Last year, the global supply chain experienced significant disruption. Starting off in February 2020 in China, this supply chain shock then spread to wider global distribution networks. As the global economy crashed, it exposed vulnerabilities in organizations production and supply chain strategies globally. Temporary trade restrictions and shortage of necessities and commodities such as pharmaceuticals and medical supplies also magnified their weaknesses. The global pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities in every organization’s supply chain, some with devastating results.
3D printing reinforces supply chain’s resilience by enabling elastic, demand-based production and just-in-time manufacturing; cutting delivery time, logistics cost, and carbon footprint, supporting production at multiple, dispersed sites close to customers. 3D printing also facilitates reshoring of work produced offshore and produces spare and replacement parts.
3D printing is the additive process of joining materials to create objects based on digital models. The joining occurs layer by layer, with one layer of material added to another in a continuous process.
As complex global supply chains leave manufacturers and their customers vulnerable to external risks, Xerox presents a 3D liquid metal printing solution to build resilience in supply chains. This unique liquid metal 3D printing technology reduces manufacturers’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) compared with traditional production methods.
Xerox’s 3D Liquid Metal Printing Solution – Xerox® ElemX™ Liquid Metal Printer
The Xerox ElemX printer uses cost-effective aluminium wire to fabricate end-use parts that can withstand the rigours of operational demands. This ability to produce reliable replacement parts on-demand reduces the dependency on complex global supply chains for deployed forces.
Xerox and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) announced a strategic collaboration focused on advancing additive manufacturing research, specifically 3D printing, which has the potential to dramatically transform the way the military supplies its forward-deployed forces.
NPS was the first to receive an installation of the Xerox ElemX™ Liquid Metal Printer on the university campus in December 2020. The Xerox solution will provide NPS faculty and students with hands-on exploration of new ways the technology can deliver on-demand 3D printing of metal parts and equipment.
“Global supply chains leave industries like aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, and oil and gas vulnerable to external risks,” said Tali Rosman, vice president and general manager, 3D Printing, Xerox. “Our goal is to integrate localized 3D printing into their operations”.