Exploring Contract Manufacturing? Know Your 5 Points of Contact

PATTY RASMUSSEN| September 28, 2017
EXPLORING CONTRACT MANUFACTURING? KNOW YOUR 5 POINTS OF CONTACT
The customer service representative (CSR) is your lifeline. The CSR is the main point of contact for all order placement, status, and inquiries. They keep a close eye on your purchase order (PO) from the moment it’s placed until the time of delivery, and keep you updated accordingly. Your CSR can also help you with creating an accurate demand forecast, knowing the amount of material or product that needs to be ordered, when it needs to be ordered and when you need it at the warehouse.

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Spare Parts 3D supports manufacturers and industrial spare parts users to increase their spares availability by producing them on-demand using Additive Manufacturing. We digitize spare parts inventory and enable to produce them anywhere, anytime, in the shortest delay.

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The Factory of the Future

Article | December 2, 2021

The world of manufacturing is continuously evolving in the 21st century, and companies have to combat competition, altering consumer demands, and unexpected events to be able to deliver in today’s experience. Global connectivity, innovation, and disruption are all reshaping the manufacturing industry, but a world-class business platform can help companies transform operations digitally to keep up with an evermore digitized world. The factory of the future will allow manufacturers to enhance production through the convergence of information technology with factory operations, combining the effectiveness of the virtual world with the materiality of the physical world to lower costs, increase flexibility, and better meet customer expectations. The factory of the future functions on four dimensions: resource planning, manufacturing planning, planning and optimization, and manufacturing operations. Resource planning involves defining and simpulating the plant layout, flow, assets, and resources needed to efficiently develop products in a safe environment. Normal production change requests can be quickly validated by using 3D virtual experience twin technology. This technology could also quickly pivot operations to alternative products in the case of disruptive events. Manufacturing planning enriches the resource and product definition by defining and validating a process plan and creating work instructions that meet production goals. Digital visualization of resource and process changes can also help speed up time-to-production in any scenario no matter the location by leveraging the cloud. Planning and optimization of supply chains across planning horizons will help manufacturers gain visibility with planning and scheduling by having the ability to model, simulate, and optimize alternative supply and production plans to reduce disruptions. Lastly, manufacturing operations management can transform global production operations to attain and maintain operational excellence. Manufacturers can create, manage, and govern operational processes on a global scale while maintaining operational integrity to meet altering demands. For the factory of the future to come about successfully, there needs to be connected technology and shared data. Technology has to be adaptable with robotics and equipment that can be reconstructed to house changes and new products. An AI-powered product demand simulation is necessary to maintain agility and boost productivity. A versatile, cross-functional workforce with the ability to explicate data and function well in AR environments is also required along with smart factory technology such as wearable sensors and virtual prototypes. Through all this, the factory of the future can connect technologies across the product life cycle while optimizing the workforce and increasing sustainability. Although achieving the factory of the future has several benefits, creating a feasible factory of the future plan can be challenging. In 2018, only 12% of companies had a mature factory of the future plan. One of the main challenges that companies face is a lack of internal skills to devise digital solutions. However, this can be combated by carefully considering how you can utilize digital technologies to deliver improved performance, resiliency, and flexibility. It is easier to begin with small steps and to collaborate with a partner who could support your efforts to build toward your desired transformation goal. It is important to always be prepared by evaluating your next steps, industry trends, and progress metrics. It is also crucial to focus on the people, process, and technology you’re using to have a successful transformation journey. Manufacturing with the factory of the future can provide savings in a wide range of categories. For example, it can reduce virtual vehicles build time by 80%, increase on-time performance of industrial equipment by 45%, and reduce modular construction time of construction, cities, and territories by 70%. Leading the transformation of the manufacturing space towards the direction of the factory of the future will allow manufacturers to work smart and better meet the needs of the end consumers.

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Filmmaking is Manufacturing

Article | July 27, 2021

Filmmaking is manufacturing. To date, no one has made the direct correlation between the two. As many entertainment professionals know, the budget gap between indie productions and big studio blockbusters continues to grow. The day of mid-budget, independent (indie) movies is disappearing as fast as the middle class in the American economy. According to newbiefilmschool, the average budget is barely at $2 million for these pictures and producers have been forced to adapt by discovering creative ways to decrease costs, while maintaining a high production values for a sophisticated audience with high expectations. Though there are many ways to cut costs, any business professional will agree to go with the options that bring down the budget the most. Just as dog is man’s best friend, here are three reasons why manufacturers have become the same for a filmmaker by saving money and time for every type of production. Film equipment manufacturers No long may a film lack quality in picture, sound, and bad acting. Once acceptable, these older movies were produced with the technology and film equipment constraints and from limited funding. Film equipment manufacturers from cameras, sound equipment, and computers cost less to achieve high production values. Film equipment companies face increasing competition, which has driven down the purchase price. Better equipment with significant technology improvements has reframed the indie film industry with high-level sound and image capture quality. The transition of cameras from film to digital was a notable shift for manufacturers. Many industry-insiders believe that digital is free, and film is expensive, but there is more the manufacturing construct. Digital cameras, when compared to film cameras in the same market price bracket, are much more expensive than analog counterparts. It is true that film costs money and is single-use. Digital memory cards are relatively expensive and can be reused. Film also needs to be developed and there is a cost associated with that production cost. There are other ways in which digital modalities save filmmakers. Automation Across all industries, efficiency always wins. Innovative manufacturers have developed machines to make numerous jobs easier for everyone. Machines have been assisting filmmakers since the invention of the camera. AI (artificial intelligence) is poised to change film even more and continues to augment human creativity. Storytellers work with computers during every process of creating a motion picture which has sped up the time it takes to complete each-step in film making. Automating pre-production processes, such as creating a budget and writing a script, is analogous to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for a traditional manufacturing operation. The Movie Magic budgeting software by Entertainment Partners has made creating a budget more efficient and accurate. Screenwriter programs vary from the downloadable Final Draft, and the purely cloud based, Celtx, are the reasons automated scriptwriting is the norm. These programs also automatically format writing to industry standards, facilitating the creative process. Automation in post-production is equally advanced through editing software for video, sound, effects, and colors all the way to distribution and promotional content. Editing footage from digital rather than film saves time and money. Industry favorites include Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple’s exclusive Final Cut Pro and are used on almost all well-known movies and TV shows. The impacts of COVID-19 on entertainment manufacturers Without question, the pandemic has affected every industry by creating an unanticipated production standstill. Entertainment manufacturers have sacrificed countless productions, lost billions of dollars, and major talent agencies have furloughed hundreds of employees. This negative impact is not just difficult for indie filmmakers, big studios are suffering just as much with production delays and cancellations still happening as this article goes to press. Any way back to the set is better than no set at all. A new necessity for productions to safely reopen includes epidemiologists and other public health specialists; they provide detailed strategies dealing with large crews who work in cramped spaces, makeup artists who get face-to-face with actors who kiss, hug, and fight on set. These COVID-19 consultants rely on the manufacturing industry for PPE supplies and carry out regular PCR tests. Face coverings and hand sanitizing stations have also become the norm, just like most other manufacturing operations.

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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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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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Spare Parts 3D supports manufacturers and industrial spare parts users to increase their spares availability by producing them on-demand using Additive Manufacturing. We digitize spare parts inventory and enable to produce them anywhere, anytime, in the shortest delay.

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