“AM technology increases the flexibility of manufacturing and production processes, reducing both our dependence on global supply chains and logistics expenses.”
The COVID-19 virus has affected the world in an unprecedented way. The pandemic has shown us just how deeply a crisis can disrupt societies and economies that are now so interconnected on a global level. This has been especially true in the case of supply chains and production. But the situation is also creating some valuable learnings, an important one being that by embracing alternative technologies to innovate, and with industry collaboration, we can make our supply chains more reliable, cost-effective and efficient – not just now but for the longer-term.
In previous decades, medical technology as well as countless other industries, have shifted the production of components or entire products to locations with lower labour costs, far away from their target market. Unfortunately, there are cases, including the current pandemic, where the vulnerability of these fully optimised supply chains have been laid bare – leading to supply bottlenecks, weakened domestic markets and lessened autonomy.
Jabil (NYSE: JBL) today introduced the Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network™ to drive greater manufacturing speed and agility while helping customers improve how they design, make and deliver products. A major milestone in Jabil’s digital transformation journey, this unique cloud network empowers customers to move manufacturing workloads to regions and into markets that make the most business sense and enable easier product personalization.
“Jabil’s digital thread fuels a growing footprint of 3D printers and additive manufacturing capabilities to benefit customers through localized production, consolidated supply chains, reduced costs and faster time-to-market,” said John Dulchinos, vice president of digital manufacturing, Jabil. “Our new Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network is the connective tissue that scales globally to integrate every printer, facility and work order across our enterprise and crystalize our vision of truly distributed manufacturing.”
Over the past year, Jabil has increased its 3D printing capacity steadily with more than 100 3D printers now in operation at facilities in the United States, China, Hungary, Mexico, Singapore and Spain. A variety of 3D printing machines have been installed for high-speed sintering, fused filament fabrication, polymer and metal laser sintering and other processes, to address emerging customer needs in the footwear, industrial machines, transportation, aerospace and healthcare industries. Jabil’s distributed manufacturing strategy is anchored by this growing ecosystem of 3D printers, which includes a dozen production-ready HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printers, following the recent installation of six HP Jet Fusion 4210 printers at Jabil’s Singapore facility.