Jabil Builds 3D Printing for Mass Production
25 April, 2018
Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network, consisting of more than 100 3D printers is now in operation at facilities in the United States, China, Hungary, Mexico, Singapore and Spain
Jabil introduced this week its global Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network, consisting of more than 100 3D printers. It is now in operation at Jabil’s facilities in the United States, China, Hungary, Mexico, Singapore and Spain. A variety of 3D printing machines have been installed for high-speed sintering, fused filament fabrication, polymer and metal laser sintering and other processes.
The network includes a dozen production-ready HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printers, following the recent installation of six HP Jet Fusion 4210 printers at Jabil’s Singapore facility. HP announced that Jabil will install 6 more HP Jet Fusion 4210 printers (photo above) at its facility in Silicon Valley, US. “Our new Additive Manufacturing Network is the connective tissue that scales globally to integrate every printer, facility and work order across our enterprise and crystalize our vision of truly distributed manufacturing,” said John Dulchinos, vice president of digital manufacturing at Jabil.
New Production Methods
Over the past year, Jabil has increased its 3D printing capacity, and is currently unites product designers in Silicon Valley with Singapore-based manufacturing teams to accelerate the distributed manufacturing of products. The company said that more than 140 parts for HP’s Jet Fusion 300/500 printers are being produced by Jabil using its combination of Multi Jet Fusion technology and the Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network.
Jabil has also enhanced its end-to-end process control by applying Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) methods to increases part/assembly consolidation, manufacturability, reliability and quality of 3D-printed parts. The platform integrates seamlessly with Jabil’s Intelligent Digital Supply Chain (IDSC) to align materials, printers and customer orders with supply chain demands.
Medical and Aerospace lead the Industry
A market research made by Dimensional Research and sponsored by Jabil among 303 3D printing decision makers at manufacturing companies, reveals major trends in Additive Manufacturing. Industries most frequently reporting use include Aerospace (93%) and Medical Devices (91%). Large manufacturing companies, those with more than 1,000 employees, are notably more likely to use 3D printing (92%) than small ones with less than 100 employees (60%).
Among those that have adopted Additive Manufacturing, far and away the most common use is prototyping (70%). Only a handful (16%) use 3D printing for repair. There is also limited use for bridge production (28%) and tooling (33%). Only just over a third (36%) are using 3D printing for production. The ability to work with metals, ceramics, and composites instead of just plastic opens a world of potential.
Mass Production around the corner
However, the mainstay material for 3D printing remains plastics and polymers (81%). Only about a third use metals (32%) and the same is true of composites (34%). Ceramics are being used by only a small number of manufacturing companies (8%). The manufacturing stakeholders involved in decisions around 3D printing do expect significant growth. The clear majority (93%) expect their use to grow within the next five years.
Most expect that growth to be significant, including 40% that report they will more than double their current 3D printing levels plus a remarkable 23% that expect their use of 3D printing to increase by a factor of five or more. While most manufacturing companies are using 3D printing, it is not yet the norm to use 3D printing in production. Less than a third (29%) report that they are currently printing production parts.
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