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AM Economics Training Introduced at RapidPro 2015

September 11, 2015

UL introduced the next track of additive manufacturing (AM) training at the recent RapidPro Conference.  Focused on the business investment implications of AM, UL’s AM Economics training was developed in partnership with Berenschot, a leading European consulting firm with a recognized AM practice.

The new course is intended for senior engineers, engineering management, executives, and investors who seek to quantitatively analyze the economics of the AM supply chain, as well as monitor the myriad investments within the AM industry.  Utilizing a series of real-world technical and business case studies, the two and a half day, instructor-led AM Economics curriculum addresses the following industry challenges:

  • Costs and investments for engineering, man hours and materials
  • Level of accuracy and speed of machines with larger build volume
  • Quality and safety
  • Communication protocols and legal clarity
  • Education and Training for both operators and AM designers

Chris Krampitz, UL’s Additive Manufacturing Strategy Leader, introduced the course with Onno Poonfort, Berenschot’s 3D Printing Practice Leader.  Addressing the conference, Krampitz spoke to the need for greater understanding of AM-related investment and business considerations.

“A key industry-wide challenge is that many organizations making investments in additive manufacturing lack a complete view into all the economic factors that affect the returns (e.g., stochastic demand, tariffs, price volatility).  Determining ROI and ongoing performance are important to all users, suppliers, and investors within the industry,” said Krampitz.

“Part of this problem,” he continued, “is associated to the market’s excitement about the potential of the technology. There is clearly a lot to be excited about, but this excitement is often misunderstood to mean ‘easy-to-achieve realities’. Also, the young additive manufacturing supply chain exhibits significant variance in performance (e.g., operational and financial), which ultimately affects risk and cost. Finally, many people making investments analyze AM using the same approaches as those for traditional manufacturing. Although there are commonalties, the broad influence of AM across the supply chain renders such an analysis incomplete.”

To address these challenges, UL’s AM Economics training identifies the existing economic, technological, safety, quality and regulatory factors that affect the return on investment in additive manufacturing.  It also provides a framework for quickly identifying and properly managing emerging factors.  Case study contributors include Local Motors (US), LayerWise (Belgium), Croft Filters, (UK), ASML (Netherlands), and Additively (Switzerland).

To learn more about UL’s AM Economics Training, please visit