Implemented properly, additive manufacturing can significantly reduce material waste, reduce the amount of production steps and inventory being held, and reduce the amount of distinct parts needed for an assembly.
But proper implementation requires a strategy.
"Before you start any serious capital expenditure on the technology, it is critical that you create a top-down corporate strategy that reflects areas where your manufacturing operation and end-use parts and products can truly benefit," asserts Jim Williams, an executive at 3D Systems Inc.
"As you build your strategy, you need to understand the benefits and where they can apply to you. You need to be familiar with the choice of technologies and what each can bring, and then you need to research your options."
For more, read "Why You Need an Additive Manufacturing Strategy"
in sister publication IndustryWeek.