Digitalisation technologies will transform maritime industries on a global scale over this decade in positive and negative ways
DNV GL suggests a surge in 3D printing adoption and technology development could reduce demand for seaborne trade in its Technology Outlook 2030.
In a future supply chain, files could be sent via printing platforms instead of spare parts for printing locally. This could be potentially disruptive for supply chain participants, such as shipping companies and tax authorities.
Upsides could include shortened lead times, lifecycle and working capital cost reductions and a lower carbon footprint due to less transportation.
DNV GL forecasts that perhaps up to 85% of spare part suppliers may have incorporated 3D printing by 2030, leading to a 10% reduction in seaborne trade of semi-manufactured parts in 2040.
“3D printing and digital manufacturing is driving a world with less waste, less inventory and lower CO2 emissions.”
George Brasher, HP’s UK & Ireland MD says the next year, and decade, will be an exciting time for additive manufacturing.
2020 is set to be the year when the potential of 3D printing is realised across more industries. We’ve seen in the previous decade how 3D tech has turned traditional production models and workflows on their head, offering on-demand, bespoke manufacturing – and presenting us with a modern model of the artisan age. This is only going to develop further as we begin this new decade.
So what are the key trends to watch out for, and where will we see the 3D industry focus its attention in 2020?
3D printing lies at the bottom of service providers’ Industry 4.0 technology offerings; there are many challenges left unsolved if it’s going to surpass cool use case videos to be the production process of the future. Providers are showing signs of solving these challenges alongside their manufacturing partners, but manufacturing execs shouldn’t go in with guns blazing before guaranteeing rapid innovation in the short-term and concrete value in the long-term. Equally, they can’t be complacent and fail to have the capability and partner network ready-to-go when the technology booms—or they’ll be playing catchup, making expensive purchases, and signing one-sided contracts with vendors.
HFS’ Industry 4.0 Services Top 10 for 2019 asked leading providers to rate the maturity of their offerings across Industry 4.0’s core enabling technologies (see Exhibit 1). Unsurprisingly, predictive analytics and AI applications, big data, and IoT are the most mature segments. IoT provides real-time data flow, on top of which data analysis can derive insight and with that, value. While aspects of robotics and small-batch manufacturing are still emerging, they’ve been around for decades and are moving along the maturity scale; we cannot say the same of 3D printing.
Last year, the Ramdani family in France, became the first in the world to move into a three-dimensionally-printed house.
A team of scientists and architects designed their comfy 95m² home in a studio, with the design programmed into a 3D printer. This was then brought to the site of the home and printed in layers from the floor upwards. After just 54 hours, the Ramdani family had a new four-bedroomed home.
But France isn’t the only country, which has embraced 3D technology to solve its housing issues.
Award-winning OEM GE Additive has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New South Wales (NSW) Government in Australia to develop a 3D printing aerospace centre at the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are scaling their adoption of 3D printing technology, especially in the construction sector
Few industries are witnessing widespread adoption of 3D printing technology, which represents only 0.1 percent of the total $13.1 trillion value added through the global manufacturing industry.
Advisory firm Moody’s Investors Service says that 3D printing technology is used in niche applications and will help boost companies’ profitability and market shares in a limited number of industries.
Manufacturers of consumer goods such as eyewear and footwear are among the industries with the strongest near-term growth prospects for the adoption of 3D printing. Other industries that will benefit include aerospace, medical devices, automotive and capital equipment, but to varying degrees, according to Moody’s report.
You’ve probably heard of the technology hype cycle, which goes like this: Something new is developed and everybody thinks it’s going to change the world, but it falls short so everybody gives up on it. Finally, when nobody’s looking, the real potential slowly develops.
Over the years I’ve followed 3D printing through the first two stages: “It changes everything!” and then “It’s a complete dud!”
Now, judging from a conference going on at Dartmouth College right now, 3D printing is moving into the third stage: “Sometimes it’s very useful in ways we didn’t expect.”
Will 3D printing encourage companies to move to decentralized manufacturing or stick with centralized manufacturing?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), could be a game-changer for manufacturing, enabling significant savings of cost, time, and materials. In traditional manufacturing, parts are made in large quantities at centralized factories, then shipped to consumers. But with the growth of 3D printing, many wonder if technology will cause a shift from this centralized model to a more distributed model, in which facilities in different locations coordinate to fill manufacturing needs.
A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Dept. (EPP) and the University of Lisbon investigated how 3D printing could contribute to distributed manufacturing. They examined whether 3D printing will disrupt this central model, specifically in the context of spare parts for the aerospace industry, where being able to quickly print parts instead of stockpiling them would be attractive.
With the entrance of big players like HP, Buggati, Adidas, and BMW in the additive manufacturing arena, stakeholders are convinced that 3D printing will bring about a revolution in the manufacturing industry.
3D Printing technology has gone through a cycle of testing, innovation, and application. These developments have grabbed attention as the next big thing in the manufacturing industry. The annual growth rate for the 3D Printing market is expected to be between 18.2% and 27.2% with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) averaging at 23.5%. These figures indicate a growth rate that is three times the size of this industry in merely 3 years.
This technology has attracted various categories of end users such as start-ups, Small, or Medium Enterprises (SME) and hobbyists. The end-user feedback has a significant influence on the changing trends, and continuous improvements have been made not only in the technology but also in the materials used to ensure no compromise made on quality. For instance, ASTM recently released a set of standards outlining best practices for metal-powder bed fusion processes to ensure its quality for critical applications such as aerospace and medical industry.
“Using AM with virtual inventories cuts out the headache and costs of balancing excess and shortages in physical inventory at individual locations.”
The efficiency-enhancing benefits of 3D printing/additive manufacturing (AM) can deliver many quantifiable advantages for supply chain managers. In a previous column I talked about its ability to simplify the supply chain via the production of complex parts. Another key aspect of AM that can deliver even more significant efficiencies within supply chains, is its ability to enable the use of virtual/digital inventories. This is quite literally the ability to access and pull parts from a digital (rather than physical) inventory and then quickly and effortlessly 3D print them anywhere at any time in the exact quantity desired. The digital inventory can be stored on a local disk, in a central disk, or even in the cloud.
This has several positive implications, the first of which is the huge cost saving that arises from eradicating the need for large physical inventories. Let’s face it, physical inventory is the weak spot in any supply chain; it has no benefits beyond the availability of parts and is a burden for companies that pay enormous amounts of money to maintain it. Similarly, from a logistics perspective using AM with virtual inventories cuts out the headache and costs of balancing excess and shortages in physical inventory at individual locations. Indeed, the logistical benefits are even greater as virtual inventories simplify and streamline the entire distribution network at the geographic level. Think about it – there’s no longer any physical inventory, which means the traditional central-to-region-to-local distribution model is eradicated, as is the need to do projections… which, of course, have to be exact, lest the company suffers from more delays and more costs. In contrast, working digitally takes no time at all and so much cheaper.