Additive manufacturing makes manufacturing operations more efficient and flexible. This manufacturing technology utilizes digital files and transforms them to physical objects. And therefore many companies see risks in additive manufacturing because of the possibility of threats and vulnerabilities, including data breaches and ransomware that can delay or halt operations. To avoid this, it is necessary that companies prepare for risks in additive manufacturing technology.
In this article, you’ll learn how to prepare for risks in additive manufacturing so that you’ll be better equip with the right information for better solution decision making.
How To Prepare For Risks In Additive Manufacturing
Consider Hiring Vulnerability Management Services
The most common security issues in additive manufacturing involve file integrity, illegal part manufacturing, and process sabotage. Exposure or unauthorized access to important digital files, such as client data, design files, and product models, can cause negative business impacts, including product and intellectual property piracy and other legal issues.
Because additive manufacturing involves computer systems and related technologies, companies can hire vulnerability management services to manage cybersecurity risks properly. Vulnerability management services continuously evaluate and protect additive manufacturing against attacks.
Experts prioritize remediation strategies to improve an additive manufacturing company’s security on premises and in cloud environments. They can integrate vulnerability management into security tools for customizable solutions based on unique business needs. Moreover, vulnerability management service providers deploy quick security event responses 24/7.
Choose a vulnerability management solutions provider with foolproof credentials and a portfolio. Read reviews and interview a representative from the company to ask how their solutions work. Moreover, compare several companies and evaluate their solutions, customer service, and pricing. This step may seem time consuming, but it’s necessary so that you can hire the right vulnerability management services for your business.
Invest On Preventive Maintenance Software
Additive manufacturing has a high risk of downtime and asset failure due to power supply problems. If a major power outage occurs, a reliable electrical backup can help avoid a lengthy business delay. These risks can compromise production and overall business revenues. Therefore, investing in preventive maintenance software for energy assets is crucial.
Additive manufacturing companies usually have a combination of renewable and traditional power supplies. But managing critical utilities can be an additional burden for managers and personnel. This is where utility asset management comes into play.
Utility asset management involves using reliable and secure preventive maintenance software. This technological investment maximizes utility operations in additive manufacturing companies by sending real-time data alerts to notify nearby technicians once critical energy issues are detected.
Develop A Hazard Identification Framework
Additive manufacturing also comes with health and safety risks. Examples include inhalation exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), additives, thermoplastics, and particulates. In addition, skin exposure to lasers, additives, and other substances for additive manufacturing can cause burns.
Companies can’t afford to put their workers’ lives at risk, as this results in legal liabilities and negative business impacts. Therefore, you must prepare to prevent these risks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that developing a hazard identification framework can help detect potential hazards. Following this recommendation, additive manufacturing companies can implement more effective solutions to prevent health and safety risks associated with using additives, solvents, lasers, and other agents and technologies in creating products.
Manufacturing supervisors must ensure that all workers are safe by overseeing their needs on the work site. For instance, proper ventilation involves controlling VOCs and particulates and using high-efficiency particulate air filters for particulate emissions and fumes.
Train And Educate Employees
Workers must undergo regular training to safeguard their health and safety in the workplace. Without proper training, workers can risk their safety and lives because they do not know the possible health implications of an additive manufacturing material or process.
Every business using additive manufacturing must have a safety manual. All employees handling this task must have a copy of the safety manual. In addition, there should be safety warning signs on devices and employee boards to remind them about the standard operating procedures when an incident arises.
Moreover, manufacturing managers and safety officers must get workers’ feedback when developing standard operating procedures and policies. This way, any changes are relevant based on the emerging needs and perceived problems of frontline workers for health and safety.
Additive manufacturing comes with internal and external threats and vulnerabilities. Choosing the right preventive solutions can help prevent the grave consequences of cybersecurity and other potential sources of operational disruption. The same with energy asset management, reducing the risks of system downtime and the dire consequences of operational delays. Furthermore, additive manufacturing poses health and safety risks, requiring developing a framework to identify hazards as soon as possible.
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