Have you ever heard the term “additive manufacturing”? Yes, additive manufacturing is a new innovation in the manufacturing industry that is famous in its “other name”, 3D printing. However, do you know that this technology has been around since three decades back? In this article, we will discuss what is additive manufacturing meaning and more.
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What is Additive Manufacturing?
The truth speaks, what we call additive manufacturing does not apply to additive manufacturing 3D printing only, but also rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing (DDM). This technology advancement has dispersed well and is still continually going to surprise the manufacturing industry with its development.
How Does It Work and What are the Processes?
The basic concept of the additive manufacturing process is; adding material while producing goods. Traditional manufacturing method uses raw material by carving and shaping by cutting parts of it in such a way until the form is there. Meanwhile, additive manufacturing is the opposite pole. It creates the structure of the object by adding thousands of minuscule layers and fused during the whole process. This process requires a computer and special software which will tell the printer how the object should be. The cartridge is adaptable with any material that you want to use for the object and fabricates the object.
Also read: Lean Manufacturing Implementation in 6 Steps
Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
Conventional manufacturing techniques can produce goods with a variety of shapes and designs, but additive manufacturing goes beyond it. One of the best points of this technology is its ability to execute a wider variety of designs. The design of an object that cannot be manufactured in one entire piece with traditional manufacturing is not impossible with additive manufacturing technologies. For example, the shape of a scooped out or hollowed object can be produced with material as a whole without having to weld and attach other components. Therefore, the goods are stronger and have no vulnerable spots.
The process is also quick. Manufacturing companies do not have to repeatedly do the meetings just to discuss how they can shape the object like the design. Any change in the design can be done by clicking the mouse. With this flexibility, companies can cut budgets effectively. Prior to this technology, production limitation often affects the design of the object because it was too complex to be true. This technology makes the company’s dream design. Furthermore, companies need to use a supply chain management system to get complete visibility and analysis to manage products and materials accurately and keep up with rapidly changing markets.
How Can ERP Help Additive Manufacturing?
An effective ERP system is a key that can help companies keep up with this innovation. The ERP system will help you keep track of how much material is for additive manufacturing production. ERP data management can track your product starting from the raw material, its shipping and delivery, and the effectiveness of the entire process with just a fingertip. The solution of an ERP system also functions to predict how the demand is going to be in the future so that the company can prepare for it properly.
Next, because additive manufacturing technologies are relatively new, making sure the 3D printer run well is a routine that you must not miss. Tracking the serial number of machines that you use with the ERP system means that you can identify the origin of these machines – whether it’s from the vendor or it’s the machine that you produced yourself.
Additive manufacturing is a combination of manufacturing and technology. The ERP system can provide applications that connect discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing. Discrete manufacturing is the process of creating an object with the existing components. Meanwhile, process manufacturing uses a mixture of chemicals to make a new product. With 3D printing, your company can execute both forms of manufacturing. However, you will need an ERP system to handle them.
Additive manufacturing in industry 4.0 is a new technological breakthrough in the manufacturing industry that adds more convenience in producing goods. Its benefits also go beyond traditional marketing. However, to operate it, the ERP system holds the key. HashMicro as the best ERP software service provider in Singapore provides manufacturing automation software that you can use in implementing additive manufacturing. Are you in the manufacturing industry and would like to know more about ERP? Read the following article: What is Manufacturing Software & How It Can Help Your Business Grow? or you can contact us here.