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  October 5th, 2016 | Written by

UPS 3D Printing Network Expanded To Asia

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  • UPS to help customers integrate 3D printing and distribution solutions into their global supply chains.
  • Manufacturers get “floor-to-door” solution with UPS for Fast Radius 3D printing factory.
  • UPS has co-innovation agreement with SAP ’s for global additive manufacturing and logistics network.

UPS’s partner Fast Radius will open a 3D printing factory in a UPS facility in Singapore by the end of this year. The move expands the UPS on-demand 3D printing network to Asia and enables customers to increase their supply chain efficiency with additive manufacturing.

UPS also will establish an advanced solutions team in Asia to create a center 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.

In May, UPS and SAP announced a co-innovation agreement to collaborate on a solution that would integrate SAP’s extended supply chain and internet of things solutions with the UPS additive manufacturing and logistics network, to “connect the manufacturing floor to the customer door.”

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

Businesses 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 to 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.

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

In the U.S., the 3D printing network includes more than 60 The UPS Store locations.

“Wohlers Report 2016 predicts the 3D printing industry will grow from $5.2 billion in 2015 to $26.5 billion in 2021,” said Rick Smith, CEO of Fast Radius. “The report says that if 3D printing penetrates just five percent of the world manufacturing economy, it would reach $640 billion annually.”