New powdered metal alloys and plastics are continuously in development. The safest bet for large manufacturers is to partner with material suppliers to ensure constant access to these new materials.
How Additive Manufacturing is Affecting the Industry
Tony Uphoff | Thomas
How has additive manufacturing changed/effected the manufacturing industry?
The evolution of additive manufacturing or 3-D printing technology has lowered the barrier to entry for the industrial marketplace by making it easier and more cost effective to create prototypes and reverse engineer parts.
As the field develops and designers gain more experience with the Additive Manufacturing process, this technology allows the production of components that were physically impossible to manufacture through traditional machining and molding processes. This breakthrough has opened a new world for component design in industries across the marketplace.
What trends are you seeing on your platform for additive manufacturing?
Our data shows consistent and reliable sourcing activity spikes roughly every five-and-a-half months. While the need to source all products and services has a natural ebb and flow, additive manufacturing sourcing continues a long term upward trend. Expect this to continue its climb in 2018.
What kind of new materials do you see being developed for additive manufacturing?
New powdered metal alloys and plastics are continuously in development. The safest bet for large manufacturers is to partner with material suppliers to ensure constant access to these new materials. Rolls-Royce did exactly this a few weeks ago by partnering with PyroGenesis in Canada.
What industries/industrial sectors have been impacted the most by this trend?
We analyzed two years of data from buyer activity within the Thomas Network at Thomasnet.com to determine sourcing trends for Additive Manufacturing. We see the largest growth in sourcing interest from the telecommunications, automotive, manufacturing and defense industries this year.
What can you predict in terms of sourcing for additive manufacturing?
Our data shows consistent and reliable sourcing activity spikes roughly every five-and-a-half months. Based on this activity we are estimating that the next surge in sourcing for Additive Manufacturing will occur between early December 2017 and late January 2018.
What can suppliers and providers do to capitalize on this trend?
As the field of Additive Manufacturing continues to develop, now is the time for suppliers and technology providers to ramp up their sales and marketing efforts. Companies need to be prepared for increased demand and advances in the technology. Provide the content engineers and buyers need to evaluate and select your company for the short list. You need to be where these buyers source for their new suppliers as well. Professionals use professional tools – they will be using internal systems and platforms like Thomasnet.com to identify new suppliers.
What do you predict will be the future of additive manufacturing?
As with any growing technology – expect the price for material and equipment to continue to decline and creativity in engineering to increase.
About Tony Uphoff
Before joining Thomas in January of 2017, Tony served as CEO of Business.com, where he led the turnaround, build out and successful sale of the company in June of 2016. Prior to Business.com, Tony was CEO of UBM TechWeb, where he led the transformation of a declining print-centric business into a fast-growing digital media, live event and marketing services powerhouse. He also served as President of VNU Media’s Entertainment Group and Publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, building out and expanding the brands via digital media and live events. Uphoff was the founding CEO of Internet Media company Beliefnet and served as Publisher of InformationWeek in the mid-90s, growing the brand into the largest in the history of B2B media. Uphoff also served in several key management positions at Ziff-Davis during the company’s rapid growth in the early 1990s.
Tony anchors the popular weekly Thomas Index video reports and has been named “Folio Forty C-Level Visionary” by Folio Magazine, “Top Media Innovator” by Mins B2B and is regularly named in the Top 100 business media execs by B2B Magazine. When he’s not working, Tony enjoys working out and on occasion (perhaps more than occasionally) he bores everyone at the office with his workout of the day. He also enjoys time with family, his surfboard, and his guitar.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow
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