Behind the Headlines
Getting a leg up on larger competitors through additive manufacturing
Week of February 11, 2019
Additive manufacturing continues to advance. As a recent story in IndustryWeek reveals, researchers at Purdue University and the University of Southern California have developed technology to help improve additive manufacturing by allowing a user to run the software locally within their current network. The software uses automated machine learning to analyze product data and create plans to manufacture the needed pieces with greater accuracy.
For smaller middle market industrial companies, additive manufacturing may be the way to leapfrog the competition by introducing innovative products faster, says Ryan Martin, CEO of Midwest Composite Technologies.
“We like to say that one part is worth 500 meetings,” said Mr. Martin, whose Hartland, Wis.-based company specializes in rapid prototyping, modeling and small-batch production. “Actually seeing an idea go from a CAD file to a physical product in less than a day is incredible, given that manufacturing a new part using traditional methods could take six to eight weeks, be prohibitively expensive, or not even be possible due to the tooling needed.”
Mr. Martin, who will be speaking on additive manufacturing at IndEx 2019 in May, said that the biggest impediment to middle market industrials experimenting with the process is awareness.
“Many manufacturers simply don’t realize that additive manufacturing, whether using metals, polymers or hybrid substances, can speed innovation and lead to faster revenue generation,” he said.