The coming weeks will be key for many companies. As forecasted by many market leaders – not all companies will manage to survive the crisis related to production stoppage. The first shock is gone, so many is searching for options of patching holes in supply chains.
And we predict that right now many producers and manufacturers will find that the use of 3D printing in supply chains is not only empty slogans, but a practical, fast, effective tool, which properly selected and used will give the opportunity for further functioning of enterprises.
This is the problem that will appear of course as one of the first. Today, production is dispersed, not only to the country, but increasingly to the world. Stuck or very limited transport, lack of human resources to maintain production or supplies – this is already happening. Meanwhile, technologies such as SLS give the opportunity to manufacture elements with mechanical and chemical strength comparable to those of injection molds. The advantage here is that to create the missing component using 3D printing technology you only need a digital file. Incremental SLS production is also not limited in any way by geometry, and thus we are able to produce any element in a very short time, including one that will consist of several moving parts relative to each other.
Supply chains have many elements. In the usual time, most companies are also secured against this eventuality and cooperate with several suppliers. But time is unusual and even such solutions are unreliable. Losses related to production stoppages are increasing every day. In large companies they go in hundreds of thousands to even millions. In the current situation, even local suppliers (that companies are looking for in crisis situations) may not be an option. By 3D printing the missing parts for the production line, we can get any element in a very short time – so we gain access to a very wide number of spare parts that we can produce on demand in our own production plant.
Quick action – this is what the current situation requires of everyone. Meanwhile, the design and printing of functional tools can be reduced to the necessary minimum, while significantly reducing the staff needed in this process.
MAINTAINING SMOOTHNESS OF OPERATION OF BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
As industrial entrepreneurs, we do not operate separated from others. In addition to suppliers, we also have customers, partners and contractors. The functioning of our businesses is more or less, but still connected with many other entities. In the current crisis, each of them has a problem and must limit production (and even quit it at all). Often, everyone has problems with the supply chain, missing parts or tools. Having the ability to create incrementally elements for ourselves, we can also very easily help eliminate problems and bottlenecks in others, to help not only ourselves, but our business environment – for the benefit of everyone.