- In an effort to educate customers, employees, and partners, SAP SE and Stratasys have established a network of 3-D co-innovation labs encouraging the adoption of additive manufacturing, SAP reported last week.
- The Distributed Manufacturing application intends to demonstrate the value of 3-D printing within the supply chain by assisting co-innovation partners and customers familiarize themselves with the technology.
- The labs will allow participants to experiment with 3-D printing capabilities, revealing how the technology improves efficiency within the supply chain through faster design, digital file shipping, and the reduction of seldom needed parts within already strained warehouses.
The integration of 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, is picking up speed within supply chains. The push to familiarize clients with its usage and benefits is a further sign of the disruptive impact the technology is having on the logistics industry.
UPS has been an early adopter. The shipping giant first installed 3-D printing stations from Fast Radius, a company in which it owns a minority stake, in its store locations in 2015. It's also adding a 3-D facility to its Louisville, KY shipping hub. And in early 2017, UPS will be working with SAP to create an end to end order solution via 3-D printing: receiving an order and creating and delivering it within one day.
UPS and SAP both clearly intend to become a go-to resource for the quick and convenient production of 3-D options, as companies look to take advantage of the rapid speed and prototyping capabilities of the technology.