UPS is set to upgrade industrial 3D printing solutions
UPS is set to launch a distributed, on-demand manufacturing network that links its global logistics network with 3D printers at UPS stores in over 60 US locations.
By the summer, this additive manufacturing and logistics solution will make 3D printing accessible to many more potential users, proving the convenience and cost-savings this technology offers.
Additionally, SAP has announced an agreement with UPS to create an industrial solution benefitting its extended supply chain. SAP’s logistical process will be integrated with UPS’s network to simplify the industrial manufacturing procedure from digitization, certification, order-to-manufacturing, and delivery.
Manufacturing companies of all sizes will be able to access on-demand industrial manufacturing easily and simply, using the Fast Radius website to place 3D printing orders which are then directed to the appropriate UPS store location, based on speed, geography, and the required level of quality.
Stan Deans, President of UPS Global Distribution and Logistics, said: “UPS is a leader in bringing industrial-strength 3D printing to reality. By building this disruptive technology into our supply chain models, we also bring new value to our manufacturing customers of all sizes. Additive manufacturing technology is still developing rapidly so ‘manufacturing as a service’ is a smart approach for many companies.”
Rick Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Fast Radius, added: “Fast Radius plans to continue enhancing its production platform and to globally expand its manufacturing capabilities in 3D printing (plastics and metals), CNC machining and rapid injection molding. With this distributed, on-demand manufacturing network, UPS customers will be able to get their products to market faster and more cost-effectively because parts can be produced exactly in the quantity they need and when they need them. The potential of on-demand manufacturing is here today.”
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.