Looking to 2022, will we see this as the year of Manufacturing Execution Software (MES) in 3D printing? Maybe. There have been a number of technology-related developments that suggest that MES is key to the industrialization of additive manufacturing (AM). The latest is the combination of 3YOUR SPIRITof the Agile MES platform and other lifecycle management tools with software for Brandforged (NYSE: MKFG).
Markforged has always marketed itself as a forward-thinking software company. Although he pioneered composite 3D printing and bonded metal extrusion, he has long promoted his cloud-based Eiger software as the cutting edge of 3D printer management. This resulted in the creation of a large network of Markforged 3D printers, intended to improve the 3D printing experience through the application of machine learning across the network. In turn, Eiger manages this digital forge and provides automated workflows and real-time analytics.
Until now, however, Markforged software has been limited to Markforged equipment. 3YOURMIND complements Markforged’s solution by enabling a fleet of multi-vendor printers to connect. This way there is a single interface to monitor all equipment in a store. Additionally, they will be able to take advantage of Markforged’s Blacksmith software, one of the few in-process parts inspection tools on the market that automatically adds a printer parts quality assurance report to its digital record.
“With Eiger, Markforged is advancing interoperability with cloud and enterprise system tools to enable deeper penetration of additives into our customers’ manufacturing ecosystems with the traceability, reporting and security required in these flows. digital workplaces,” said Ted Plummer, director of product management, software. at Markforged. “In an era of global supply chain disruption, making it easier than ever to print, verify, and use 3D printed parts in critical applications is more important than ever.”
One possible use of Markforged’s Eiger fleet, to manage a collection of 3D printers, is to automatically print parts when they reach end of life. This kanban digital inventory system appears to be the result of the company’s partnership with German inventory management company Würth, which offers its CPS KANBAN service brand.
“3YOURMIND is excited to partner with Markforged to extend API integrations for 3YOURMIND and Markforged users who value secure data management due to the sensitivity of their data,” said Aleksander Cizsek, Founder and CEO of 3YOURMIND. “Through this partnership, manufacturers will have more intuitive and streamlined access to machine data to further enhance their production capabilities and discover new avenues for workflow efficiency.”
Tools from all three companies could prove to be a powerful combination. With 3YOURMIND, it would be possible to monitor the parts life cycle of an entire fleet. The blacksmith would add in-process quality inspection. And Würth would automate inventory management. And these apps are just the tip of the iceberg. If you were to introduce pick and place and shuttle robots into the mix, you could very well be on your way to an automated factory. That is, if everything was implemented smoothly.
We have seen the results of such collaboration in the Project DIAMonD initiative in Michigan, where Markforged printers are used by local manufacturers. Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly explained:
“Eiger was instrumental in harnessing the power of our connected fleet of 3D printers during our recent Project DIAMOnD initiative in Michigan. Over 300 local manufacturers have come together to create a powerful, distributed network and create tourniquet parts to support medical efforts in Ukraine today.These use cases illustrate the power of true digital transformation in the manufacturing industry, and we are excited to see how the integration of the Eiger API by 3YOURMIND continues to improve these capabilities.
Attendees at the RAPID+ TCT show in Detroit will be able to learn more about the integration, while learning about the new FX20 3D printer and new features from Eiger. Markforged will be at booth #3808 and 3YOURMIND will be at booth #3622.
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