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How to incorporate rapid manufacturing into your existing system


Manufacturing systems are as unique as the products that they create.A manufacturing system is the key to the method of operation for a company.Therefore incorporating different systems into one manufacturing system is essential if you are to create the perfect operational formula for your niche in the market.There are many different types of manufacturing systems that each provides unique benefits and solutions to a manufacturing company.One such manufacturing system that can be incorporated into your plant's unique management techniques is rapid manufacturing.

What is rapid manufacturing?

Rapid manufacturing is designed to shorten the production cycle by using prototypes of products to allow for demonstration, evaluation and testing of a product.This process of creating prototypes to test a product's function before that product is made on the large scale is called rapid prototyping.Rapid manufacturing relies on rapid prototyping as an essential part in the process of the creation and development of products.With the use of computer technology, digital models follow the process of the building of a product to ensure that all parts are in working order.Often times, products are broken down into layers that are viewed on these computers so that they can be closely evaluated.The parts produced in processes of rapid manufacturing have been of steadily increasing size and durability as digital imaging have improved and as the quality has improved layer manufacturing is being used more and more frequently to fabricate not only working prototypes for products that are designed to be on the production line but also for the making of production tools to aid in the manufacturing process.

How to incorporate rapid manufacturing into your existing system

Incorporating rapid manufacturing into your existing system is useful mainly if you are in a manufacturing business that is constantly experimenting with new technology.Below are some general guidelines for how your management team can incorporate rapid manufacturing into your existing system.

1. Gather your management team together to explore different options available in rapid prototyping technology.The technologies now available include a variety of different processes, such as Stereolithography, Selective Laser Sintering, Shape Deposition Manufacturing, and Laminated Object Manufacturing.
2. Work with the technological provider of the system that you choose to create a computer representation of the product that you are choosing to evaluate.The program should be able to create a prototype that consists of many layers of detailed images.
3. Once the imaging process is completed skilled workers begin building the new products or pieces of products to be used as models for mass production.
4. If your manufacturing plant is using rapid manufacturing in an effort to create machinery that will then be used for production, similar implementation processes will occur.Some examples of tools that rapid manufacturing techniques include are specially-shaped molds, dies, and jigs.

General tips and warnings

Rapid manufacturing techniques are designed to be used on large products.For example, companies that utilize rapid manufacturing include the military and those in aerospace science.Unless an object needs to be broken down into thin layers for limited and large scale production, rapid manufacturing may not be appropriate for all sectors of the manufacturing market.Rapid manufacturing can be used on small scale products, but the demand for such products is less simply because the costs associated with prototyping and digital imaging is higher.Reasons for using rapid manufacturing on items of a smaller scale include the creation of collectible materials and jewelry.Not all manufacturing systems will be right for all companies.It is important to evaluate the need to incorporating a system before investing the time and resources to do so.

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