DETROIT – Digital manufacturing and 3D printing have the potential to upend companies, an HP Inc. executive said today.
“Innovation cycles of products will absolutely accelerate,” Christoph Schell, HP’s president of 3D printing and digital manufacturing, said during a speech at SME’s RAPID + TCT show in Detroit.
However, “The time to make a profit will shorten,” he said. “Somebody will disrupt you in a very short time.”
HP’s definition of digital manufacturing includes artificial intelligence, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where “connected” machines communicate with each other, and robotics.
“We want to change how the world designs and manufacturers,” Schell said.
With digital manufacturing, “you will spend money as you need an application, as you need a part,” he said.
‘Great Disruption Potential’
As a result, digital manufacturing will result in smaller inventories, the executive said. He predicted there will be more customization.
“It’s a great change,” Schell said. “It has great disruption potential.”
HP printers are used by DirectSmileClub, an online provider of orthodontic care. Molds for DirectSmileClub users are 3D printed. The two companies expect 50,000 molds a day to be printed, with 20 million mouth molds to be printed in the next year.
“We are truly in a mass production situation,” Schell said.
HP has formed partnerships with various companies including Siemens and 3D printing company Materialise. “Our relationship with partners is absolutely critical.”
Digital manufacturing also will emphasize collection and using data to make parts properly, the executive said.
“What unites us all is we’re in data management,” he said. “There is an opportunity for all of you to re-think your business model.”