Can Increasing Design Tolerances Cut Your Production Costs?

PATTY RASMUSSEN| July 07, 2017
CAN INCREASING DESIGN TOLERANCES CUT YOUR PRODUCTION COSTS?
Tolerance is defined as the total amount a specific dimension is allowed to vary. Contract manufacturers (CM) frequently receive designs from customers with tolerances that are drawn much more tightly than they need to be. But sometimes by increasing design tolerances - even a little - can save you money.

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Which Additive Manufacturing Process Is Right for You?

Article | December 6, 2021

Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners to create accurate geometric features. In contrast to traditional manufacturing, which frequently involves milling or other processes to eliminate superfluous material, these are produced layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process. The global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 14.42 percent annual rate from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028, according to reports and data. Overall, the worldwide 3D printing industry is gaining traction due to various reasons, some of which are listed below. Significantly, greater resolution Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of recent technology breakthroughs Ease of creating customised goods Increasing possibilities for printing with diverse materials Funding by the government for 3D printing ventures Additive manufacturing is available or may be implemented in various procedures, which is the primary objective of this article. First, we'll look at the seven additive manufacturing processes and which one is the best to use. So let us begin. “Don’t be afraid to go outside of your industry to learn best practices. There might be something that surprises you or inspires you to try in your line of work.” – Emily Desimone, Director of Global Marketing at SLM Solutions Additive Manufacturing Processes There are numerous diverse additive manufacturing processes, each with its own set of standards. Here are the seven additive manufacturing procedures that many manufacturers consider based on their benefits from each process, or whichever approach best suits their product requirements. Material Jetting This additive manufacturing process is quite similar to that of conventional inkjet printers, in which material droplets are selectively placed layer by layer to build a three-dimensional object. After completing a layer, it is cured with UV radiation. VAT Photo Polymerization This procedure employs a technology called photo polymerization, in which radiation-curable resins or photopolymers are utilized to ultraviolet light to generate three-dimensional objects selectively. When these materials are exposed to air, they undergo a chemical reaction and solidify. Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, and Continuous Digital Light Processing are the three primary subcategories. Binder Jetting Binder jetting is a process that deposits a binding agent, typically in liquid form, selectively onto powdered material. The print head deposits alternating layers of bonding agent and construction material and a powder spreader to create a three-dimensional object. Material Extrusion S. Scott Crump invented and patented material extrusion in the 1980s using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The continuous thermoplastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle and then deposited layer by layer onto the build platform to produce the object. Powder Bed Fusion Powder bed fusion procedures, particularly selective laser sintering, were the pioneers of industrial additive manufacturing. This approach melts the powdered material and fuses it using a laser or electron beam to form a tangible item. The primary kinds of powder bed fusion are direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, electron beam melting, selective laser melting, and selective heat sintering. Sheet Lamination Sheet lamination is a catch-all term encompassing ultrasonic additive manufacturing, selective deposition lamination, and laminated object manufacturing. All of these technologies stack and laminate sheets of material to form three-dimensional objects. After the object is constructed, the parts' undesirable areas are gradually removed layer by layer. Directed Energy Deposition Directed energy deposition technology employs thermal energy to melt and fuse the materials to form a three-dimensional object. These are pretty similar to welding processes, but are much more intricate. Which Additive Manufacturing Process is best? Why? Based on three fundamental factors, additive manufacturing techniques are categorized into seven types. First, the way material is solidified is determined first by the type of material employed, then by the deposition technique, and finally by how the material is solidified. The end-user often chooses an additive manufacturing technique that best suits his requirements, followed by the explicit material for the process and application, out of the seven basic additive manufacturing processes. Polymer materials are commonly used in AM techniques because they are adaptable to various procedures and can be modified to complicated geometries with high precision. Carbon-based compounds are used to strengthen polymers. Polymers, both solid and liquid, have been widely used due to the variety of shapes, formability, and end-use qualities available. Wherever the light-activated polymer contacts the liquid's surface, it instantly solidifies. Photo polymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, and material extrusion are the most common additive manufacturing procedures for polymers. The materials employed in these processes can be liquid, powder, or solid (formed materials such as polymer film or filament). How BASF is Using Additive Manufacturing BASF is a chemical company. BASF, one of the world's major chemical companies, manufactures and provides a range of 3D printing filaments, resins, and powders within its extensive material portfolio. The company, well-known in the 3D printing sector, has formed major material agreements with several 3D printer manufacturers, including HP, BigRep, Essentium, BCN3D, and others. BASF went even further in 2017 by establishing BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to expand the company's 3D printing business. In addition, BASF stated last year that B3DPS would change its name to Forward AM. BASF's role in the 3D printing business, however, is not limited to material development. BASF has made several investments in 3D printing companies over the years, including the acquisition of Sculpteo, one of the significant French 3D printing service bureaus, last year. BASF sees 3D printing as having a bright future. With the growing popularity of professional 3D printers, all of these systems will eventually require robust, high-quality polymer materials to perform at their best – and BASF has been paving the way to becoming one of the leading solution providers. Final Words All additive manufacturing procedures are unique and helpful in their way. Still, some have additional advantages over others, such as the material used, highresolution, precision, and the ability to build complicated parts. Because of these added benefits, photopolymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, and material extrusion are preferred over others. Therefore, choose the AM process that is best suited to your manufacturing business and will assist you in achieving the desired final product output. FAQs What are the benefits of additive manufacturing? AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability. What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing? Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing. What are the steps of additive manufacturing? The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below, Step1 - Design a model with CAD software Step2 -Pre-processing Step3 -Printing Step4 - Post-processing { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. 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AGV ROI Starts with a Delivery Commitment

Article | January 4, 2022

So much emphasis has been placed on features, advantages, and benefits; too little attention has been paid to delivery dates. The best automation solution on paper means nothing if it cannot be delivered in 2022. Selling the sexy sizzle of new, clever, even remarkable AGVs means nothing if manufacturers and distribution centers cannot take delivery of the product until 2023. Throughout industrial manufacturing and distribution the lead time from many AGV manufacturers is more than a year. That means product ordered in Q1 2022 will not be delivered until the following year. That is an absurd lead time and reflects poor planning and unnecessary supply chain constraints.

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Manufacturing Production Planning and Control: What, Why, and How?

Article | January 3, 2022

Production planning and control are critical components of any manufacturing organization. It helps organizations with the regular and timely delivery of their goods. Furthermore, it allows manufacturing businesses to increase their plant’s efficiency and reduce production costs. Numerous software and tools for production scheduling and planning are available on the market, including Visual Planning, MaxScheduler, and MRPeasy, which assist manufacturing organizations in planning, scheduling, and controlling their production. According to KBV Research, the manufacturing operations management software market is anticipated to reach $14.6 billion by 2025 globally, expanding at a market growth of 10.2 percent CAGR during the forecast period. So, what exactly is production planning and control? Production planning is an administrative process within a manufacturing business. It ensures that sufficient raw materials, personnel, and other necessary items are procured and prepared to produce finished products according to the specified schedule. Scheduling, dispatch, inspection, quality control, inventory management, supply chain management, and equipment management require production planning. Production control makes sure that the production team meets the required production targets, maximizes resource utilization, manages quality, and saves money. “Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.” – James Dyson In oversize factories, production planning and control are frequently managed by a production planning department, which comprises production controllers and a production control manager. More significant operations are commonly monitored and controlled from a central location, such as a control room, operations room, or operations control center. Why Should You Consider Production Planning? An efficient production process that meets the needs of both customers and the organization can only be achieved through careful planning in the early stages of production. In addition, it streamlines both customer-dependent and customer-independent processes, such as on-time delivery and production cycle time. A well-designed production plan minimizes lead time, the period between placing an order and its completion and delivery. The definition of lead time varies slightly according to the company and the type of production planning required. For example, in supply chain management, lead time refers to the time required for parts to be shipped from a supplier. Steps in Production Planning and Control Routing The first stage of production planning determines the path that raw materials will take from their source to the finished product. You will use this section to determine the equipment, resources, materials, and sequencing used. Scheduling It is necessary to determine when operations will occur during the second stage of production planning. In this case, the objectives may be to increase throughput, reduce lead time, or increase profits, among other things. Numerous strategies can be employed to create the most efficient schedule. Dispatching The third and final production control stage begins when the manufacturing process is initiated. When the scheduling plan is implemented, materials and work orders are released, and work is flowing down the production line, the production line is considered to be running smoothly. Follow-Up The fourth stage of manufacturing control ascertains whether the process has any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. You can use this stage to compare the predicted run hours and quantities with the actual values reported to see if any improvements can be made to the processes. Production Planning Example Though production planning is classified into several categories, including flow, mass production, process, job, and batch, we will look at a batch production planning example here. Manufacturing products in batches is known as "batch production planning." This method allows for close monitoring at each stage of the process, and quick correction since an error discovered in one batch can be corrected in the next batch. However, batch manufacturing can lead to bottlenecks or delays if some equipment can handle more than others, so it's critical to consider capacity at every stage. Example Consider the following example of batch production planning: Jackson's Baked Goods is in the process of developing a production plan for their new cinnamon bread. To begin with, the head baker determines the batch production time required by the recipe. He then adjusts the bakery's weekly ingredient orders to include the necessary supplies and schedules the weekly cinnamon bread bake during staff downtime. Finally, he creates a list of standards for the bakery staff to check at each production stage, allowing them to quickly identify any substandard materials or other batch errors without wasting processing time on subpar cinnamon bread. Final Words Running a smooth and problem-free manufacturing operation relies heavily on a precise production planner. Many large manufacturing companies already have a strong focus on streamlining their processes and making the most of every manufacturing operation, but small manufacturing companies still have work to do in this area. As a result, plan, schedule, and control a production that will enable you to run your business in order to meet its objectives. FAQ What is the difference between planning and scheduling in production? Production planning and scheduling are remarkably similar. But, it is critical to note that planning determines what operations need to be done and scheduling determines when and who will do the operations. What is a production plan? A product or service's production planning is the process of creating a guide for the design and manufacture of a given product or service. Production planning aims to help organizations make their manufacturing processes as productive as possible.

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Lead Generation for Manufacturers: 5 Effective Techniques That Work

Article | January 4, 2022

Lead generation for manufacturers has always been tough due to a lack of knowledge about new technology and trends that can help them generate more business leads. There are still a lot of small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that rely on antiquated manufacturer lead generation methods. In this article, we'll discuss some proven methods for generating leads that can help you increase your company's sales and improve your overall return on investment. "Don’t think of your lead as "LEADS." Instead, think of them as people who are frustrated because understanding and buying your product is too hard. Your job is to make it easy for them to learn about your product and get started. " —Andy Pitre, VP of Product, HubSpot So let's get started. Factors That Must Be Aligned to Drive New Business Leads Landing Pages Landing pages are mini-websites embedded into your site. To deliver an experience that speaks directly to the user's intent, marketers use landing pages. Create unique landing pages for every industrial lead generation campaign. Calls-To-Action To generate quality leads, you need to have a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are usually buttons that allow users to submit information, visit a landing page, or download an e-book or white paper. Your CTA must be compelling. Give your prospects a reason to click and remove any barriers to the click. CTAs should be bold, high-contrast, and easily identifiable. Forms Without forms, it is impossible to collect leads. Therefore, visitors will be asked to fill out forms that collect their contact information in exchange for an offer. Offers Every lead contains a transaction. A company provides a valuable service in exchange for a prospect's contact information. You won't get many leads unless you provide value to your potential customers. This offer comes in the form of an e-book, consultation, coupon code, or whitepaper. To generate more leads, make compelling offers. Website The above components can't exist if you don't have a website. If you want to emphasize your business, you need to generate quality leads. Why? Because most of today's B2B buyers are millennials, who are highly tech-savvy and increasingly conduct their supplier research online. How to Generate Manufacturing Leads: 5 Effective Techniques Create a Website That Converts "The lead generation process starts by finding out where our target market ‘lives’ on the web." – Wayne Davis Your website should be a trusted source of quality leads. Unfortunately, many companies lose sight of this and develop websites that are cumbersome and difficult to browse, causing a rift between you and your potential customers. Don't expect people to behave if your site doesn't encourage them to act. Your website should have clear "call to action" buttons and lead capture options that allow visitors to contact you in a simple and pleasant way. Additionally, there are website optimization tools available, including PageSpeed Insights, Hotjar, Google Optimize, and WAVE. All of the above-mentioned website optimization tools provide complimentary services. So, this is the most accessible and most reliable approach to generating web leads. Make Descriptive Infographics Infographics are a great way to provide prospects with helpful information while motivating them to contact you. Most importantly, infographics establish your company as a thought leader and unconsciously identify you with industry authority. According to recent surveys, Nearly 41% of respondents indicated that infographics and illustrations are the most effective solutions for achieving their business objectives. On social media, infographics receive three times the number of shares as other types of content. Articles that included infographics received 72% more views than standard articles. A great infographic has a great design. If your organization lacks an in-house graphics team, you can simply locate a freelance designer to create a stunning infographic for you. Your infographics are ageless pieces of material that can be reused for smart marketing and lead generation manufacturing. Here's an example of an infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines from 2019 that received over 1,600 shares and is jam-packed with data and text. In this way, you can see how the company may have gotten its leads from these 1600 shares, each of which is a potential customer. Host an Event According to Bizzabo, 86% of senior management (Senior Managers, Executives, and Board Members) believe that in-person events are critical to the success of their company. The majority of B2B marketers (97%) believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving business goals. According to Marketing Charts, 68% of B2B marketers agree that in-person events aid in lead generation for manufacturers, while case studies help with lead conversion and acceleration. Improve manufacturing lead generation through events that can occur both online and offline. Organize any kind of event to attract your target market while collecting contact information. Use live events to interact with consumers in real-time, answering questions, addressing objections, learning about your audience, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel. Consider webinars, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences. Create a Value-Packed Newsletter "Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts." – Dayna Rothman According to the Content Marketing Institute, 31% of B2B marketers believe email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads. 81% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are their most frequently used form of content marketing. Create a must-read newsletter that invites interested prospects to engage and remain connected with your company. This enables you to stay top-of-mind with consumers and promote your products and services to move prospects along the sales funnel. The newsletter can have new blog entries, product or service updates, special deals, upcoming events, and recommended reading from other thought leaders. Incorporate SEO into Your Marketing Plan According to Intergrowth, 61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other type of marketing. Search engine leads convert at a rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (cold calling, direct mail, etc.) convert at a rate of 1.7%. Manufacturers are no exception when it comes to the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, you may generate many leads with the correct marketing approach and a profound grasp of SEO for manufacturers. Final Words When we consider the statistics explained earlier in this article, we can see the benefits of all of the techniques mentioned and how they can help you increase your lead generation and, as a result, your overall business ROI. Thus, we can refer to the above-mentioned lead generation techniques as sales-driven strategies that will assist you at every lead generation and conversion stage. Improved lead generation for manufacturers enables businesses to reach a vast customer base and generate more high-quality leads. FAQ What is a high-quality lead in manufacturing? Leads of high quality have an increased propensity to convert into paying consumers. The more qualified your leads are, the more likely they will buy your product or service. What are the lead generation challenges? Making accurate data, shaping conversations, and converting qualified leads into sales are some of the significant challenges in manufacturing lead generation.

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Our unlimited passion for technology, content and services, and relentless pursuit of innovation, drives us to deliver ground-breaking new excitement and entertainment in ways that only Sony can. Creating unique new cultures and experiences. Everything we do, is to move you emotionally.

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