Oreck, a manufacturer of commercial and consumer vacuums, was an early adopter of direct digital manufacturing or rapid manufacturing by building jigs and fixtures with what was then called a rapid prototype machine. Whether used for prototyping or manufacturing, the equipment is now known as an additive manufacturing (AM) system or a 3D printer. Although Oreck engineers have seen dramatic savings by using AM for both rapid prototyping and jig and fixture production, in the past few years, engineers have achieved much greater savings from efficiency gains in the quality assurance department.
The Stratasys white paper “Production Floor Trends: Justifying Additive Manufacturing through Jigs & Fixtures” explains how efficiency gains from jigs and fixtures produced with AM can provide savings enough to justify a 3D printing system purchase. Here is the third excerpt from the paper, with a link to the full paper.
Over the past few years, Oreck has used AM to make hundreds of inspection fixtures for its coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). On average, it saves $200 and 6.5 days versus having them machined. However, the most significant financial gain is a conservatively estimated $100,000 to $500,000 increase in gross profit that could result from a 29-day reduction in time-to-market.
View or download the complete " Production Floor Trends: Justifying Additive Manufacturing through Jigs & Fixtures" white paper.
View the first excerpt previously posted the week of 11/19.
View the second excerpt previously posted the week of 11/26.