Last updateSat, 04 Jul 2020 6pm

With more than 20,000 CNC, what is Jabil's application for 3D printing?

Farsoon Technologies held its 10th anniversary ceremony. During the 3D Printing Innovation and Industrialization Forum, John Dulchinos, Vice President of Global Automation and 3D Printing at Jabil, Inc., delivered a speech entitled “Emerging Applications for 3D Printing Across the Product Lifecycle”.

In his speech, John shared Jabil’s research and application experience in the 3D printing industry. As a Fortune 500 company with more than 20,000 CNC machines, Jabil is now taking solid steps in additive manufacturing. Let's take a look at how Jabil sees new opportunities brought by 3D printing.
Nanjixiong is honored to be present at speech, and now I would like to share some great point of view from John’s speech.
John first gave an introduction to Jabil, which has a 53-year history and operates from 100 sites strategically located around the world, with 200,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of $25 billion, with industry coverage of energy, transportation, health, printers, compute and storage, communications, etc.

John congraduated on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Farsoon Technologies. At the same time, he recaps the technology world from 10 years ago, when Apple just released iPhone 3Gs, Huawei and OPPO just released the first smartphone. Tesla just released its first car, Baidu, Alibaba, JD, BYD were only start-up companies, Xiaomi was even not even established. Today, 10 years later, the world has undergone tremendous changes, and these companies have grown into giants.
Also, the technology world is growing faster and faster, John counts the time it takes for key industries to reach 50 million users --- 68 years for airplanes, 62 years for cars, and 50 years for telephones. It took 4 years for youtube, 2 years for Twitter, and 19 days for Pokemon Go.
At the same time, in the past 10 years, manufacturing companies have undergone tremendous changes, from the previous centralized large-scale factories to more distributed, localized manufacturing sectors; from productivity-focused to customer-focused; from consumables to Sustainability; Employment machanisms have evolved from labor to intellectuals. The new digital factories of tomorrow will be able to provide customized services to users.
John believes that the main factors affecting the future of the factory are “population, human rights, urbanization and sustainable development”.
In fact, Jabil has long adapted 3D printing technology to enrich its manufacturing capabilities and provide services to its customers. John cited key 3D printing applications including fuel nozzles, insoles, engines, cars, and summarized core values of additive manufacturing:
● Redefining the process
● Design for Additive manufacturing
● Personalized customization
● Distributed manufacturing

In his view, 3D printing technology can be applied to the entire life cycle of the product, from early development and production to service application scenarios.
In the research and development phase, 3D printing is mainly used for manufacturing prototypes. 3D printing technology can quickly complete the process, allowing engineers to quickly find out the problems and refine the design with improved efficiency. In the production process, 3D printing can be used to manufacture production tools. For example, it takes 4-6 weeks to process aluminum parts by contracted CNC process, compared to only 4-5 days by 3D printing with PETG material. Not only is the R&D cycle is greatly shortened, but the manufacturing cost is greatly reduced. John believes that once the application of 3D printing technology transitions from prototyping to mass production, it will help open a larger market. He said that Jabil currently has more than 20,000 CNC machining centers around the world. If these production capacities will be provided by 3D printers in the future, imagine how many 3D printers will be needed.
John also stated, Jabil has already invested in industrial grade 3D printers from Farsoon, to boost the potential of additive manufacturing and provide customized products for users. In addition, Jabil has carefully measured the economics of 3D printed parts, and John compared the cost-effectiveness of using molding verses Farsoon machines to produce the same batch of components. The cost of the mold is generally 50,000 US dollars. When the number of components is less than 37,313, 3D printing using Farsoon's SLS equipment is more cost-effective. When the number of components is more than 37,313, the mold production is more suitable. If compared with Farsoon's latest Flight technology, this break-even point will increase to 64,935.

In his speech, John also cited a case study of Jabil's generative design to show the transformation of traditional process to additive manufacturing. A previous-traditional manufactured component is recreated by generative design. After structural optimization, it can achieve significant weight and material-usage reduction and also guarantee structural strength.

3D printing can be used for design, prototyping, and small-volume production. 3D data can also reduce inventory when 3D printing is used for production.

Finally, John used a hearing aid as an example to show how 3D printing technology can subvert an industry. In 2005, less than 20% of hearing aids were produced using 3D printing technology, and by 2008 all hearing aids were produced using 3D printing.
Nanjixiong feels that, just like the theme of this Forum, Jabil is now taking solid steps and practices to promote the innovation and industrialization of 3D printing, and the potential of 3D printing is unlimited.


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