search.noResults

search.searching

saml.title
dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
CORPORATESTRATEGY


GLOBALOUTLOOK


Body positive: Materialise has found opportunities in the medical applications of 3D printing technology


hasoutsourced productionfor theUS to its partnerSuperfeet. “Strategically, this is a totally dif-


ferent story [from our Leuven base], as you have machines that focus on a specific application that follow the customer and the market,” explains Mr Leys. Meanwhile, for global research and development (R&D), Materialise has facilities in Malaysia, Ukraine and Germany. “We looked for regions where


there were good technical schools, and fairly strong pools of available engineers, where we could actually compete,” adds Mr Leys. Materialise has sales offices in


growth markets too, such as Shanghai, as a means to grow con- tacts with and offer their software to localAMmachinemanufacturers. “Wemoved to China because


there has been—and still is—signifi- cant spending by the Chinese gov- ernment inAM,” clarifies Mr Leys. In 2017, the Chinese government announced a strategic plan to grow AMinto a $3bn industry.


Updatingmanufacturing More broadly, Mr Leys believes that the current model of producing mil-


April/May 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


lions of the same products in a huge factory in the pursuit of economies of scale is outdated. “We should stop producing large


volumes of goods. If we produce to stock, that puts toomuch weight on the limited resources on the planet,” he clarifies. But Mr Leys says implementing


AMwill “require an agile reorganisa- tion of the manufacturing indus- try”, and does not see that the role of the manufacturer will be removed any time soon. Experts in the industry agree. “3D printing will not replace


traditional manufacturing, but rather coexist alongside it,” says Stefana Karevska, a leading AM con- sultant at EY. “The technology will most likely be used for highly tech- nical parts and in the case of supply chain vulnerability.”


More innovation needed For Mr Leys, the fundamental utility ofAMis that it helpshumanity in its desire to “produce to order, not to stock”, but admits that there is still progress to bemade in terms of reus- ing materials and reducing energy consumption.


“On the one hand, we have to dis-


ruptively change supply chains, and on the other we need continuous innovation tomake the technology more sustainable,” he notes. “But if we only do one of the two, it’s not going to work.” Ms Karevska points out that the


technology is also still not accessible or cost-effective enough for some manufacturers. “Many companies have recog-


nised the potential of 3D printing, but have still not implemented it due to the high price of the materi- als and systems,” she says. “This is particularly the case in the automo- tive industry,which is very price sen- sitive,” she adds, highlighting that it is still not economically feasible to 3D print mostmetals. Nonetheless, Materialise plans to


continue its R&Defforts and to push forAMas a way to achieve “decen- tralised, personalised production to order” where possible. “If we continue to position the


technology as a key enabler to bring more sustainable and meaningful applications to the market, then we have a really bright future ahead of us,” concludes Mr Leys.■


13


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96