A few years ago, the TyRex Group embarked on an ambitious plan to completely reevaluate our manufacturing process with an eye to better utilize 3D printing. The results have been remarkable – we’re on track to see 60% in cost savings over the next 6 years through additive manufacturing.
When we mention Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) to people we often hear the same few misconceptions:
- That it’s a novelty
- That it’s only for prototypes
- That it’s expensive.
It’s really quite the opposite – we as a company are on track to cut our operating costs 60% over the next 6 years through additive manufacturing, and ultimately pass those savings onto our customers and become more competitive on existing and new marketplaces. Additive manufacturing has allowed the TyRex Technology Family to improve existing parts and products with major competitive cost advantages and with product design modifications, sales price points and timelines previously unimaginable. These future cost reductions will create a competitive edge on a global scale. It has the power to reinvent nearly every step of the manufacturing process from prototyping, to production, to inventory management.
But these benefits take effort to unlock, and change doesn’t come overnight.
At TyRex, we knew it would be a challenge so we first set out to prove the power of additive by reinventing ourselves. Again, the results have spoken for themselves, putting us on track to become exceedingly competitive globally by continuing to reduce 60% of our manufacturing costs over the next 6 years.
These misconceptions or claims no longer have relevance in AM production of parts and products. With additive, we have empowered every member of our TyRex Business Family to rethink our procedures, operations, and relationships to see if and how they could be time and materials cost improved.
It’s not only changed our bottom line, it’s changed our culture. We’ve started new initiatives, like promoting and training employees to develop a new mindset by adopting and integrating additive manufacturing into their problem solving day-to-day. These programs began to show positive results almost immediately.
While 3D printing these existing parts and products, we were able to include in the modified design. We began by disrupting our more traditionally-minded competitors by creating the same products that were customizable, less expensive, and printed on demand – eliminating the needs and costs of holding inventory. We also began serving our partners in emerging markets by designing and building prototypes that are better, faster, and cheaper, allowing them to experiment and iterate without the expense and delay of molds.
It is the same for the products we produce that are still best served by traditional means, 3D printing jigs and fixturing has allowed us to produce them faster and more efficiently, saving even more labor cost.
Through our experience, the question of whether additive can change manufacturing has been answered. It’s not a gimmick, it’s not just for prototypes and it’s a technology of tomorrow. It’s here, it’s now and it’s changing the way we think and work.
Being committed to a 60% cost reduction is formidable. However, we can already demonstrate a 25% (on average) cost reduction on converted existing parts and products. We are passing these cost savings on to our customers while maintaining consistent gross margins in our sales.