Best Of 2020 | Xcentric Mold

Best Of 2020 | Xcentric Mold

Xcentric Presents: The Top 5 Of 2020

We are pleased to share the top 5 blogs of 2020 that provided customers and readers value throughout the year. Check out the topics written by our subject matter experts and be sure to subscribe to our blog for updates. 

Digital Rapid Manufacturing: Your Link To The Global Supply Chain

Digital manufacturing can help provide a robust and sustainable solution for reducing supply chain risk by linking all areas of production.  

Choose An Agile Injection Molding Partner, Bring YOUR Designs To Life

Instead of changing your design to fit a pre-determined process, choose a custom injection-molder that can bring your concepts to life, faster than ever. 

Supply Chain: More Robust And Sustainable After COVID-19 

As the world defines a new business-as-usual post-pandemic, manufacturers are taking steps to build a more robust, domestic supply chain.

Maintaining Quality, Value, And Speed Requires A Solid Team

Our process to achieve consistent success is based on communication, streamlining processes, and continuous improvement.

Is Injection Molding The Optimal Process? Consider these 3 Factors

Injection is one of the most widely used processes in the world. Still, it has to be the optimal choice to achieve your design intent.

Working on a project?

Let us help you get that first prototype underway and have that part in your hands in as few as five days. Our engineers help you through the design process. Get your project started now!

For an Agile Supply Chain, Balance Your Supplier Base

For an Agile Supply Chain, Balance Your Supplier Base

For a More Agile Supply Chain, Consolidate and Diversify Your Supplier Base

Building an agile supply chain anchored in the United States is more important than ever. Many manufacturers have been trying to reduce their reliance on China as the fragility of their supply chain networks has been exposed. Initally this was due to tariffs and then in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, factory lockdowns, political unrest, and even natural disasters are driving procurement professionals to reconsider their supply chain strategy and secure partnerships closer to home. 

But even if your entire supply chain is already in the US, balancing supplier consolidation and supplier diversification can help maximize agility to provide lasting business benefits.

In this blog we explain the advantages of balancing supplier consolidation and diversification and provide tips for implementing these strategies to help build a more agile supply chain.

Before jumping in to how to balance the two strategies, we’ll discuss the advantages of each one.

Advantages Of Supplier Consolidation

Better Processes, Pricing, And Speed Time-to-Market

The Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule, specifies that 80% of results come from 20% of the action. In many cases manufacturers that consolidate their spend into fewer suppliers generally have greater flexibility to leverage buying power.   

Streamline Process and Procedures

Supplier consolidation can improve the agility of your internal team by reducing the number of contacts they work with. And, it can also reduce the number of processes and procedures they need to follow for requesting quotes and submitting purchase orders.

Though often considered a “soft” cost, tasking purchasing and engineering to create requests for quotes and prepare purchase orders can be expensive.

This process often involves taking time to separate parts by category like fasteners, MRO/consumables, and then plastics, metals. It could also involve organizing by manufacturing process type like injection molding, CNC machining, or rapid prototyping.

For example, consider an upcoming project that requires three competitive quotes:

  • Company A requires quotes be submitted through a portal system
  • Company B may require 2D drawings via email
  • Company C requires CAD files and 2D drawings but only through their website’s generic sales email box

With this example, it’s easy to see how consolidating your supplier base reduces the number of contacts and streamlines processes to make your organization more efficient.

Reduce “Soft” Admin Costs

Administration costs are often overlooked when companies set cost savings goals for their team. Common tactics usually include asking vendors for price breaks based on quantities purchased, rebate programs based on annual spend, negotiating terms, or flat out asking for a cost reduction to improve the bottom line.

With fewer suppliers, a company could benefit from “soft” cost savings across multiple departments. 

Processing fewer purchase orders saves time and money in a variety of ways. Less data entry, less emails being sent out, less time spent on the phone chasing down ship dates or clarifying order acknowledgements.

Speed Time-to-Market

Supplier consolidation can help speed time-to-market. This advantage generally applies to small- and medium-sized companies that rely on their supply chain for full-service quality control on their parts.

Selecting a few trusted vendors can help control the process better, thus reducing rejected parts, failures in the field, and complaints from end customers who you depend on for brand growth.

Fast 5 Action Items: Supplier Consolidation For a More Agile Supply Chain

To get started, identify specific goals that you want to achieve. Then evaluate your supplier base against these expectations to help choose the right fit.

Here are 5 action items to help guide you through the consolidation process.

Consider all costs 

Piece price is critical, as long as you don’t lose big in other areas. That’s why it’s important to consider all costs associated with adding or subtracting vendors from your supplier base.

  • Logistics – Is the vendor located near your company? Will the difference in freight cost exceed the perceived cost savings?
  • Process agility – Is production handled entirely in-house, or do they outsource secondary processes? How many touch points are required to complete the manufacturing process?
  • Speed-to-market – What is the vendor’s track record for turnaround time? Will you save money on piece price but lose market share due to slow turnaround time?

Data visibility

With software programs that can slice and dice information a million ways, taking time to analyze your data in a meaningful way is extremely important for effective consolidation efforts.

Evaluate your current systems’ ability to track and measure the following.

  • Quality control and vendor performance
  • Key Performance Indicators including on-time delivery, communications, and feedback
  • Records – Data such as number of purchase orders placed weekly, monthly, annually for a particular part or group of parts to a particular vendor

Scale production for greater flexibility 

Partnering with suppliers who can quickly scale from prototyping runs to low volume or high-volume production can improve the agility of your supply chain.

  • What is the vendor’s product development process?
  • How quickly can they deliver prototypes?
  • How fast are they able to transition from prototype to production?

Transition to a digital ecosystem

A digital ecosystem uses technology to connect your internal departments with customers, vendors, and external organizations to increase the flow of data. This improves data flow and helps drive your business.

Organize supplier data into categories

For example, for parts consider:

  • Material type
  • Overall spend
  • Secondary manufacturing processes

Advantages of Supplier Diversification

Drive Innovation, Identify New Revenue Streams, and Expand Market Share

Beyond the obvious benefits of improved resilience to disruptions, supplier diversification can help your business maintain the competitive edge in the marketplace. This can be accomplished by choosing suppliers that offer new areas of expertise as well as those that are owned by minorities.

Drive innovation

Diversifying your vendor network can introduce Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) outside of your usual channels. This will provide you with access to different ideas, different experiences, and out-of-the-box thinking which could help you add new product features. And, leveraging their expertise, knowledge, and abilities can help you to advance your products and enter new markets.

Include diversity in your diversification strategy

Often, a diversification strategy can lead to partnerships with smaller companies who provide the advantage of being able to adapt more quickly to market changes and business fluctuations.

If your diversification strategy incorporates a corporate goal to increase diversity in your supply base, working with minority-, women-, and veteran-owned suppliers can open opportunities in growing minority markets.

A recent report from Michigan State University stated that “Diverse suppliers can be a cornerstone of any organization’s success, helping companies to ethically and efficiently source products and services while maintaining profits, growing customers, improving the economy and encouraging innovation. With forward-thinking supply chain management and a focus on strategic sourcing, companies and the diverse suppliers within their supply chains can increasingly benefit from going into business together.”

Fast 5 Action Items: Supplier Diversification

Executing a diversification program does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Use these recommendations to help guide your selection process.

Identify supply chain risks to avoid

Start by identifying the specific supply chain risks you want to avoid. Then evaluate vendors to find the right ones for building a more resilient and agile supply chain.

  • Tariffs and lockdowns
  • Increased labor costs
  • Regional and global disruptions

Implement in stages

Taking an incremental approach will be more cost- and time-efficient. It is often more difficult to diversify your supplier base with current projects in production.

Instead, apply the strategy to new projects. For a more seamless transition, determine whether the vendors’ SMEs can assist with the transition. Evaluate them for specific criteria including:

  • Do they have an onboarding process?
  • Can they get involved early?
  • How can they drive innovation from the beginning?

Evaluate SMEs

How can vendors’ SMEs drive innovation? One of the key benefits to diversifying your supplier base is to leverage new areas of expertise to gain access to new markets. Evaluate SMEs to ensure they can help you drive innovation.

  • Identify their core areas of expertise
  • What opportunities can they expose you to?
  • What is their process for penetrating new markets?

Diversity

Consider suppliers whose own diversity can support your company’s goals to improve your corporate diversity. At the same time, these suppliers can improve your competitiveness in changing market demographics.

  • What is their ownership status?
  • Ask for a list of organizations they work with
  • Identify opportunities they can help you achieve

Flexibility and agility

Look for suppliers that can provide flexibility and agility to quickly scale to meet changing market demands.

  • Company size – smaller suppliers are often more nimble.
  • Value-add – Look for suppliers that offer more than one service
  • Logistics – Can they complete all services in-house?

The Right Balance Can Help Build A More Resilient and Agile Supply Chain

Strategies of consolidation and diversification are not necessarily opposing. Instead, it is possible to reduce the total number of suppliers while simultaneously diversifying your supply base. Before deciding how to proceed, determine your goals. Once you agree upon the objective, the strategies can be put in place.

Avoid analysis paralysis. Instead of tackling all programs and tens or hundreds of potential new suppliers, begin with a focus on new product programs and evaluate 3 or 4 new suppliers.

Remove legacy bias. Define a set of evaluation criteria which will benefit your business. Then evaluate your new supplier options and your legacy suppliers against the same criteria.

Be hyper critical when adding or subtracting vendors. Legacy suppliers don’t necessarily need to be cut loose. And new suppliers won’t necessarily help improve your business. Be critical when creating your evaluation criteria with the goal of benefiting the business.

Regardless of how you balance these strategies, remember the final objective is to build a resilient, agile supply chain that can help you maintain the competitive edge in any market condition.

Working on a project?

Let us help you get that first prototype underway and have that part in your hands in as few as five days. Our engineers help you through the design process. Get your project started now!

Diversify Network of Vendors| Mitigate Supply Chain Risk

Diversify Network of Vendors| Mitigate Supply Chain Risk

Are Legacy Vendors Invested In Your Success?
If Not, You Could Be Vulnerable to Risk.

As the technologies that drive manufacturing continue to advance, processes like rapid prototyping are becoming more mainstream and in demand. To meet this demand, the vendor pool is increasing—and their platforms are evolving to make quoting projects faster and easier than ever.

This seems ideal for companies eager to bring products to market fast. Afterall, having more options to choose from can help you to secure the competitive edge.

But more isn’t better. In fact, having too many vendors to choose from can lead to analysis paralysis—or “vendor paralysis,” which can introduce elements of risk to the supply chain, business, project, and even your ability to deliver on personal goals.

Of course, this may prompt you to rely more heavily on legacy vendors. But what if they shut down due to any number of business disruptions? How will they deliver your parts? Do they have measures in place to protect your supply in any market?

Solution: Build a diverse network of trusted vendors invested in your success.

Too many options can result in “vendor paralysis.”

To help mitigate risk throughout the product development process, and to your supply chain, build a diverse network of trusted partners based in the USA. A team that functions as an extension of your business with invested interest in helping you to succeed.

Vendor Paralysis and Legacy Vendors: Elements of Risk

A key solution for mitigating risk is to diversify your vendor network. However, this is difficult to accomplish when you have too many to choose from or rely too heavily on legacy vendors.

Vendor paralysis

Forbes defines analysis paralysis as the moments when someone is so overwhelmed with choices that they are unable to make a decision. Vendor paralysis can be defined in the same vein. That is, as the vendor pool continues to increase, the more difficult it becomes to choose one.

For example, indecisiveness will prevent projects from moving forward in the product development process. Which, as you can imagine, will lead to product launch delays, added costs, and missed market opportunity. Further, vendor paralysis can also result in an overreliance on legacy vendors.

3-quote Solution: Getting Quotes vs. Vetting Partners

So how can organizations solve for this indecisiveness? Based on conversations with engineers, purchasing, and sourcing, companies are requiring employees to get 3 competitive quotes for every job.

But getting 3 quotes is different than vetting 3 partners invested in your success.

Though implemented with good intentions, it is a transactional solution. One that does not require vetting a vendor’s capabilities, having conversations around them, ensuring they are accurate and meet the needs of the project.

Ultimately, instead of advancing toward a more diverse network of trusted partners, the 3-quote solution still results in relying too heavily on a select few vendors which can greatly increase risk.

Legacy Vendors

We appreciate the value of legacy relationships. They are safe, comfortable, and reliable. And when faced with aggressive deadlines to bring products to market, it can feel faster and easier to rely on what you know.

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed painful weaknesses in our supply chains. And, after 2020, it’s a lot harder to say, “that could never happen.”

Unexpected Problems & What They Mean To Your Supply Chain

Now, more than ever, it’s clear that any type of disruption can introduce elements of risk to your business: tariffs, pandemics, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, military uprisings, a death in the family, personal emergency, and human error.

The question, then, is how will your legacy vendors keep your business flowing if their business shuts down due events out of their control? Without a backup plan, how will you get your parts?

Now consider the bigger picture. If your legacy vendors cannot sustain your supply, it could result in missing the chance to bring products to market and failure to secure the competitive edge.

You could also lose your biggest customer who pays your bills, forcing you to lay off employees or close business altogether.

Diversify Your Network of Trusted Partners To Help Mitigate Risk

A diverse network of fully vetted partners can help to mitigate risk to the supply chain, keep a small business from closing, and reduce personal risk.

Further, a network of partners—truly invested in your success –  can save time and money, provide higher acceptance rate on parts, provide better transparency on timelines and updates, and enable you to re-establish relationships with previous customers due to better capabilities.

To achieve success, choose US-based suppliers, don’t rely on “what’s always been done” as a litmus test. Further, insist on communication and collaboration between your internal teams and vendors.

Choose 4 USA-based Vendors Per Manufacturing Process

Vetting domestic vendors for manufacturing processes such as injection molding and 3D printing will provide advantages such as shorter logistics and real-time visibility into their manufacturing process.

Building a network that includes 4 vendors for each manufacturing process will help mitigate risk by ensuring you have a backup if there is an unexpected event.

Further, diversifying your network to include partners with different production capabilities can help add flexibility.

Choose 4 domestic vendors for each manufacturing process.

Use a New Litmus Test To Vet Vendors

When vetting new vendors, resist the urge to rely on past experiences as a measure of success. One of the critical goals of this process is to diversify your network beyond your current relationships to help mitigate risk and stimulate innovation. Otherwise you will continue on the same path.

Communication & Collaboration Between Internal Teams and Vendors

Break Down Silos To Help Reduce Mistakes

Too often, hard work by many is derailed or overlooked because of one missing piece resulting in a variety of mistakes. Promoting communication and collaboration between vendors and your internal teams can increase transparency and reduce errors.

For instance, typically internal groups (engineers, product designers, purchasing, etc.) are siloed and miss critical communications. Thereby resulting in errors such as quantity requirements, turnaround time, and invoicing.

These mistakes can prevent you from getting the parts you need when you need them. And when teams work together, simple mistakes that could otherwise lead to larger ramifications can be eliminated.

Invest time in the Partnerships

Develop genuine relationships with vendors and stay plugged in with your partner representatives.

This helps to ensure you always know if something may prevent getting accurate parts on time.

Having up-to-date information at all times from your partners will help to proactively mitigate risk and adjust internal planning versus scrambling to fix a problem.

Conclusion

Vendor paralysis and relying too heavily on legacy vendor relationships can make you and your business vulnerable to risk.

Building a diverse network of trusted, domestic partners that are vetted for each manufacturing specialty can help to mitigate risk to the supply chain and maintain the flow of business in any market climate.

If you would like to discuss strategies for diversifying your vendor network, please contact Xcentric. We would love to be part of your success story. Contact our Application Engineers at sales@xcentricmold-newdev.dev.varcm.com or 586-598-4636.

Working on a project?

Let us help you get that first prototype underway and have that part in your hands in as few as five days. Our engineers help you through the design process. Get your project started now!

Custom Injection Molding Company For Your Design

Custom Injection Molding Company For Your Design

Choose An Agile Injection Molding Company, Bring YOUR Designs to Market, Faster than Ever

In a world accustom to instant gratification, the urgency for rapid manufacturers to help customers bring plastic injection-molded products to market faster and cheaper is more competitive than ever.

There’s no question about it—speed is critical. But so is achieving your design intent.

Otherwise, “faster and cheaper” loses its appeal.

Because, like most product designers and engineers, you don’t just want plastic parts fast. You want your custom plastic injection-molded products produced to exact requirements, on time and on budget.

Unfortunately, when speed is the singular focus, your design intent becomes an afterthought. This is perhaps most evident in a transaction-based approach to plastic injection molding projects.

Pitfalls of a transaction-based plastic injection molding company

According to an adage, in business we are fortunate if we can choose any two of the following: speed, quality, or value.

When it comes to plastic injection molding, this model fails to deliver. In part, because it lacks investment in your overall success.

Instead, the goal is to get products to market as quickly as possible. Period.

To achieve this, customers are often asked to meet pre-defined design and production standards by:

  • Compromising the quality of material 
  • Changing the design to accommodate pre-defined requirements
  • Agreeing to skip essential quality control steps in the product development process

 

As you can imagine, compromising in these critical areas can result in:

  • Poor functionality and missed design intent
  • Reduced part integrity
  • Expensive product recalls

This lack of customer focus has prompted a growing demand for more personalized, 1:1 service and support.

Relationship-based, custom injection molding company. Your design, on time and on budget

The customer experience with Xcentric is different. It is a personalized and highly collaborative relationship. One that enables us to understand goals and achieve design intent.

When you partner with Xcentric for rapid manufacturing, you’ll work directly with our on-site SMEs. And you’ll have access to our high-performance manufacturing services and facilities

An agile process to achieve your intended fit, form, and function

We do not force designs to fit pre-defined parameters. We collaborate with customers and their internal teams to fully understand the scope of the project.

Often, the competition only meets with customers at the prototype stage. In contrast, Xcentric gets involved early in the product development process. And then we place an SME at every step from ideation through production.

This transparency and early involvement in the product development process enables us to:

  • Optimize designs for manufacturability
  • Provide advice on material selection
  • Mitigate risk – during product development and in the supply chain
  • Eliminate unnecessary costs
  • Reduce product launch delays

This customer-first approach helps us to achieve design intent while maintaining quality, speed, and cost-efficiency.

We execute on this consistently by providing outstanding customer service, getting involved early in the product development process, and placing on-site subject matter experts at every step of the product development process—from ideation to delivery.

Xcentric: your injection molding company

Don’t compromise your design intent. Partner with an agile injection molding company with on-site SMEs to help:

  • Optimize designs for manufacturability 
  • Bring products to market on time and on budget
  • Mitigate supply chain risk
  • Stay current with ongoing touch points to provide design resources and design tips

We would like the opportunity to earn your trust as an approved vendor for rapid manufacturing. Please consider Xcentric when quoting your next project. By getting us involved early in the process, we can help to mitigate risk and bring your concepts to life faster than ever.

Contact an Xcentric Application Engineer at 248-598-4636 or sales@xcentricmold-newdev.dev.varcm.com.  You can also upload a part to request a custom quote. 

Working on a project?

Let us help you get that first prototype underway and have that part in your hands in as few as five days. Our engineers help you through the design process. Get your project started now!

Xcentric: Approved Vendor for Rapid Manufacturing

Xcentric: Approved Vendor for Rapid Manufacturing

10 Reasons to Add Xcentric as an Approved Vendor for Rapid Manufacturing

Instead of choosing the same three vendors for your next quote, give Xcentric a try! We’re the #2 rapid manufacturing company in the USA. And we’d like the opportunity to earn your trust for rapid manufacturing services.

Here are 10 reasons to consider Xcentric for plastic injection molding, CNC machining, and 3D printing.

1. We achieve your design intent – Practically no Geometry Limits

We will not force your design to fit our process.

Like most product designers and engineers, you don’t just want plastic parts fast. Instead, you want your custom plastic injection-molded products produced to exact requirements, on time and on budget.

Xcentric is not a transactional plastic injection molding company. We take a relationship-based approach to fully understand your expectations. This enables us to determine the most cost- and time-efficient method for achieving your design intent. We will never force your design to fit our process.

As your preferred vendor for rapid manufacturing, we’ll collaborate with you, your team, and third-party vendors you are working with to bring your concepts to life.

The first job was fast, accurate and met all of our expectations enabling us to go to market on time!

Gordon Sturm

Director, Operations, Mirion Technologies

2. Domestic vendor for plastic injection molding

Made and located entirely in the USA, Since 1997

The pandemic of 2020 exposed the fragility of the global supply chain. It showed us the risk of relying too heavily on overseas vendors. And it left businesses scrambling to find domestic suppliers with capacity to help keep their doors open.

 

Two Michigan-based facilities for plastic injection molding

Building a sustainable supply chain for rapid manufacturing is more important than ever. Adding a domestic vendor like Xcentric can help mitigate the risk of unexpected events.

Xcentric is headquartered in Clinton Township, Michigan with a second facility in Shelby Township, Michigan.

Supply Chain: More Sustainable & Agile After COVID-19

To build a sustainable supply chain, manufacturers should include these three essential components in their plan. READ MORE

3. Rapid Manufacturing, Rapid Results

A fast, cost-effective, and agile vendor

Xcentric has earned a reputation as a trusted supplier of time-critical rapid manufacturing. We are one of the fastest suppliers of  complex, custom injection-molded parts delivering prototypes in as few as 5 days and standard projects in as few as 13. We owe this speed-to-market to our amazing team of subject matter experts, modern systems, and streamlined processes.

4. Capacity: We Quickly Scale Production to meet unpredicatable demand

Post-COVID-19 we are faced with uncertainties in the market. Rapid digital manufacturing enables us to quickly scale production to help you build a more sustainable supply chain and meet market demand with prototype, bridge, and production tooling.

Your link to the global supply chain

  • Reduce time to market
  • Labor overhead and asset utilization
  • Increase quality control and inventory management

5. Product Development Process and On-Site Subject Matter Experts

Xcentric is powered by an amazing team of subject matter experts (SMEs) with experience in engineering, design consultation, mold-making, and customer service.

We follow a streamlined product development process and place on-site SMEs at every step of the process. SMEs review designs and provide a manufacturability analysis for each order.

6. Custom Quote in less then 24 hours

A Tool Built For Designers

Our new quoting tool simplifies the design and iteration process to get your product to market. On time. On budget. Right here at home. Simply upload a CAD file to get started. Our guided design tool will help you quote your project and move forward in the design process. Check out the online quote tool!

7. Plastic Material Selection

Material selection is critical to the success of your injection molding project. We carry more than 40 resins in stock. And, our on-site material experts will assist you with sourcing non-stock material, custom colors, and specialty plastics.

FREE 8-Piece Sample Kit

Choosing the optimal surface finish for your material is critical when designing plastic parts for injection molding. Our 8-piece surface finish plaques can help you to make more informed decisions early in the process.

Yes! Send My Free Samples!

8. Custom Plastic Parts in as few as 5 days

Xcentric Process Engine

As a preferred vendor, you’ll benefit from Xcentric’s proprietary process engine. The process engine is an expert software system that predicts the appropriate process parameters for each project. These parameters are based on years of process data and collective team experience. It is our scientrific approach to the injection molding process that helps to differentiate us in the marketplace.

9. Design Resource Center for plastic injection molding

Our Design Resource Center provides easy access to our full library of design guides. Now you can leverage our decades of experience to optimize your plastic part designs.

Each guide provides expert advice, tips, and best practices to help keep projects on track for budget, time, and performance.

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10. Lifetime Guarantee on all molds and certifications

At Xcentric, you own the mold – and Xcentric will maintain it for as long as you need parts. We are proud to be your one-stop supplier for plastic injection molding. We are here to meet your production needs – whether you need prototype, bridge, or production parts.

Certifications

Xcentric also holds industry certifications that include:

ISO 9001: 2015, ITAR/UL

Add Xcentric as an approved vendor for rapid manufacturing

Mitigate supply chian risk and bring products to market faster than ever!

We are the #2 rapid manufacturing company located in the USA. Please consider requesting a custom quote from Xcentric for your next project. Our team is eager to learn about your projects and start a conversation about how we can help bring your concepts to life faster than ever.

To get started, please request a custom quote or reach out to one of our Account Executives at sales@xcentricmold-newdev.dev.varcm.com or 586-598-4636.

Digital Manufacturing | Robust Supply Chain

Digital Manufacturing | Robust Supply Chain

Rapid Digital Manufacturing: Linking Plastic Injection Molding To The Global Supply Chain

Digital manufacturing is critical for achieving one of the post-pandemic goals: a robust and sustainable supply chain. One that can maintain the flow of business in any global climate.

This is because it links all areas of production. Digital manufacturing uses technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine Learning (ML) to connect services, supply chains, products, and processes.

In doing so, it provides greater visibility into the entire supply chain. And this level of insight helps companies to identify (and predict) potential kinks in the supply chain.

Essentially, smarter manufacturing.

And now, as we emerge from a global pandemic that exposed alarming weaknesses in the supply chain, we are finding new ways that digital manufacturing can enable a robust supply chain.

For example, choosing a rapid manufacturing partner that leverages digital manufacturing. Never thought about digital manufacturing and your manufacturing partners in the same sentence? Think again.

What is rapid manufacturing?

Rapid or digital manufacturing is a natural progression from traditional manufacturing. The capabilities afforded by digitization, automation and data connectivity translate into reduced costs, and increased efficiencies. These capabilities can even be used in injection molding.

So how does it work? Each process step is streamlined to accommodate quicker turnaround times with low-cost automated solutions.

Digital manufacturing process for plastic injection molding

The process is entirely digitized. First, request a custom injection molding quote and upload a 3D CAD file onto our servers. Next, part geometry and requirements are analyzed using our proprietary software. Then, an interactive quote is available online.

Upon approval an order is generated and the mold design is finalized within hours – together with the toolpath programming.

Using modular construction and standardized components, mold components are then machined, usually within a few days. After benching and mold finishing, the tool is assembled for first shots and inspection.

This process, achieved through rapid molding, will give your part a lead time of weeks instead of months. The average price? A fraction of the cost for traditional molding.

The capacity that’s available for you to get your part made? Your lead time is always the priority. It’s made in the USA with as many sourced mold materials and resins that can be procured in the allotted time.

As a result, digital manufacturing naturally accelerates every step of the process and reduces the labor intensity while driving the scale of your project.

Designing for injection molding?

 Learn how mold flow analysis can help to optimize the process before production begins.

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Digital manufacting: scale production to meet market demand

Post-COVID-19 we are faced with uncertainties in the market. Digital manufacturing enables us to scale production to help you meet market demand.

For example, consider a complex syringe. It may consist of three, distinct injection-molded parts. Before new production runs are needed to meet supply and demand, the product manager may have a revision to one of the components, driven by departmental standards.

In traditional manufacturing, the retooling investment may push the break- even manufacturing numbers into the thousands – a cost-prohibitive change for many smaller businesses. Digital manufacturing, in comparison, can implement that small design change for approximately a quarter of the investment in a quarter of the time.

Our unique ability to accommodate complex designs is our asset

Your designers have fewer roadblocks, freeing them to work on new projects instead of going back to the drawing board to modify their designs so they can be produced.

Rapid results let your team respond quickly to market requirements with the best product they can design – a competitive edge that keeps your company on top. Without design rework or months-long lead times, innovation can boost your company’s results.

Two optional digital manufacturing services: inspection and project management

The digital manufacturing process at Xcentric is a very rapid and seamless process. The key components of this process include cost, quality, automation and speed to market, which allows customers to go through the iteration process once or numerous times, if necessary, at a very quick speed. By following these steps, customers can maintain their existing quality controls, while developing good parts getting them to market faster.

There are two optional services in this process: inspection and project management.

Digital inspection allows for rapid feedback and tool modifications, if necessary. Experienced Tooling Engineers interface directly with designers during the entire process, providing expert advice and problem solving at any time, which is critical to ensure successful and fast product manufacturing.

In fact, shorter lead times from concept to development can create new-market discoveries. Previously untapped revenue streams that were potentially out of reach can be viable, thanks to new technologies, transforming how companies like yours do business.

Low-cost tooling, development and production have been streamlined so low-production runs are economical enough to test on select markets and use the feedback as an optimized learning curve.

Should demand rapidly increase, the rapid manufacturing process can transition between low-volume to mass production. In turn, that allows you to react to market behaviors quickly and easily, reduce your time to market for increased competitiveness and resolve any potential problems before they impact your shipments.

In instances where production inadvertently slows, rapid manufacturing allows you to make adjustments while still achieving the lowest total cost. That means regardless of the market’s volatility, rapid manufacturing lets you respond accordingly.

Digital manufacturing offers benefits across multiple touchpoints: reducing your time to market, labor overhead and asset utilization, giving you more opportunities for quality control and inventory management. These advantages allow you to explore new revenue streams, develop and enhance innovative designs and respond to market demands. The digital age can transform your company and give your designers the freedom they need to create, develop and enhance in one streamlined methodology. The future is here. Make it work for you.

 

Working on a project?

Let us help you get that first prototype underway and have that part in your hands in as few as five days. Our engineers help you through the design process. Get your project started now!