How 3D printing can affect your broken supply chain during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak?​

How 3D printing can affect your broken supply chain during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak?

3D printing VS coronavirus

Worldwide pandemic multiplies the problems in the supply chains, especially in sectors such as manufacturing and logistics. The spread of coronavirus has caused the disruptions in many plants, broke supply chains and prevented production at many industrial factories.

This time of global crisis forces most companies to review their current working methods and consider implementing new tools and technologies. Such as 3D printing.

printing module
The smooth supply of components has a significant impact on production in every company. The disruption of the supply chain may result in a slowdown in the production of products. Many companies can't afford it. The use of 3D printing technology can help our production continuity. And what's more, it can maintain liquidity. Thanks to additive technology we can produce the missing part or component in our own company.
Łukasz Lipiec, Technical Sales Support Engineer at 3DGence

4 reasons how 3D printer can help your business during broken supply chain

1. Maintaining continuity of production

A manufacturing line downtime may occur in case the supplier of a part fails. Such situation exposes companies to financial losses which may grow with time, when awaiting a replacement. It may even last a few weeks. Finding a new local supplier, in a crisis situation, can be a big challenge.

Therefore, it may be much better to use 3D printing in your own company. This will reduce downtime due to missing parts. Owing a 3D printer is a perfect alternative for a fast access to spare parts needed for the operation of a given device or the whole engineering line.

2. Production of components in your company

3D printing technology enables producing any type of elements which come into a majority of mechanisms, e.g. engines or various systems. 3D printers provide the opportunity of preparing even the most non-standard and hardly available custom-made elements in a short time. Thanks to this solution we are not dependent on external suppliers, which is a big advantage in a crisis like this.

The use of 3D printing technology allows parts to be made where and when they are required, without very expensive moulds. Additionally, if we are able to produce elements in our company, we do not have to pay for transport.

Engineer is holding in his left hands two 3D printed with ABS steering knuckle after support removal, in this left hand he is holding steering knuckle with support material ESM-10

3D pirnter steering knuckle for racing car

The prototype of fire engine's manifold 3D printed with ABS material on industrial 3D printer 3DGence INDUSTRY F340

3D printed manifold used in fire truck

3D printed gear with PEEK on 3DGence INDUSTRY F420 industrial 3D printer

Gear 3D printed with PEEK

3. Manufacturing of very resistant parts

Many components used in machines and devices can be replaced by 3D printed parts. The use of high-performance 3D printing materials such as PEEK, ULTEM or PC allow to achieve elements that have very good mechanical properties. What is more, parts from these filaments can be chosen as metal parts replacement.

In case the supplier of our parts fails, we can produce the same parts ourselves without losing their properties. Contrary to general belief, we may have access to a wide range of materials that we can use in our business.

4. Getting critical elements just-in-time

Imagine that you are missing a single part to complete the whole product. You don’t know when you’ll get the part you need. Although you have 99% of the elements, the lack of one of them delays your production. You can take the time to find a replacement from other suppliers. The choice of this option does not guarantee success, due to the fact that many companies closed down during the pandemic. 

Having a 3D printer in your company can quickly help you to complete your product in case of such situation.

Replace your part with 3D printed element

Producers at risk. But not all of them

Globalisation has led to the interdependence of countries and economies. Not only large corporations, but also smaller manufacturers rely on production centres in remote locations due to the fact, that this solution helps to minimize costs and increase profits.

The chief economist of EY, in an interview with Business Insider Poland, in the production of machinery, automotive industry, electrical equipment or computers, foreign components account for 40 percent. to ok. 2/3 of the production value.

Unfortunately, when the global supply chain is disrupted, it hits all economies, even 3D printing sector can be at risk. Many 3D printers producers don’t have their own plants in Europe, but they are depended on parts supplied from China. What is more, most of them have total production in Asia. But not 3DGence.

While most manufacturing companies from 3D printing sector face broken supply chains, 3DGence is still operational. The fact that we have our own plant in Europe and that we are not dependent on suppliers from Asia allows us producing news machines all the time. What is more, our industrial 3D printers are ready to be sent from our warehouse. In a crisis situation it is a very big advantage to have a possibility to keep the business running.
Karol Kula, Global Sales Manager at 3DGence

3D printing technology you need

There may be a lot of crisis situation in the future that we can’t control. Is investing in a 3D printer a good idea? 3D printing technology may help you on various fields. You can produce from a small part, to holder for your complicated device to make it work to end-use part that is critical for your product.

3D printing can help you with many many different applications through many materials. If you have no idea what filaments will proper for your project, you can consult it with our 3D printing engineers: [email protected] 

Know more about industrial 3D printer