Thanks to internal workshops and knowledge sharing, Ricoh engineers on site are turning to 3D printing more and more due to its flexibility and short lead times.
As such, managing on site stock of critical components for automation equipment and jigs and fixtures as well as low volume solutions for core business activities has become more and more vital.
AMFG is a UK-based firm which provides Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and workflow software that empowers organisations to manage and scale their additive manufacturing processes.
Headquartered in London, their software has become the go-to solution for businesses looking to scale their AM operations and begin their journey towards digital transformation.
With 3D Printing becoming more and more prevalent in the manufacturing industry, rapid fabrication of parts and keeping track of inventory has become essential in ensuring there is little to no downtime on machinery if ever a replacement part is required.
The management of digital files was previously not held in a centralised inventory system, meaning additional information alongside the data was required to track individual customer requirements on spare parts.
AMFG offer a digital inventory package. This digital inventory operates as a virtual catalogue, storing all parts that are repeat orders from onsite maintenance with critical customer information linked to the digital data.
Stores hold onto these critical components, which can then be booked out when required. Once the stock of components is exhausted, an order is automatically placed through AMFG to manufacture more.
The primary benefit of using AMFG’s system is the ease of access. Files are stored in a single location and automations are in place to ensure parts do not run out completely, which could lead to unnecessary downtime.
Using 3D printing also allows for designs that would be difficult to recreate using traditional manufacturing methods, meaning the acquisition of spare and replacement parts is quicker and easier.
Results – By having a more streamlined system, a greater degree of factory automation has been achieved. Complex replacement parts for machines can be ordered from stores without the risk of running out. Additionally, thanks to AMFG’s software, new designs can be uploaded easily.
Rich Minifie, Senior Engineer at Ricoh 3D, said: “The AMFG ERP-MES software is central to our ordering and manufacturing operations here at Ricoh 3D.
“The Digital Inventory feature allows us to centrally manage parts that are regularly ordered allowing a seamless order to delivery workflow, ensuring our core operations are fully maintained.”