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Supply Chain for Additive Manufacturing
Hello good morning, good afternoon. This is Vaman Kulkarni, I was working withHoneywell and I retired last 2 months back. Right now, I am a consultant, I was withHoneywell for last 14 years basically in charge of all the mechanical systems development as
part of that additive manufacturing technology I developed in India and we set up a state-of-the-art lab in Honeywell.
Before joining Honeywell, I was with gas turbine research establishment for 21 years and Iwas responsible in developing the engine controls as well as the performance and simulationfor the Kaveri engine. So, that has been my brief background. Today's topic is on the supplychain for additive manufacturing. There is lot of discussions going on today on additivemanufacturing and the benefits what additive manufacturing is bringing.
So, because of the here benefits what additive is bringing it is going to make the supply chainthat much simpler and then easier for us to manage. So, when I talk about the supply chain, Iam talking about the end to end things here, that is once we have the design, we look at all theinputs the raw materials which are required and then go through the complete manufacturingcycle to produce the part and then deliver to the customer.
It could be the internal customer or it could be the final and outside customers. That is theend to end integrated supply chain which I will be talking about and this is as relevant toadditive manufacturing and more applicable to the metal which uses the powder bed additivetechnologies.(Refer Slide Time: 02:22)
So, when you look at the additive manufacturing what benefits it gives which is related to thesupply chain related activities. Definitely additive manufacturing enables the designcomplexities we can come out with the complex designs which will help in having a betterperformance and then it combines the quite a few functionalities.
So, it empowers the designer to enable all those things as part of the design, but when itcomes to the integrated supply chain it helps in reducing the number of parts. When itreduces the number of parts so the supply chain related activities to that extent gets reducedand we can also do a almost like a print on demand. So, we do not have to take actions tobuild an inventory of the parts.
So, depending on the cycle time to produce these parts through the AM we can almost do itlike a print on demand. Lead times is considerably reduced, when you look at the productdevelopment cycle typically in the conventional manufacturing you have the design, youmake the prototypes and then you have to test it and then based on the testing you have tomodify the design and then again go to the manufacturing cycle.
So, time to market is quite a large contribution with the conventional manufacturing. So, withthe additive manufacturing we can quickly make the prototypes, test it, modify the design,print it and then we can take it to the market very fast. This helps to be ahead of ourcompetitors by leveraging the additive manufacturing. Definitely additive manufacturingthere is no wastage of material.
We can also optimize the design to be lightweight and it still meets all the structural integrityrequirements and because of that we also need a lower inventory of the raw material. So,those are the benefits what additive manufacturing brings because of lesser usage of material.If you look at the conventional supply chain, we always look at the place where we canproduce these parts at a lower cost.
And because of that especially in the current situation the parts which are required in US andEurope they are all produced in Asia and that involves lot of transportation. So, whereas withadditive manufacturing because it is less dependent on the cost what it can be produced it canbe produced anywhere and so because of that we can produce these parts in high cost centresand which is closer to the customers.
Thus, reducing the transportations which is involved. With additive manufacturing we canalso be very agile and nimble with the designs, the design engineering, production, marketingthey can all work very closely. So, that we can come out with a product to the customer needsand then we can target a larger market segment as part of the additive manufacturing.(Refer Slide Time: 06:18)
These are the benefits what AM definitely brings to the supply chain related activities. Thereare few challenges today with additive manufacturing which we need to be aware ofespecially the part when you produce it out of additive manufacturing. We will not be able toachieve if it is a very close tolerance. Anything which is less than 50 microns is difficult toachieve by additive manufacturing.
So, you may have to do lot of post machining which will be involved and the same thing istrue with the surface roughness. The build quality itself; that there are some uncertainties interms of the build quality which has to be established. So, this build quality is related to theresidual stresses which could develop as we print the part. It could be related to the sinteringdistortions which is difficult to predict it analytically especially in the large size parts.
So, those are the things which the technology is developing and these evolving especiallywhen you look at the critical parts we need to keep these things in mind and the size of thepart itself is again a limitation because the build size is the one which drives this. The most ofthe machines which are available today can build up to 400 millimeter by 400 millimeterheight or 500 millimeter height.
But there are machines which are coming out with multi lasers which can increase these sizesbut still under development and evaluation and then the material itself there are constraints.What materials we can build especially when it comes to the magnetic material or thehardened steels or the forged materials which is difficult to come out with the additivemanufacturing?
There are quite a few post processing needs for the AM build parts. The most important thingis the minimum thing what the part is subjected to is the stress relieving because lot ofthermal stresses are developed when we build these parts and then to have a uniform density.We also do a hot isostatic pressing of the parts which is a heat process which we typically callit improves the material strength and then gets a uniform microstructure.
In most of the cases again we do the minimum surface finish related activities like shortpeening or the chemical etching. So, those are the things which is minimum required on anAM part and in quite a few cases to meet the dimensional accuracies you may have to dosome sort of a post machining. So, these are the today's challenges on the AM built part.(Refer Slide Time: 09:27)
So, what impact 3D printing is creating on the supply chain? So, this is an important questionand there is lot of interest shown based on the advantages which I mentioned in my firstchart. So, it drastically reduces the supply chain cost by eliminating the high-volumeproduction facilities which is typically there in the conventional supply chain and it almostwe have a minimum effort which is required for the low-level assembly.
In most of the cases we will able to consolidate the design and then come out with a designby part consolidations. So, there is a big impact on the inventory and the logistics because ofsupply chain benefits. So, as I mentioned earlier it is almost like print on demand. So, we donot have to build an inventory of parts because of the cycle time which is involved andsimilarly on the logistic piece there is very less wastage of the raw material.
The only raw material in this case is the powder. So, we just need to manage the powder andthen the part is built out of that and because of the consolidation also there are quite a fewexamples of part consolidations where 160 parts of a heat exchanger is reduced to just oneassembly. So, the number of parts which we need to handle for the full product is alsoreduced.
So, if you see the differences the traditional supply chain model and the additivemanufacturing model have the next few slides which picture really talks about this. Theweight of the part is considerably reduced in the additive manufacturing whereas in thetraditional manufacturing, we have the weight of the part and number of parts are also higher.Typically in the supply chain type of things we need to manage the inventories.
So, typically we manufacture the parts and then keep it in the warehouses and then from thereit goes into the network of customers. This inventory we need to maintain because of the longlead time which is involved in the traditional supply chain model and then we always look atwhere we can produce it at a lower cost and because of that we have high transportation costwhich is involved which adds to the large carbon footprint.
In the additive manufacturing model, it is almost like the customized production even thesmall changes which the customer wants we will be able to quickly incorporate and thendeliver it. So, it becomes a custom thing which AM enables and we do not have to maintain abig inventory. It is almost like on demand we can build the parts because the cycle timeinvolved is very less.
It can be printed locally closer to the customers. We do not have that the entire logisticsassociated with the warehouse is not needed, there is very less transportation cost which isinvolved which ensures that we have a very low carbon footprint and the inventory what weneed to manage here as far as the raw material is concerned is only powder. So, there is noother raw material which is involved as we manufacture these parts. So, the inventormanagement of raw material also becomes very, very minimal.(Refer Slide Time: 13:27)
So, this shows the picture really the difference between the subtractive manufacturing and theadditive manufacturing. This is a nice chart you can see the things which are marked acrossin the on the right-hand side which is required in the subtractive manufacturing, large lead
times since we can almost like customize product, we can build it we do not have a large leadtime which is involved.
High transport cost we do not have because we can produce these parts locally and then wecan deliver it to the customers or the local dealers. The high labour cost because of the lot ofassembly which is manpower intensive type of activities which is involved which isminimum in case of additive manufacturing because most of the part consolidation will takecare of that.
Then since it is not dependent on the manpower resources we do not have to produce it inremote locations. So, we can have these things where the demand is there for that product in alocalized way. The other important input for the additive manufacturing is the CAD model.So, which is a software model and then when we circulate these CAD models there are IPrelated things which are involved.
So, we need to address that we are having a proper IP protection thing in place as we transferthese models all over the world depending on where it is finally getting manufactured.(Refer Slide Time: 15:18)
So, if you look at this supply chain cycle here so we can you can see that in the bottom wehave the customer demand coming in and then we reorder these parts based on the customerinputs and then when it is typically the minimum inventory what we need to keep to addressthis the cycle time which is involved in this complete supply chain cycle. So, we based onthat decision is made on reordering and the volume of reorder which needs to be in place.
It is typically it is always based on the previous data based on which we decide that what isthe volume of reorder which needs to be manufactured and then the products aremanufactured in the factories and then since they are done in remote places because of thecost element. It needs almost 4 to 6 weeks to ship it typically through the sea through theships.
So, it takes almost like 4 to 6 weeks to ship it and then we move it to the warehouses throughthe trucks which take could take another additional 2 weeks and then they are stored in anywarehouse and then we give it to the dealers and then which reaches the customer. So, that isa typical cycle which is involved in a traditional supply chain model.(Refer Slide Time: 16:59)
But when you come to the additive manufacturing, so we have the CAD models available,even if it is to be customized with some minimum design changes, we can quickly makethose design changes and CAD models can be updated. So, once we have an order from thecustomer so the CAD models are digitally, we can send it to the place where it gets printed, itcould be very close to the region where it needs to be finally delivered.
Because of that we are avoiding the large time involved in the shipping and then the transportand then after the building the part it can be directly delivered to the customer. This customercould be an internal customer where the part is used for assembling along with the other partsand then doing the final testing or it could be or it can get into the minimum inventory whichwill be maintained to keeping in mind the very, very less cycle time which is involved.
So, that is what is done in the AM supply chain model. So, the typical supply chain cycles thedifference between conventional supply chain model and a model is very clearly explained inthese 2 charts.(Refer Slide Time: 18:27)
So, looking at the benefits what we get in terms of the cost savings, the speed ofresponsiveness and then the quality improvement, I will not go through all these bullets, but Iwill hit the key once which is very clearly a differentiator as far as additive manufacturing isconsidered from the supply chain considerations. So, the key thing is we can customize thepart and because of that we do not have to keep the bulk inventory.
That is going to make a big impact on the cost piece of it and then transportation cost wetalked about it is another big savings what we can have from the cost point of view. In theconventional manufacturing there is also what is called as the minimum order quantity MOQwhich needs to be done whereas we do not have those minimum order quantities additivemanufacturing.
So, we can even if it is a very low volume sort of things, we do not have to unnecessarilybuild minimum order quantity and then store it and then manage it. So, because of the verycustomized things what we can offer to the different customers without much impact on thecost piece of it we are able to address the larger customer base with additive manufacturing.In some of the conventional things we may have to manage the tooling’s which is required ifit is a casting or the forging the dye tools.
So, we need that is another big inventory which we have to manage and it has to bereplenished frequently. In the additive manufacturing there are no tools. So, we do not haveto manage those tools and that is another big savings what additive manufacturing enablesfrom the cost point of view. The wastage of material is almost nil in the additivemanufacturing.
The raw material which we need to manage and then handle is also very largely optimized.So, those are the cost benefits what we get out of additive manufacturing, the speed and theresponsiveness. So, because of the way the whole thing is produced, there is no lag betweenthe design and then producing the part.
Once we have the design the CAD models are ready, we get quickly evaluated by the AMmanufacturing person and then once we have to go ahead and then he can go ahead and printand definitely the cycle time depending on the part complexities. It is have a very short cycletime. If it is a simple part then conventional things may be taking a lesser time tomanufacture.
But almost all the complex parts if you look at it if it is going through a lot of machiningprocesses, if it is a casting and other thing there is a time which is involved in developing thetools and then there is a time involved in producing the part. So, in case of additive there isthe time involved is very, very less and we need last minute design changes. So, which can beeasily incorporated in the additive manufacturing.
So, that is a big advantage what additive brings with speed. When it comes to the qualityrelated benefits what additive brings it. So, especially for the complex parts the additivedefinitely improves the quality and any feedback which you get it from the customers. So,that can be easily incorporated in the designs without having any impact on the tools whichare required.
Because of the part consolidations any drag in related to the number of parts is eliminated andwe can also easily manage the demand uncertainties through in additive manufacturing.(Refer Slide Time: 23:02)
So, from the logistics point of view the impact what additive manufacturing has is definitelythe transportation which we talked about a couple of times and then also in handling thesmaller volumes because of the customized designs what additive enables. So, that is the bigpiece of it and inventory management is another big thing which as for the logistics isconcerned which additive is enabling.
It almost eliminates the whole sale and retailer relationship, since we do not need to build theparts and then store it in the warehouse and then deliver it. So, since that is not there. So, it isa complete different dimension which additive is bringing as part of that. Managing the rawmaterial is much, much simpler because the only geometry which is involved in the additiveis the powder.
We need to just manage the powder and then the other associated logistics which is involvedlike checking the quality of the incoming material and other things is also simplified. In theservice parts logistics, which is typically talks about lot of inventories. So, the way it is donein additive manufacturing is you have the designs ready and then when the customer requestwe just have to validate the design.
If there are any minor changes you just incorporate on the library of models what we haveand then we can send it for printing and then we can deliver it to the customer. So, theconcept of the warehouses both global and national things will not be needed as part of the.(Refer Slide Time: 25:29)
So, that is a big benefit on the logistics industry what additive is bringing. When we typicallytalk about the supply chain we also relate it to the in-house manufacturing and then theoutsourced manufacturing. Even in traditional things we make a decision on make or buy offa part and then we look into the costs involved and the infrastructure and the initialinvestment and then we make a decision whether it is good to do it in-house or outsource it.
So, when it comes to additive manufacturing a similar decision has to be made whether weneed to do it in-house and we need to invest it or we can leverage the services availablethrough the outsourced suppliers. So, if the things which help in making that decision is? Ifyou have a more frequent design changes whether it is a prototype or even a low volumeproduction but the customer needs are having smaller changes which need to be done.
So, that is where additive infrastructure having internally helps because it is easy toincorporate make those changes and then make those prototypes or the small volumeproduction manufactured. But definitely it involves a higher cost and if you have multipleAM projects running in the organization, we need to have that flexibility to build those parts.So, that is another reason why we would like to have an in-house facility to build the parts.
The other associated thing is once you have that we also need to have a skilled manpowerwho has a very good understanding of the design for additive as well as the manufacturingand the machine related. So, we need to have train the people when we do all this in-house.Outsource things is we are going to depend on the expertise which is available with the
service provider for all the AM related things and then we can take his inputs and then hisguidance.
We do not have to build that expertise internally. We do not have to invest for the AMmachine itself that is in other the initial interest point of view, we get an advantage byoutsourcing it, especially when we have a complex part the expertise available with theservice provider could be leveraged rather than building that things internally.
But one thing we need to keep in mind when we outsource it is need to ensure that we needprotect the IP things we need to have enough things in place. So, that the IP is safeguarded aspart of that and also if you do not have a bigger strategy for AM and we do not have multipleprojects running that is the other reason why we think of going it for outsourcing. The prosand cons for in-house and outsourced is sort of covered it earlier.
But it is clearly in-house we need to have quite a few demands for the multiple projects needto have a frequent change in the designs and the custom designs and then we have to it couldbe cost effective once we have that rather than outsourcing it. When you have an in-houseimportant thing is, we need to invest up front and then also invest on the skilled resourceswhich are required.
For the outsourced manufacturing the advantages are pros are there is no upfront investmentwhich is involved, we do not have to build that expertise of AM. So, it becomes like a onestop solution, he can also take care of all the post processing needs which are required. So,the investment is a big advantage and we leverage on the expertise. But definitely we will bepaying for all that .
If you look at the product cost that will be definitely higher in an outsourced manufacturingand it could take more time compared to that if you have done it internally. So, there is a weneed to account that as part of the supply chain things and of course IP we talked about, weneed to have enough things in place to protect the IP.(Refer Slide Time: 30:40)
From the quality point of view of how supply chain needs to be contributing for the additivemanufacturing, the raw material itself we talked about the powder in this case. So, we need toensure the powder source which maintains the purity of the powder, the powder shape, thesize distributions then the chemistry of it. So, there has to be enough checks in place toensure that we get the right quality of powder because it is going to affect the quality of thepart which you are going to manufacture.
The powder source itself a lot of validation evaluation needs to be done before you finalizeon the source of the powder. The other input is the CAD model. So, the CAD model whichwe give it for printing that needs to ensure that when we translate that into an STL format wedo not lose out anything on the geometry. Otherwise, it will realize that only after the part isbuilt, some of those checks have to be in place to ensure that we do not miss out on thequality of the part.
On the printing process itself whether we do it in-house or when to outsource it we need toensure that the process parameters are monitored in the right way and there is a process inplace to ensure that there are no mistakes which happen around that and typically most of themetal printing happens in an inert atmosphere. So, the inert gas which is involved. So, purityof that and then the consistent supply of that that also needs to be ensured it is going to affectthe build quality and then of course when we build this part there could be small machine tomachine variations.
So, that has to be clearly established and then ensured some validation needs to be donebefore we do the mass production of this a proper machine calibration and maintenance needsto be ensured. The post processing which is in most other cases the minimum post processingwhich is involved is in terms of surface finish and then the stress relieving.
So, the machineries and equipments which are used for that and then the proper qualitychecks on that and then the maintenance of that those things have to be ensured. In additionto that any other post machining has to be done through an approved source especially theHIP process is a key thing which could be involved and then that has to be properlycalibrated and then evaluated.(Refer Slide Time: 33:56)
So, with that I come to my last slide as a conclusion piece of it how additive manufacturing isenabling the supply chain efficiencies, the ones which are hitting, which are written in blueare the ones which is really making a paradigm shift in the supply chain related activities withadditive manufacturing. So, it simplifies the complete supply chain process itself.
So, either we look at it from the raw material point of view or you look at it from theinventory management point of view. So, it is simplifying the whole process of the supplychain related activities. The various bottlenecks which could be there in the supply chain theyare all minimized in additive manufacturing. There are questions which are asked why weneed to build this part outside the country?
Why cannot it be built in this place, local manufacturing could be the question which is
asked. So, the typical mindset which is there in the supply chain model is identify the low-cost areas and then builds the parts there. So, that constraint is removed and then that
bottleneck is no more there and because of that the inventory management as well as thetransportation related logistics is all considerably reduced.
Because of the consolidation of parts which AM is enabling we are not depending onmultiple suppliers to make the full product. So, the number of suppliers we need to manage isvery, very less and then associated delays very less. So, most of those things which are realbottlenecks in the today's supply chain; top type of scenarios is either minimized orcompletely eliminated.
Cost part of it we had talked a lot about this and then those are the cost benefits which clearlyadditive is bringing from the supply chain point of view. There are a lot of automobileindustries aerospace industries, medical industries, where they need lot of customized parts.They are all taking advantage of additive manufacturing and considerably reducing themedical cost.
The other big thing which additive manufacturing is enabling is how we can create theobsolete parts. The parts become obsolete either because of the upload supplier is notavailable or here the tools involved in that are not available recreating the tools and thenmaking that partition is a time consuming and it also cost a lot. So, those are the reasons whythe part becomes obsolete.
So, and managing that inventory of tools and is another bigger task. We can almost recreatethat obsolete parts by just making the 3D model even if the 3D model is not available. Let ussay the part is made some 40-50 years back where we would only have the 2D drawings butwe can quickly create the 3D model and then we can there is no supplier dependenciesinvolved.
So, we can build those parts, even in some cases out of production parts if the customer reallyneeds it because of various reasons, we can build those out of production parts. So, those arethe things which additive is bringing in as part of the supply chain related activities. It isgoing to a paradigm shift and those are having to be built in as part of our cost models when
we evaluate additive manufacturing as incorporating all the supply chain benefits when wewhich helps in making that decision.
Of course, I talked about the limitations, challenges of additive manufacturing, we need tokeep those things in mind and making that right decisions. So, with that I conclude this topicon supply chain for additive manufacturing typically as applicable for the metalmanufacturing.
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