- Singapore will serve as the newest location for a 3D printing facility associated with UPS On Demand, as part of the company's plan to adopt the disruptive technology early and make 3D printing accessible to a global network of manufacturers.
- UPS On Demand provides 3D printing services in more than 60 UPS Stores in the U.S., as well as access to a 3D printing factory in Louisville, KY. The service was announced in May in collaboration with SAP.
- The addition of a Singapore printing factory will expand the service globally and reduce shipping costs for parts easily manufactured through additive technology.
3D printing, as an additive manufacturing process, promises to revolutionize the supply chain by drastically reducing supply chain involvement in prototype design processes and initial production costs.
UPS' strategy of placing 3D printers in a network of stores globally is a nod to the modern supply chain's global and complex nature: new series and improvements need not always come from the final client, specially if modifications often occur at the component level.
UPS' On Demand services, connected to clients through an SAP portal, allows clients to request a new model by 5 PM and receive the additive prototype within 24 hours — provided it can be built within two hours. This same process is possible through reductive manufacturing, but it would require far more logistical coordination for what is often a series of small production runs until the design is finalized.
"The automotive, high tech, aeronautic and aviation, healthcare and retail industries have a lot of opportunity to take advantage of this type of manufacturing," Michelle Ho, managing director of UPS in Singapore said in a press release. The 3D printing industry is expected to grow to $26.5 billion by 2021, from $5.2 billion in 2015, according to the press release, and UPS is looking to stay ahead of this trend with new services.