Stratasys, one of the largest 3D printing companies in the world announced that UPSA – a leading pharmaceutical company in France has achieved full return on Investment (RoI) within first year of installing Stratasys’ Production 3D Printer. Using StratasysFortus 450mc Production 3D Printer UPSA was able to achieve reductions of as much as 95% on some processes which helped the company pay off its investments in just one year of using 3D printing solutions offered by Stratasys.
UPSA, a French drugmaker is owned by Bristol-Myers Squibb – one of leading global pharmaceutical companies. UPSA was looking to overcome production-line challenges as these challenges restricted the company’s ability to produce machine parts. As a result, the company was looking for ways that could help it manufacture machine parts, which it was producing using traditional manufacturing methods. It was then that the company turned to 3D printing and invested in Stratasys’ StratasysFortus 450mc Production 3D Printer.
Explaining about the company’s need to invest in new technology such as 3D printing, Mathieu Dumora, Project Manager at UPSA’s Technical and Infrastructure Department said in an official statement released by Stratasys, “We identified 3D printing as a possible solution to our needs and made an estimate of all the parts we could 3D print to see if we could save manufacturing costs and reduce our stock of parts.”
“We quickly realized that by using 3D printed parts, we could reduce part weight by 70 percent, which reduces machine wear-and-tear, and has a big impact on productivity and machine longevity.”
By using a 3D printer, UPSA quickly achieved substantial savings in the area of critical parts replacement. The company attained 95% of cost reduction on one part alone when it replaced its cast steel arms with 3D printed arms which it manufactured using Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions such as the Stratasys Fortus and ABS-M30i – a biocompatible 3D printing material perfectly suited for medical, pharmaceutical and food-packaging.
Offering details of how the 3D printing solutions from Stratasys help eliminate the problems that the company faced, Dumora stated, “One machine in our manufacturing and packaging line is a heavy cast steel arm, used as part of the operation to grip and suction open a folding carton, so that blister packs can be inserted.”
“These arms are heavy, can become distorted, and sometimes fail and break the machine, but using a 3D printed arm is safer. The ABS-M30i biocompatible 3D printing material can recover if it distorts, but if it breaks, it’s a minimal cost and a short printing time to replace. That’s a huge improvement over a costly steel one. In one year alone, we produced 55 of these parts and made a 95 percent cost reduction on each,” Dumora added.
In addition to replacing its metal arms with 3D printed arms, UPSA also uses Stratasys’ StratasysFortus 450mc Production 3D Printer for other purposes such as to build a device that help improve safety of closure caps for the company’s drugs. This has greatly helped the company to replace its time-consuming and expensive visual inspections which the company earlier used to ensure safety of the products. Because of the increased safety that the 3D printed caps offer, the company totally discontinued the time-consuming and expensive visual inspections that it had previously deployed.
The company is also witnessing savings by deploying Stratasys’ additive manufacturing systems for the production of camera mounts on the manufacturing line. “We apply track-and-trace coding to our packaging, and to ensure these are being properly printed, a camera is mounted above each one.”
“One of our design engineers used the Fortus 450mc to create the shape he needed, before using it to make 22 units – one for each machine. Prior to this innovation, an assembly of 27 parts was needed; the new design has just two parts, which has seen us enjoy a significant reduction in production time and cost,” explains Dumora about the benefits that the company has received as a result of deploying Stratasys’ additive manufacturing system for the production of camera mounts.
The success story of UPSA is just one among the several success stories of companies who have been benefiting from 3D printing technology. This is evident from the high demand that Stratasys has been reporting for its additive manufacturing systems.
Speaking about how Stratasys has been seeing a rise in demand for 3D printing from companies across a host of sectors, Andy Middleton, President, Stratasys, EMEA stated, “We continue to see an increasing demand for 3D printed tooling, production parts and replacement parts for industrial machinery.”
“The speed at which UPSA has successfully integrated our 3D printer within production and realized such a huge quantifiable ROI, is testament to the way this technology can quickly and cost-effectively overcome production-line challenges for manufacturers in most industry sectors,” concluded Middleton.
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