UPS expands 3D printing network to Singapore

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UPS has announced that parts manufacturer Fast Radius will open a 3D printing factory in one of the post’s Singapore-based facilities by the end of the year. This will expand the UPS on-demand 3D printing network to Asia and will allow customers to increase their supply chain efficiency with additive manufacturing.

UPS also will establish an Advanced Solutions team in Asia to create a Centre of Excellence that develops supply chain solutions and promotes wider applicability of 3D printing with customers. Businesses can use the Fast Radius On Demand Production Platform to produce industrial parts, which are expedited for delivery via UPS’s global and intra-Asia transportation network.

Companies that virtualize their inventories can not only save costs by reducing the number of parts made “just-in-case” but also can produce smaller quantities cost effectively and with the same quality, in addition to minimizing lead-times because parts are produced closer to where they are needed.

Ross McCullough, president of UPS Asia-Pacific region, said, “3D printing will have a significant impact on industrial manufacturing and 21st century supply chains. At UPS, we are embracing disruptive technologies and integrating them into our global logistics network. We believe that much like e-commerce digitized and transformed retail, 3D printing will have a similar impact on manufacturing.

“UPS is the first integrated logistics provider to establish an on-demand 3D printing manufacturing and logistics network in Asia. This network will help Asia strengthen its position as a manufacturing hub.”

Businesses of all sizes can use 3D printing to reduce inventory for slow-moving parts; lower transportation costs as goods travel digitally; produce less costly and shorter production runs compared with traditional manufacturing; prototype and manufacture initial production runs with lower capital and less time; customize goods in a more cost-effective manner; and create and receive high-quality rapid prototypes quickly.

Michelle Ho, managing director of UPS in Singapore, said, “UPS’s 3D printing Centre of Excellence reinforces Singapore as an innovation-driven economy. Having Fast Radius’s factory connected to UPS’s network means customers can send their 3D printing orders by 5:00pm and have them delivered to their customers in most major Asian cities within 24 hours. The automotive, high-tech, aeronautic and aviation, healthcare and retail industries have a lot of opportunity to take advantage of this type of manufacturing.”

Once the facility opens customers can place their 3D printing orders either via the Fast Radius website or by visiting the factory located at UPS House in Singapore. Fast Radius will direct the order to the optimal manufacturing location either in Singapore or the USA based on speed, geography and product quality requirements. UPS can then ship as early as the same day.

In the USA, the 3D printing network includes more than 60 locations of The UPS Store, providing multiple printing locations and geographic coverage.

Rick Smith, CEO of Fast Radius, said, “Our expansion into Asia in partnership with UPS is a significant step in fulfilling our vision of a globally distributed manufacturing and distribution platform serving this rapidly growing industry.

“Wohlers Report 2016 predicts the 3D printing industry will grow from US$5.2bn in 2015 to $26.5bn in 2021. The report says that if 3D printing penetrates just 5% of the world manufacturing economy, it would reach US$640bn annually.”

September 21, 2016

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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