrated processes, Agile MES’ fully automated workflow reduces human error by up to 30%
Agile MES also enables machine connectivity across AM machines, including those from different manufacturers, ensuring data is captured in a centralized platform. This end-to-end data trail ensures that every aspect of part production is well-documented to help provide consistent, repeatable quality. In addition, as a result of using Agile MES, AM production teams can increase machine utilization by 130-150% with intelligent scheduling tools, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Want to learn more about workflow and software for AM? Mark your calendars for a panel discussion featuring 3YOURMIND’s managing director Alexandre Donnadieu at Additive Manufacturing Strategies on Thursday, March 3 at 10 a.m. ET.
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