In the previous entry we saw what makes up additive manufacturing. Now we ask ourselves, what challenges will we face with additive manufacturing.
Where will additive manufacturing take us?
The term “Bits-to-Atoms” sums up the philosophy of additive manufacturing. We can sum up Bits-to-Atoms by transferring codified information in bits into a real product.
Forced to the extreme, this leads us to the final consumer being able to obtain a final product without the need for organizations that produce intermediate assemblies, warehouses, or logistic operators.
Do these changes mean that we are facing the next industrial revolution?
Additive manufacturing is, without a doubt, the main pillar of the industrial and manufacturing revolution that will change the organization of activities in value systems for all manufacturing sectors in the near future.
It seems evident that additive manufacturing will live side-by-side with traditional manufacturing systems, however products that require hundreds of components will be able to be produced with far fewer assembly operations. The need for warehouses will almost completely disappear, and the need for financing will be less.
This technology will not only change the way in which products are designed and manufactured, it will also completely revolutionize manufacturing and illuminate ideas for business that cannot even be imagined today. In fact, one of the main challenges which we face is imagining all of its possibilities. This means finding and educating engineers centred on the client, capable of exploiting all this potential.
It is undeniable that additive manufacturing will create endless opportunities, some more evident than others, such as may be the case for start-ups and replacement part companies: start-ups may use manufacturing to design new products from the start, backed by the advantages of short series, lowered cost of investment, etc., while replacement parts business will be changed entirely. Storage and cost limitations due to distances will be a thing of the past, and clients will become more global.
Today at Ikor, we are using additive manufacturing processes for prototypes, demonstrators, approvals, small series…
…however it Is vital to stop and think, and study the true potential of additive manufacturing. At Ikor, we’re already on it, and you?