Omnichannel merchants shift closer to the customer

Thanks to their higher lifetime value, retailers are putting more effort into fulfilling the delivery needs of omnichannel consumers. Despite representing only 7% of total customers, omnichannel customers account for 27% of all sales; so they order more and more often than others.

Plus, digital media use before and while consumers shop already influences most in-store sales, and its influence is increasing, projected to influence 58% of all in-store sales by 2022. By embracing an omnichannel model, merchants can improve their chances of remaining profitable while improving the service they provide customers buying in-store or online.

When buying online, omnichannel consumers increasingly demand smaller, more frequent shipments to their doorsteps, workplaces and/or a convenient pickup location, and many will take their business elsewhere if merchants don’t oblige. According to Forbes coverage of a Capgemini study, for example, almost half of consumers say they would stop buying from a retailer that could not provide a satisfactory delivery. On the other hand, 55% said two-hour deliveries would increase their brand loyalty.

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ThyssenKrupp Additive Manufacturing approved for maritime supply

German multinational engineering group Thyssenkrupp has obtained certification for its supply of metal 3D printed products. The company’s Approval of Manufacturer certificate is the first ever to be awarded by leading quality assurance and risk management firm DNV GL. With the accreditation, the recently opened Thyssenkrupp TechCenter Additive Manufacturing is now approved for application in maritime and other industrial sectors.

Launching ceremony of the Class 218SG submarine Invincible. Photo via Thyssenkrupp.

“Producing components that have the same level of quality as conventionally manufactured parts and fulfil class requirements is key,” comments Geir Dugstad, Director of Ship Classification & Technical Director of DNV GL – Maritime, “At DNV GL, we are very pleased to certify that the Thyssenkrupp TechCenter Additive Manufacturing has demonstrated its ability to reliably produce metallic materials using additive manufacturing,”

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US Marines, Engineers conduct a first-of-its-kind 3D printing exercise

US Marines from Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) and 7th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB) along with engineers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) conducted the first known 3D concrete printing operation with a three-inch print nozzle at the CERL headquarters in early August in Champaign, Illinois.

The CERL, MCSC and 7th ESB team tested a new continuous mixer and three-inch pump for this print operation after successfully printing multiple structures, including a barracks and a bridge using, a two-inch pump and hose, the US Marine Corps said.

“This is really the first time we’ve ever printed something large with this system,” said Megan Kreiger, project lead for the Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures—or ACES—team at CERL. “It is experimental right now and we are trying to push the technology forward. This is the first time in the world anyone has really tried using these larger bead systems with these larger pumps.”

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Formula One and FIA use additive manufacturing to test 2021 car

Formula One (F1), the premier world championship for motor racing and its governing body the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), have used additive manufacturing to help determine the design, rules and regulations of its 2021 cars. 

The 50% scale F1 2021 model in Sauber's wind tunnel testing facility. Photo via Formula 1.

Each F1 season, the FIA issues new regulations for vehicles participating in the championship. The new rules are tested using prototype car models implemented. Last month, the 2021 vehicle underwent extensive wind tunnel testing using an accurate, 50 percent scale model produced with the help of additive manufacturing.

The wind tunnel tests were performed by an independent consultancy group from Sauber, a Swiss motorsport engineering company, using its own wind tunnel facility. The use of additive manufacturing to create the scale models delivered a number of benefits to the development team. Pat Symonds, F1’s Chief Technical Officer, stated “50% is a good compromise in that we can still get a good level of detail on the model but we still have distance behind. It’s true teams have tended to go more to 60% these days.”

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3D printing brings new dimensions to field commissioning

Access to and use of additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, has increased in recent years due to the expiring of patents on techniques and technologies, says Hugues Greder, Lead Petroleum Engineer at Total.

(Photo: Total)

Computing power is much more powerful and there’s also been an increase in the power of the lasers used in the AM process. While a large proportion of AM today is still for prototyping and tooling, about a third is for end uses, i.e. parts, he told the Underwater Technology Conference (UTC) in Bergen, Norway, earlier this year. And more is likely to come.

Total is keen to talk about AM after some recent success stories, including solving a problem during deepwater subsea pipeline commissioning that would have otherwise cost more than €10 million ($11.2 million) to rectify. The problem was found during the Egina field commissioning in 2018.

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The potential impact of 3D printing on the military supply chain

3 D Printing is in its infancy in terms of providing parts for the military.

A challenge for the military is of course the need for parts reliability and ruggedness at very high standards.

This is why the term “military grade” was invented.

But as 3D printing becomes part of the sustainment enterprise, there are very significant impacts to be anticipated.

“Just in time” gets a whole new meaning when one can build parts locally.

This means as well that distribute operations can be facilitated more effectively.

And there is a significant potential reduction on the supply fleet, whether it be by land, sea or air.

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3D printing shaping the future of medical care

3D printing (additive manufacturing) is revolutionizing the very concept of manufacturing across just about every industry. But some of the most mind-blowing advances are taking place in the medical world.

How Is 3D Printing Used in Health Care?

Perhaps the least surprising – but most practical – use of 3D printers in the medical profession is the printing of medical equipment and instrumentation. Aid groups in Haiti, for example, have printed umbilical cord clamps and other medical devices to make up for supply shortages and affordability issues. Other instruments might include guides to assist with the proper surgical placement of a device.

3D Printed Heart

3D-printed implants have the potential to replace damaged or worn body parts as easily as a mechanic replaces the parts of a vehicle’s engine. Already, plastic or titanium implants such as cranial plates or hip joints are being printed and put to use.

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From kicks to cars: 3D printing is upending supply chains

As additive manufacturing goes mainstream, supply chains are presented with tough decisions. Are the speed and flexibility worth the cost?

To produce brake calipers for its Chiron supercar, Bugatti embraced additive manufacturing, creating the largest titanium 3D printed component yet.

Because titanium is so strong, it’s impossible to use the same milling and forging technology used to form traditional aluminum calipers, Popular Science reported. Instead, the part is produced from 2,213 layers of titanium powder melted by lasers for over 45 hours and then heat-treated to 1,300 degrees. The part undergoes 11 hours of grinding to ensure each component meets exacting tolerances.

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A new disruption in electronics 3D printing: LDM, lights-out digital manufacturing

Unattended, low-volume production of functioning circuitry is now an option

It’s been a year of firsts for electronics 3D printing, with the launch of Lights-Out Digital Manufacturing (LDM), a manufacturing technology in which systems run with little or no human intervention around the clock. Here’s a quick look at LDM technology and the development of a variety of innovative 3D printed applications for printed electronics.

3D printing is transforming the way we design and manufacture electronics. It overcomes constraints in traditional approaches to the printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics production, regarding speed, complex workflows and resources. New designs can be quickly run through a more efficient in-house manufacturing process, providing faster execution of design, build, and test cycles.

This is enabling manufacturers to push boundaries, drive innovation and get to market faster than their competitors. However, with the coming digital manufacturing revolution, automation is increasingly pursued to extend the capabilities of additive manufacturing from rapid prototyping to low-volume, short-run manufacturing. The main goal is to increase factory output, reduce operational costs and produce unique functional electronic circuitry that is impossible to make with any other method.

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3-D Printing and the race for space

It lets aerospace engineers develop high-quality parts much faster than they could with traditional fabrication methods

3-D Printing and the Race for Space

July 2019 marked the 50-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. While the world has seen incredible technological and scientific strides since then, the broader space industry has been in stealth mode—exploring what’s possible, and what’s next, for humankind in space.

In 2018, the space sector grew to an incredible $3.25 billion industry. A number of different technologies are driving this rapid growth, but the most promising one is industrial-grade 3D metal printing (a.k.a. metal additive manufacturing). Once met with skepticism, 3D metal printing has proven itself to be a cost-effective and efficient way to develop production-ready parts, making it the new darling of the commercial race to space.

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