3D printing and batch traceability
We take a look at how 3D printing can help to fulfil manufacturers’ traceability responsibilities
The growth of 3D printing to manufacture parts for industries such as medical, aerospace and automotive, where safety is vital, has meant that manufacturers across the globe, including many of Laser Lines’ customers, are working hard to implement formal traceability programmes.
Faced with an ever-increasing list of regulations and reporting requirements, alongside the seemingly impossible task of meeting the stringent quality control checks that more and more customers insist upon having in place, manufacturers need to comply if they are to remain on the preferred suppliers’ list.
With the likes of the aerospace industry detailing precise specifications and traceability for both prototypes and end-use parts, this is where 3D printing comes into its own.
By offering full batch traceability on all of our FDM materials, along with inspection reports, where required, Laser Lines ensures full production traceability for its 3D printing customers. For industrial grade thermoplastics such as ULTEM™ 9085 filament and ABS-M30, particularly when used for aerospace applications, this full batch traceability is essential.
When required, all products are shipped out to customers accompanied by the relevant certificate of conformity for customers to keep on file to refer to should the need arise.
In essence, Laser Lines carries out a great deal of the work on certificates and traceability for its customers. This assured traceability not only enables engineers to begin prototyping sooner, but reduces the time to market for new designs, as well as any delays or costs associated with design changes.
3D printing; the right choice
As Richard Hoy of our 3D printing division, explains: “The fact that we offer batch traceability on all of our FDM materials makes our solutions a very attractive prospect for those industries where traceability is paramount. 3D printing technology not only speeds up the design and manufacturing process, but also simplifies the often complex list of products that manufacturers need to account for when it comes to traceability.”
“There are now 3D solutions available for the most demanding of industrial applications, which also fulfil the most demanding of traceability requirements. With efficiency and cost savings the order of the day for manufacturers everywhere, it’s not surprising that more and more of our customers are turning to 3D printing technology for prototyping and low volume production.”