Markforged has announced Digital Source, its new on-demand parts platform, that it says will enable manufacturer-certified parts to be licensed and printed at the point of need.
The new Digital Source platform aims to solve supply chain challenges by enabling vendors to upload digital part designs that can be securely licensed to customers, distributors, and contract manufacturers.
Once uploaded, Digital Source end-users will have the ability to license the right to print parts onsite or through a growing network of approved print service providers.
Markforged says that vendors can ‘specify and lock printing process requirements’ to ensure certified parts on demand, with ‘robust security’ safeguarding digital part files, and encrypted print instructions sent directly to printers to protect designs.
“Digital Source unlocks a new way of managing supply chains. Every day a manufacturing line is down due to broken or worn parts can cost millions of dollars in lost productivity,” said Markforged CEO Shai Terem.
“Availability of spare parts is critical to manufacturers’ success — but keeping an extensive physical inventory ties up capital in parts that may go untouched for years.
“Digital Source not only can simplify logistics, but can also build resiliency into the supply chain and increase profitability as a result of these efficiencies. With Digital Source, parts can be digitised and printed at the time and point of need without the need to be manufactured in advance, shipped and stored until needed.”
BMF GmbH, a vendor on Markforged Digital Source, is a specialised manufacturer of complex sand blasting machines with over 200 installations worldwide, each featuring 60 printed components. These components are typically replaced every three to four months when the machines are running at full capacity.
“We needed a significant amount of storage capacity to be able to stock all the spare parts, and often, the extended delivery time is linked to the customer’s ordering process, as the administrative procedures frequently take too long, when BMF ships the spare parts on the same day,” explains BMF GmbH CEO Ronny Bernstein. “Via Digital Source, the component can be printed on-site the moment a failure or wear is detected.”
Both vendors and customers of Digital Source can benefit from reduced inventory costs and simpler replacement part operations and availability, which can increase productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Customers and service centres can print design revisions directly from Digital Source — removing the waste from the disposal of outdated parts and the risk of installing the wrong part version.