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How will 3D printing affect manufacturing and distribution?


If there is one technological advancement that looks set to soar in the forthcoming decades, it’s 3D printing. Whilst opening a host of opportunity, this rapidly developing industry could present challenges to manufacturing and distribution.

Take a look at whether the likes of Sira manufacture, Sira distributor, universal joints manufacturers, universal joints distrubutors, are likely to be affected by the rise of 3D printing.

According to the Harvard Business Review, as the applications of 3D printing develop and the price of the technology decreases, one of the primary implications will be that more and more goods will be manufactured either at the closer to their point of consumption.

For example, instead of Sirem gearboxes being manufactured in the Sirem factory and the shipped to its destination by a Sirem distributor, the gearbox could be made by a 3D printer by the consumer himself.

“Many goods that have relied on the scale efficiencies of large, centralised plants will be produced locally,” writes the Harvard Business Review.

The customisation of components

The second implication HBR notes is the fact that components are likely to become considerably more customised. Instead of generic parts such as Sirem pumps and Spaggiari gearboxes, parts will become much more customised to meet the consumer’s own personal requirements from the offset, the same way quality control ensured products adhered to the same set of standards.

In an article about the advancements of 3D printing and its impact on manufacturing, the Supply Demand Chain Executive (SDCE) speaks of how industry leaders will need to adapt and incorporate 3D printing into their strategic thinking.

“They need to partner with both shippers and 3D printing service providers to optimise 3D printing use and logistics,” write the SDCE.

The article goes on to talk about how major industries which rely on high-cost components, whereby innovation, customisation and high quality is required, such as the aerospace, automotive and medical device industries, will “inherit the benefits of 3D printing.” This is essentially due to the fact that by utilising 3D printers, companies will be able to satisfy customer requirements much more quickly and efficiently, as the printers will remove much of the complexity surrounding the supply chain.

What are your thoughts about 3D printing? Do you embrace the prospect and feel excited by the rise of an industry that has been cited as being able to ‘change the world’? Or would you prefer it if we stuck to a good old-fashioned model of manufacturing, quality control and distribution?

If you require any specialist parts delivering to your door, YB Components are specialists in the supply of industrial gearboxes and motors, couplings and clutches, and many more ancillary products.