How 3D printing can assist with supply chain issues
The global coronapandemic is multiplying problems in supply chains, especially in departments such as production and logistics. The spread of the coronavirus has disrupted factories, destabilised supply chains and hampered production in many industrial plants. This global crisis is forcing most companies to review their current working practices and consider the implementation of new tools and technologies. Enter: 3D printing. Test your knowledge of the technology on this page.
The outbreak of the coronary pandemic poses a major challenge to the medical sector worldwide. The demand for respiratory and protective equipment is greater than ever. The manufacturing industry is providing assistance in various areas. Many medical parts or devices are currently being printed to make up for the shortages. But 3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing (AM), can offer a possible solution in industrial sectors. The use of 3D printing technology makes it possible to make components where and when they are needed, without having to use very expensive tools such as moulds. The technology drastically reduces the dependence on external suppliers, which is not only a big advantage in a crisis like this.
Thanks to additive technology, companies can produce just that one missing part or component in their own company. In this way, 3D printers enable organisations to build up decentralised production chains. Companies that now realise how vulnerable they are, have an interest in taking a closer look at the possibilities of 3D printing. Whether it is to temporarily overcome an interrupted supply, to implement a deliberate strategy to reduce supply chain risks, or to partially re- or near-shore production on a permanent basis: 3D printing can provide parts with the same functional properties.
More and more companies are recognising the opportunities offered by 3D printing and are investing in it
What do you already know about the technology? Take the quiz
Several observers assume that interruptions in supply chains become more likely in the future – not necessarily as a result of pandemics. The rapidly evolving geopolitical relationships are also a source of uncertainty. Perhaps this increased risk requires companies to (re)assess their analyses and consider alternatives – such as 3D printing. However, the possibilities of the technology – from small and large products, over production tools, to (spare) parts of machines – are often still unknown.
Flam3D, the network organisation for 3D printing in Flanders and the Netherlands and a division of SIM, has therefore compiled a quiz. Via a few short questions, companies can get acquainted with 3D printing in a casual way. Would you like to learn more about 3D printing, or do you already have some knowledge you would like to test? Take part in the quiz below: