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Author: Jackie Cook

Navigating Maintenance Strategies: From Reactive to Predictive and Beyond

In the realm of industrial operations and facility management, the approach to maintenance has undergone a significant transformation over recent years.

Historically, maintenance has often been viewed as a financial burden within organisations – so-called “unnecessary” expenditures incurred for hiring maintenance personnel and procuring spare parts without directly contributing to revenue generation. This perception would pose challenges in persuading management to allocate resources towards maintenance initiatives.

Nowadays, it should not come as a shock to management that maintenance accounts for 20-50% of the total operating budget[i]. Although traditional reactive methods like “run to fail” are giving way to more proactive strategies such as Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) and the cutting-edge Predictive Maintenance (PdM), there is still some resistance against full adoption of such maintenance strategies. So, what is the difference between these practices? How do they benefit business operations and what factors need to be addressed to welcome adoption within your business?

Understanding Maintenance Practices:

  1. Run to Fail (RTF):

Run to Fail is a reactive approach where maintenance activities are only performed after a component or equipment fails. Although seemingly straightforward, this method often leads to costly unplanned downtime, emergency repairs, and potential safety hazards. Running a piece of equipment to the point of failure (i.e. unplanned) costs, on average, ten times as much as a regular maintenance program would[ii].

Although reactive maintenance cannot always be avoided, companies relying solely on RTF may find themselves caught in a cycle of firefighting rather than proactive maintenance.

  1. Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM):

Favoured by 80% of maintenance personnel [iii], PPM involves scheduling regular maintenance tasks based on predetermined intervals or criteria. When first implementing a PPM strategy these intervals may be a best guess or based on past downtime. As maintenance engineers regularly service parts and develop a deeper understanding of their machines a more robust schedule can develop. By adhering to a planned schedule, organisations can minimise unexpected breakdowns, extend equipment lifespan, and optimise operational efficiency. PPM lays the foundation for a more systematic approach to maintenance, reducing the likelihood of large, costly disruptions.

  1. Predictive Maintenance (PdM):

Industry 4.0 Modern Factory: Project Engineer Talks to Female Operator who Controls Facility Production Line, Uses Computer with Screens Showing AI, Machine Learning Enhanced Assembly Process

Predictive Maintenance represents the next frontier in maintenance practices, leveraging advanced technologies such as IoT sensors, data analytics, and machine learning algorithms. PdM can reduce machine downtime by 30%-50% and increase equipment life by 20%-40%.

Rather than relying on fixed schedules or guesswork, PdM uses real-time data to anticipate equipment failures before they occur. By detecting subtle changes in performance or condition, organisations can proactively address issues, optimise maintenance schedules, and maximise asset uptime.

54% of global manufacturers surveyed by ATS use predictive maintenance technologies to reduce operational costs involved in maintaining their equipment.

The Synergy Between Predictive and Preventative Maintenance:

While PPM provides a structured framework for maintenance activities, PdM enhances its effectiveness by introducing predictive capabilities. By integrating predictive analytics into existing maintenance strategies, companies can:

  • Identify potential failures earlier, minimising unplanned downtime and production losses
  • Optimise resource allocation by prioritising maintenance tasks based on actual equipment health
  • Reduce maintenance costs through targeted interventions and efficient use of resources
  • Extend asset lifespan by addressing issues before they escalate into major problems
  • Improve safety by proactively addressing equipment failures and minimising risks to personnel

Taking these into consideration, predictive analytics can yield a tenfold return on investment, and adopting such practises can result in savings of 30% to 40%.[iv]

However, as beneficial as predictive maintenance is it often requires a full computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) to reap the full benefits. Unfortunately, industry standard failure rates of implementation range between a shocking 60% and 80%.

With 54% of manufacturers using predictive maintenance, how come the failure rates of implementation are so high?

  1. Initial Investment:

Implementing PdM requires upfront investment in technology infrastructure, sensors, software, and employee training. Some examples of the costs associated in implementing such a system are as follows:

  • Sensors: The cost of sensors depends on their type and brand, ranging from approximately £100 to several thousand pounds per sensor. For instance, a temperature sensor might cost around £100, while a vibration sensor could be around £1000.
  • Software: Setting up a predictive maintenance program may require multiple software solutions. A Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software, typically priced per user, starts at approximately £350 per user annually. Additionally, a data analytics tool for collecting and analysing sensor data can start from around £160, depending on the chosen software.
  • Installation: If your maintenance technicians lack the expertise to install and integrate sensors with the software, you may need to hire specialists for installation. Costs can range from thousands to tens of thousands of pounds, depending on the number of sensors and complexity of equipment.
  • Skilled Maintenance Expert: An experienced maintenance engineer is essential for accurately interpreting data from condition-monitoring devices. Depending on your equipment’s failure modes, you may not require a dedicated maintenance engineer for your predictive maintenance program. But if you do the associated salary also needs to be considered.

Any compromise on investment on any of these points can affect the successful implementation of a CMMS and PdM.

  1. Data Quality and Integration:

Effective predictive maintenance relies on high-quality data from various sources. For the amount invested upfront, you would expect 100% accurate readings from the sensors.

However, the compatibility of PdM can vary and the technology does not always take essential factors into account such as age of equipment, or even the weather, and readings can be misinterpreted. Therefore, ensuring data accuracy, consistency, and compatibility across different systems on the factory floor can be challenging, especially for legacy equipment.

  1. Skill Gap:

Successfully deploying and managing predictive maintenance initiatives requires specialised skills in data analytics, machine learning, and condition monitoring. Companies may face challenges in recruiting or upskilling personnel to fill these roles. These personnel must also be able to navigate the chosen CMMS and understand what data is shown on their computer screens to best maintain each piece of equipment being monitored.

  1. Change Management:

As with any organisational change, transitioning from traditional maintenance practices to predictive maintenance requires a cultural shift within the organisation. Buy-in must be from the top all the way down to operators. Any resistance to change, lack of buy-in from stakeholders, and inertia can impede progress and affect the success of implementation.

 With all this in mind, PdM can work but some companies may be reluctant to embrace it due to concerns about technology reliability, false positives, or the perceived complexity of implementation.  For others it may just be the upfront investment required.

Are there any alternatives to enhance maintenance strategies?

Differences in cost between preventive and predictive maintenance are notable. Preventive maintenance primarily incurs labour expenses, whereas predictive maintenance involves significant upfront investments in sensors, software, setup, and training.

As such, it’s important to ask the question is Predictive Maintenance suitable for my business or is Preventative Maintenance better and can PPM be enhanced in any other way?

Perhaps as manufacturers shift from reactive maintenance approaches to proactive strategies but aren’t ready to adopt PdM, many AddParts customers are embracing the service which is another approach to enhance reactive and proactive maintenance strategies.

AddParts supplies on-demand digital spare parts for production and packing lines, supporting maintenance and operations teams using cutting-edge technology to reduce downtime by up to 90% and spare part costs by up to 50%. The company 3D scans critical components on-site for storage on a secure, tailored digital inventory. The parts are supplied in like-for-like, traceable materials in 48 hours, and are manufactured at a dedicated, UK-based facility using industrial 3D printers.

With AddParts there is still a cost incurred for procuring spare parts but, unlike spare parts supplied by the equipment manufacturers, lead times can be from 2 days to 7 days rather than 8 – 10 weeks. In comparison to PdM, the upfront costs are simply the cost required to 3D scan equipment and convert the data to production ready digital files however the potential for 80-90% reduction in downtime means this is still an attractive service.

Of course, going one step further and coupling AddParts with a predictive maintenance strategy can mean an automated maintenance strategy can being to evolve. Parts for machines can be ordered automatically based on the equipment data analytics and these will arrive within a week, ready to be installed by the maintenance engineers.

Want to learn more about how AddParts could enhance your maintenance strategy? Book a meeting and start your free 90-day trial.

 

[i] https://blog.infraspeak.com/maintenance-statistics-trends-challenges/

 

[ii] https://upkeep.com/learning/maintenance-statistics/

 

[iii] https://www.plantengineering.com/articles/2018-maintenance-survey-playing-offense-and-defense/

 

[iv] https://upkeep.com/learning/maintenance-statistics/

AddParts to exhibit at Maintec

AddParts will be exhibiting at Maintec at the NEC in Birmingham on 5th to 6th June 2024 in hall 4 on stand D21.

AddParts will be showcasing their on-demand digital spare parts service which is delivering downtime reductions of up to 90% and spare part cost reductions of up to 50% for companies across the UK. The team will be demonstrating the 3D scanning technology which starts the Scan – Store – Supply process which enables supply of like-for-like, traceable material spare parts in 48 hours.

Tom Fripp, Director said “We are excited to be able to showcase what our AddParts service can offer and Maintec gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this end-to-end process to maintenance, production and operations engineers and their teams. Our team will have 3D scanner with them on the stand so customers can see for themselves how we can supply accurate, durable replacement components in days, not weeks.”

Maintec is the longest standing exhibition for the predictive maintenance, reliability and asset management industry and attracts the most ground-breaking products and services in the sector, helping to extend product lifecycles by providing fast solutions and servicing. It is firmly established as the go-to event focused on driving uptime and the tools, innovation, technology and people that support it.

Maintec forms part of Smart Manufacturing Engineering Week which is not just an event; it’s a festival of industrial innovation. Smart Manufacturing & Engineering week is researched and produced by one of the top journals for the manufacturing sector – The Manufacturer.

 

To find out more and book your free place to attend visit the website https://www.mandeweek.co.uk/welcome-maintec-2024

AddParts and Chester Medical to exhibit at Making Pharma

AddParts will be exhibiting at Making Pharma at Coventry Building Society Arena on 23rd and 24th April 2024 on stand 625, alongside Chester Medical.

Director, Tom Fripp will be presenting on ‘Industrial 3D printing in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’ at 9.15am on Wednesday 24th April in Room 3 as part of the Making Pharmaceuticals Conference programme.

Tom said “Homegrown 3D printing was thrust into the global mainstream as a temporary healthcare solution to support efforts to fight COVID-19, but with global supply chains still reeling from the pandemic, there continues to be a focus on building resilient, long-term, production capabilities across the pharmaceutical industry. This presentation takes a unique approach to detailing how the role of the three pillars of industrial 3D printing goes far beyond a stopgap and describes how innovative pharma manufacturers can take advantage of this technology to drastically reduce downtime, improve supply chain security and make significant efficiency gains.”

The AddParts team will have the 3D Scanner on the stand and you will be able to see a demonstration of the virtual storeroom customer portal.

Making Pharmaceuticals is a free-to-attend exhibition and multi-stream conference that will bring together the key decision makers and innovators from across the pharmaceuticals sector to discuss key topics including pharmaceutical research, testing, production and distribution. Key areas on the exhibition floor include, cleanrooms and hygiene, laboratory, processing and machinery, ingredients and raw materials and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The exhibition and conference is co-located with Distributing Pharmaceuticals.

To find out more and book your free place to attend visit the website https://www.makingpharma.com/

Digital spare parts help pharma carton manufacturer reduce part costs by 40%

A leading carton and leaflet production company based in Wales is making substantial cost and time savings thanks to a revolutionary on-demand digital spares service.

Chester Medical, a carton and leaflet production and printing facility serving the pharmaceutical industry based in Deeside Flintshire, joined forces with Addition Design’s AddParts service to find ways in which digital spares could assist in reducing the cost and impact of downtime on spare parts for the company’s gluing and folding production lines.

Thanks to AddParts expertise in 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing Chester Medical have benefited from savings in downtime as well as a more than 40 per cent cost savings on critical components for their machinery.

AddParts, an exclusive service of Addition Design based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in South Yorkshire, supplies digital spares for automated production and packing lines giving manufacturing customers in multiple sectors a competitive advantage by reducing downtime.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design, said: “Chester Medical operates a number of automated and semi-automated production lines to print both folded cartons and patient information leaflets. These machines run at very high speeds to ensure that products are delivered at competitive prices but with speed and accuracy comes complexity and hundreds of moving parts that are critical to smooth, accurate operation.

“The machines are typically supplied by major manufacturers and require a steady stream of replacement components. However, it is not unheard of for such components to be available with particularly long lead times of up to two months so either spares are held in stock, meaning inventory management, space and cash tied up in stores, or risk expensive downtime.

“So, Chester Medical approached us as they had identified two key components initially that often fail and wanted to look at ways in which digital spares could assist in parts for the company’s gluing and folding lines.

“As Chester Medical carried spares, examples of the two components were sent to our headquarters in Sheffield to be 3D scanned and added to Chester Medical’s digital storeroom on the AddParts client portal. From there the team at Chester Medical could review the parts as well as the necessary design changes needed to offer like-for-like industrial 3D printed parts. Finally, the parts were ordered, produced using a combination of high-grade materials, assembled along with correctly specified off-the-shelf fittings and supplied in batches.”

The replacement folder/gluer clamps and folding plate locking handles were received by Chester Medical within only four days meaning that the reduction in downtime associated with these components was substantial.

Added Tom: “The time savings, together with the significantly reduced cost of these parts, which has seen a saving of more than 40%, and the like-for-like functionality that the AddParts components provide has seen real momentum for Chester Medical as they build in the utilisation of AddParts for yet more components and continue to build up their storeroom of on-demand digital spares accordingly. It’s been fantastic to work with them.”

Ronnie Delamar, operations manager at Chester Medical, said: “As well as conventional printing, we offer digitally printed cartons and leaflets which cater to the pharma industry’s increasing demand for short-run, short lead-time manufacture. The whole facility is accredited to the PS9000 pharmaceutical grade, including the digital print facility making the company unique within this field. This means that time really is of the essence for the success of our business.

“And in this regard, AddParts has been an absolute game changer for us at Chester Medical. For too long it’s just been accepted that spare parts can take ages, that we have to pay loads for them and hold huge amounts in stock. But with AddParts we don’t have to. The parts they have supplied are great quality and are really doing the business for us, we couldn’t be happier and have big plans to get the guys over to our site to keep building up our digital storeroom.”

AddParts to exhibit at Packaging Innovations

AddParts will be exhibiting at Packaging Innovations / Empack / Contract Pack and Fulfilment show at the NEC in Birmingham on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd February 2024 on stand E106.

Packaging Innovations & Empack is made up of three events, each dedicated to one part of the packaging journey. Each event creates a focused environment for packaging designers, developers, buyers and suppliers to meet and do business in a time- and cost-effective way – and to create the next market-defining innovations.

AddParts will be showcasing their on-demand digital spare parts service which is delivering downtime reductions of up to 90% and spare part cost reductions of up to 50% for companies across the UK. The team will be demonstrating the 3D scanning technology which starts the Scan – Store – Supply process which enables supply of like-for-like, traceable material spare parts in 48 hours.

Tom Fripp, Director said “We are excited to be able to showcase what our AddParts service can offer and the Packaging Innovations show gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this end-to-end process to the pharmaceutical and medical contract packers and food and drink producers. Our team will have 3D scanner with them on the stand so customers can see for themselves how we can supply accurate, durable replacement components in days, not weeks.”

https://www.packagingbirmingham.com/exhibitor/addparts/

AddParts shortlisted for Digital Technology and Innovation at leading industry awards

AddParts, part of Addition Design Ltd, has been shortlisted in the Digital Engineering/Technology and Manufacturing Innovation categories at the Insider Made in Yorkshire Awards to be held in March at The Royal Armouries in Leeds.

The Digital Technology Award is for the company that has best used or developed software, technology or technical processes to solve problems or add value for customers.

The Manufacturing Innovation Award is for the manufacturing company that has generated a substantial financial return and impact on a regional/national/international level from an innovative product or process designed and manufactured in their region.

AddParts supplies on-demand digital spare parts for production and packing lines, supporting maintenance and operations teams by using cutting-edge technology to reduce downtime by up to 90% and spare part costs by up to 50%.

The company 3D scans critical components on-site for storage on a secure, tailored digital inventory. The parts are supplied in like-for-like, traceable materials in 48 hours, and are manufactured at a dedicated, UK-based facility using industrial 3D printers.

Tom Fripp, Director said “AddParts has created an entirely new arm for Addition and has established itself as a highly scalable, in-demand and innovative business. Since the release of AddParts as a dedicated service in mid-2023, upwards of 50% of the company’s revenue has been generated by AddParts alone and this is expected to grow significantly. Sales for AddParts have already eclipsed those of the rest of the company’s offerings and continue to drive significant change and cost savings for customers too.”

The annual awards event celebrates world-class companies based in Yorkshire and the Humber and the products they are making here and selling across the world.

The black-tie dinner will take place at New Dock Hall, Royal Armouries, Leeds, on Thursday 7 March. It is sponsored by Made Smarter, BDO, Castle Employment, Rathbones incorporating Investec Wealth & Management (UK), and Mills & Reeve.

 

Revolutionising maintenance: combining of virtual inventories and on-demand manufacturing

In the fast-paced world of automated machinery, the daily struggle of locating the right components and spare parts to keep your machines humming smoothly is real. Downtime is the arch-nemesis, and every minute counts. Fear not! There’s a game-changing duo in town—AddParts! which provides virtual inventories and on-demand manufacturing. Let’s delve into why this combination is the golden ticket for maintenance managers and engineers.

  1. The challenge of traditional inventories:

Maintaining a physical inventory is a formidable task. Shelves upon shelves of parts in large warehouses, the constant battle to keep track of stock levels, and the agony of discovering that a crucial component is out of stock at the most inconvenient moment. The struggle is real. Enter virtual inventories!

  1. The power of virtual inventories:

Virtual inventories, powered by cutting-edge technology, offer a dynamic and real-time solution. Imagine having a digital catalogue at your fingertips, accessible from anywhere at any time. With just a few clicks, you can check the availability of components, production cost, materials, geometric validations, download certificates of conformity, view previous orders and place orders seamlessly. It’s like having your own virtual genie that grants your maintenance wishes instantly.

  1. The on-demand manufacturing magic:

Now, let’s talk about the dynamic partner—on-demand manufacturing. Traditional manufacturing can be slow and rigid, but on-demand 3D printing is the superhero that swoops in to save the day. Need a specialised part that’s not readily available or has a long lead time? No problem. On-demand manufacturing ensures that you get precisely the component you need, when you need it, which eliminates unnecessary delays and downtime.

  1. The perfect symbiosis:
Packing machine components for a controlled environment at a Pharmaceutical company by Addition – AddParts

Here’s where the magic happens—the perfect symbiosis of virtual inventories and on-demand manufacturing. Picture this: you identify a critical component that needs replacement. With a few taps on your device, you check its availability in the virtual inventory. The AddParts on-demand manufacturing engine kicks in, ensuring that the required part is produced and shipped to you within 48 hours*. It’s a seamless dance that keeps your machines running without a hitch.

  1. Cost-efficiency and sustainability:

Beyond the convenience, this combination is a win-win for your budget and the environment. Virtual inventories reduce the need for extensive physical storage, cutting costs associated with large warehousing and inventory management. On-demand industrial 3D printing minimizes overproduction, reducing waste and contributing to a more sustainable approach.

  1. Future-proofing your maintenance strategy:

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and automation, a forward-thinking approach is crucial. Embracing the combination of virtual inventories and on-demand manufacturing future-proofs your maintenance strategy. You’re not just keeping up; you’re staying ahead of the game.

In conclusion, the daily struggles of finding the correct components and spare parts for automated machinery are a thing of the past. The synergy of the AddParts virtual storeroom and on-demand 3D printing is the beacon of hope, guiding maintenance managers and engineers to a future where downtime is a distant memory.

Here’s to smoother operations, fewer headaches, and machines that keep on rolling, crushing, sorting and packing!

 

Bee Health benefits from AddParts innovative 3D printing solutions

A Bridlington-based manufacturer of nutritional supplements has solved a complex production problem thanks to the help of an innovative on-demand digital spares service.

INW Bee Health Ltd turned to Addition Design’s AddParts service for a solution when marks were being left on their white magnesium capsules during the manufacturing process.

The problem was quickly solved through AddParts expertise in 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing allowing for a complex set of components to be designed and delivered in under 15 days, saving Bee Heath significant downtime costs when the magnesium production run was due to start.

AddParts, an exclusive service of Addition Design based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham, supplies digital spares for automated production lines giving manufacturing customers across a number of sectors a competitive advantage by reducing downtime on automated production and packing lines.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design, said: “INW Bee Health utilises stainless steel components within their vertical polishing machines to remove excess powder substrate from the outer surface of filled capsules. However, this set-up was causing marks on their white magnesium capsules. Bee Health had decided to look at alternatives and had sought to order a replacement from the OEM.

“However, the lead time from the OEM was up to three months and despite the lengthy wait and significant cost ran the risk of simply replicating the same issue.

“Our AddParts team visited the Bee Health team and after a quick look at the machine, the available spare parts were 3D scanned on-site. We were able to assign Bee Health a virtual storeroom and secure login details were provided to key team members. Once the data was uploaded to the storeroom, with pricing and material specifications, the parts were basically ready to go in a matter of hours.”

The final set of components were manufactured in a range of materials depending on their proximity to the capsules, including AddParts’ food contact nylon material (which is FDA compliant), as well as weight-bearing components manufactured in carbon fibre reinforced nylon. Some components were hybrid, utilising the material properties of each material where they are most effective.

Added Tom: “The replacement parts required a small number of design changes to accommodate the chosen production materials and processes but once these were completed and signed off via the part page on the AddParts storeroom, the components were produced and supplied, with all the necessary material regulatory information and certificates of conformity that Bee Health require for their high standards of production hygiene.

“The complex set of components was designed and delivered in under 15 days, saving Bee Heath significant downtime costs when the magnesium production run was due to start.

“Since the installation of the new components, Bee Health has not seen any further marking on the outside of the magnesium capsules through their vertical polishing machine and has added more components to their AddParts virtual store.”

Established in 1992, Bee Health is one of the UK’s leading vitamin, mineral and supplement manufacturers. The company produces 400 million capsules and tablets a week at its 80,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility for customers in over 40 countries.

Kristian Chaperlin, Encap assistant manager at Bee Health Ltd, said: “AddParts is an innovative service which is a great fit for us. The team responded quickly and really understood that downtime costs us business. The fact that we can build our own store of parts we know we can get at short notice, without actually taking up space here is a game-changer for us and the more we use AddParts, the more value we see in what it brings for us.”

AddParts supplies digital spare parts for production and packing machines and typically reduces downtime by up to 90% and part costs by up to 50%. Critical components and change parts are 3D scanned on-site and uploaded to a secure, tailored digital inventory. The parts are supplied in like-for-like, traceable materials in 48 hours, and are manufactured at a dedicated, UK-based facility using industrial 3D printers.

 

Manufacturers benefit from AddParts innovative customer service portal

A new online portal created by a South Yorkshire company that provides digital spares to the manufacturing industry has revolutionised its customer service experience for clients.

AddParts, an exclusive service of Addition Design based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham, supplies digital spares for automated production lines through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing.

It gives manufacturing customers across a number of sectors a competitive advantage by reducing downtime on automated production lines.

Alongside major investment in a high-res 3D scanner and key staff, the firm has also established a portal system that provides a virtual stock room of components and in-production technology to ensure the back-end process run as smoothly as possible. This has drastically improved the communication between AddParts and its customers and streamlined the customer service experience considerably providing an all-encompassing ‘one-stop-shop’ offering.

Tom Fripp, director of Addition Design, said: “Our AddParts service is based on three core modules – the scanning, the portal and the printing but, for us, it is actually the portal that brings it all together.

“As we were developing AddParts it became apparent that a lot of two-way communication was needed between us and the engineers and this was done using screen grabs, emails and WhatsApp messages.

“We were surprised by how much technical information was required and also by how much repetition there was, largely because we were dealing with different departments, and different people in the same company, often wanting information. We were also building up a lot of data and our customer had to ask us what information we had and didn’t have.

“It became evident that we needed a central hub that could provide a way for customers to manage the information we hold for them in an easy and accessible way, and once we started building this we quickly realised that what we were doing was building a store room for data. A virtual inventory of spare data which, on demand, could be converted into production data – the beauty of it is that it takes up no room, can be viewed by anyone with secure access, is absolutely bespoke to each customer and facilitates two-way communication in a way that is akin to a storeroom.

“The portal is organised by machine/plant list and shows each component that we store information for by part number/unique reference. The whole portal is searchable meaning if you know what you’re after it is super quick. Once you click on the part, you can view the 3D data we have, basic dimensions, production cost, materials, any specifics for that part and geometric validation. You can also view previous orders for that part and download their certificates of conformity as well as order more replacements. The portal also allows you to upload information like photos and descriptions about parts that are not on the portal, kickstarting the process to get that part on the system.”

AddParts now has grand plans for the portal system as it is a great way to facilitate two-way interaction directly at the point where customers need it the most.

Added Tom: “We plan on extending it to allow bookings for planned shutdowns, downloadable regulatory statements for our materials, chat with engineers to talk through design changes as well as greater emphasis on tracking design changes to meet the requirements of our customer’s regulatory systems change control procedures. It’s just the start of things to come!”

AddParts offers a unique methodology of unlocking the benefits of industrial 3D print technology to provide new opportunities and deliver even higher performance components with reduced lead time offering a really focussed solution that manufacturers can truly benefit from.

Innovation leads the way at PPMA

It’s been an incredibly busy, but exciting, time for us here at Addition. Not only have we launched a brand-new service, AddParts, but we have also created an innovative new process which is set to really cause a stir in the food manufacturing sector. To showcase these recent developments, we attended the prestigious PPMA Show held last month in Birmingham and here our director, Tom Fripp, gives us an insight into how the event went and what we’ve got in store for our customers, old and new.

As we embark on an important next step in the journey of our business, it really feels we are now forging our own path in the world of design and additive manufacturing. We always knew that creating a USP would be key and over the last few months we have worked incredibly hard on some exciting developments that we think will make us stand out from the crowd as true experts in this field. And what better place to showcase what we’re all about than at the largest processing and packaging machinery exhibition in the UK, the PPMA Group of Associations Show 2023!

AddParts food contact blue SLS 3D printed components are ideal for food production line components.

AddParts makes its mark

We used the opportunity PPMA brings to unveil AddParts, which is delivered exclusively by Addition Design, and supplies digital spares for production and packing lines on demand through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing. It gives customers across a number of sectors a competitive advantage by drastically reducing downtime on their lines and thereby lowering associated costs.

Our investment in new equipment, and in subsequent skilled personnel, forms the foundation for AddParts’ unique methodology of unlocking the benefits of industrial 3D print technology to provide new opportunities and deliver even higher performance components with reduced lead times offering a really focussed solution that manufacturers can truly benefit from.

But not only did we want to shout about AddParts as a whole, we also wanted to be at PPMA to demonstrate how AddParts can now be used in the food processing sector thanks to a revolutionary new way we have created for the food industry to detect problems in the production process and embrace new technologies.

New food contact blue 3D printed components from Addition – AddParts taking full advantage of industrial 3D printing technology

This new process allows food manufacturers to access production parts that meet the stringent regulatory requirements of food production components whilst taking full advantage of industrial additive manufacturing.

The new technique addresses a number of renowned issues that affect the industry’s ability to fully embrace the benefits of industrial 3D printing while complying with food-safety regulations and production line efficiency needs including those of low-cost, fast turnaround, blue, food contact components.

 

The power of PPMA

Packing machine components for a controlled environment at a Pharmaceutical company by Addition – AddParts

The PPMA Show rarely disappoints. Fellow exhibitors are supportive and keen. As a business we feel welcomed into the industry by both the PPMA and the other members. But we know our market and we know who we are here to help – it’s the engineers, the ops managers, the production planners anyone else who feels the burden of downtime when the line goes down. But people of this calibre are difficult to pin down. The PPMA is different as we find that those very people are the same ones walking the floor seeking out solutions which we can provide in abundance.

AddParts is a service which deals in real components both at the start of the process and at the end. We deal with broken, worn or obsolete parts when we scan the parts and we deal with high quality 3D printed components when we supply and without seeing how we do our work or the quality of the parts we supply for yourself, you simply cannot get a thorough enough understanding for just how good our service is. On top of this, we are manufacturing fanatics and that’s also a difficult thing to convey effectively by any other means than face to face!

Trade shows like the PPMA give us the opportunity to show how much of our customers values we share – those of making sure those production lines keep on turning and focusing on the need to always have a steady, reliable supply of accurate, high-quality components as and when they are needed. AddParts is a really unique offering and we believe that it brings new opportunities for manufacturers in the UK so meeting our customers and answering their questions is an absolute must.

Spreading the word

So, what was the reaction like? We’ve worked really hard to create a simple, honest, dependable identity for AddParts and when we see people glancing, then stopping and approaching us to talk to us, seeing the penny drop for just what we can offer, and how we can help has been an absolute joy. Thankfully, at this year’s PPMA show it happened a lot!

I’d say people’s reactions were part disbelief, part excitement and perhaps most strangely, just plain acceptance! We know it’s novel and exciting and, when paired with the other benefits of AddParts, offers something very new and unique for food manufacturers. But when you put it into context with the other professionally delivered services which have so clearly been thought through and refined to deliver exactly what our customers have been asking, a lot of professionals – from food, pharma, medical and a whole range of industries and companies from SME’s to global giants – saw the blue parts and simply accepted that it made sense for us to be offering something on the production side just as innovative as the rest of AddParts.

We know we’ve got more work to do to make AddParts even more relevant for more manufacturers but AddParts is here to stay and we plan to continue to shout about our continued innovations and success. Watch this space!

Pharmaceutical industry reaps rewards from new cutting edge technology

Manufacturers across the pharmaceutical industry are improving their production processes thanks to an innovative new service.

AddParts, supplies digital spares on-demand for automated production lines through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing, giving customers a competitive advantage by reducing critical component related downtime on automated production lines.

The service is provided by South Yorkshire based Addition Design, one of the first businesses in the country to invest in and develop the necessary 3D technology to effectively meet the demands of typical AddParts customers. This new service provides clear advantages for customers across the pharmaceutical sector including current customers SGS Quay Pharma, Ethypharm, ADS Graphics and Chester Medical Solutions.

The investment in equipment, and in subsequent expert personnel at Addition, supports AddParts unique methodology of unlocking the benefits of an end-to-end advanced digital workflow that provides new opportunities and delivers high-performance spare components with reduced lead times.

The company has seen its work with pharmaceutical companies increase over the past 12-months following a £100,000 investment by Addition Design in three key areas of their business including the high-res 3D scanner which quickens downtime for customers, a portal system providing a virtual stock room of components and in production technology so the back end processes run as smoothly as possible.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said: “As a business we have been focussing on end-to-end outputs and over the last 12 months heavily invested in three key areas to create a much more streamlined approach for our customers. This has really appealed to pharmaceutical manufacturers in particular, as we are able to offer a more efficient service and shorter lead in times which is a huge benefit to them.

“Our 3D scanner helps customers further reduce downtime by eliminating the need for them to send their components for reverse engineering. Instead, the AddParts team can travel to a customers’ automated production lines, scanning parts on-site and significantly reducing the time lost in transit. That starts the process of digitising critical parts which are ultimately supplied back to the customer in the form of durable, high-quality components with very quick lead times.

“So, for example, one pharma customer we have was experiencing issues on a machine’s timing system which was causing lengthy downtimes of weeks to months, and significant costs. We were able to turnaround a solution in just 72 hrs and replacement parts were back on the machine within only four days. This made a massive difference to their production and saves a lot of time and money.

“The last year has certainly been a journey of discovery for us as a business but now the pieces are coming together, and we are proud to have AddParts which is a really focussed solution for the pharmaceutical industry that manufacturers can truly benefit from.”

AddParts shortlisted at IP&E Awards 2023

AddParts by Addition Design has been shortlisted in the Maintenance Solution of the Year category at the IP&E (Industrial Plant & Equipment) Awards 2023. The free to attend online ceremony will be held on 25th October 2023.

The free-to-enter IP&E Awards serve as a platform for presenting a variety of visions of industrial excellence, mirroring the diversity and top-tier quality found within the UK’s industrial landscape.

Tom Fripp, Director said “Extremely proud that we can stand alongside amazing companies who share a passion for keeping the wheels moving for uk manufacturing! Huge congratulations to the other shortlisted companies, we’ll see you all on the day!”

“Given the number of entries received, the IPE Awards panel of judges faced the daunting task of selecting the most exceptional companies, solutions and individuals,” explained Edward Lowton, editor of Industrial Plant & Equipment. “As the curtain rises on this year’s IP&E Awards, we’re thrilled to announce the carefully curated shortlist of nominees which we’re confident represents among the very best of UK industry.”

The IP&E Awards bring together an expert panel of judges including James Fudge, head of operations at the MTA; Nikesh Mistry, GAMBICA sector head – industrial automation; Alan Arthur, CEO of the GTMA; Ian Gardner, senior account technology leader at IBM; Wendy Garner, head of Coventry University’s School of Mechanical Engineering; Cliff Warne, executive director at BCAS; and Ian Manning, marketing manager at Turck Banner.

Sheffield 3D printers’ innovation set to stir up food production industry

A Sheffield-based design and industrial 3D printing firm has created a revolutionary new way for the food industry to detect problems in the production process and embrace new technologies.

Addition Design, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham, has designed a new process that allows food manufacturers to access production parts that meet the stringent regulatory requirements of food production components whilst taking full advantage of industrial additive manufacturing.

The process extends Addition Design’s ‘AddParts’ service – which supplies digital spares for automated production lines through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing – into the food processing sector.

The new technique addresses a number of renowned issues that affect the industry’s ability to fully embrace the benefits of industrial 3D printing while complying with food-safety regulations and production line efficiency needs including those of low-cost, fast turnaround, blue, food contact components.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design, explains: “If a component on a food production line fails, it is of course imperative that any parts of that item are stopped from getting into the final food product. One of the traditional routes to achieving this takes advantage of the fact that there are very few foods that are blue in colour so blue plastic component parts have historically been used on food production lines to make broken parts easy and quick to identify. This allows the line to be shut down for an investigation and parts to be replaced.

“However, when it comes to 3D printing, this requirement has acted as a barrier for the food industry, as there are very few ways to make cost-effective, high-quality certified, blue, food contact parts using industrial 3D printing processes.

“Most approaches require the material itself to be blue which is an issue. It means the whole material stock then needs to be that colour, making the process often prohibitively expensive.”

The new process created by Addition Design exclusively for AddParts tackles the issue and aims to bring the food industry up to pace with the wider manufacturing industry’s move towards the use of industrial 3D printing.

Tom added: “We’re incredibly proud to have found a solution that works for all parties and, importantly, reduces the costs for food manufacturers which opens them up more to the possibilities and opportunities that industrial 3D printing brings.

“The particular process we have developed means that we can produce parts on demand for manufacturers, using our Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machine and then post-process them in a way that means they still meet food contact requirements. Under our AddParts service, all the components are supplied with certification of conformity and traceability and now this is available for on-demand, hard-to-source and legacy components for food manufacturing too.

“The food and drinks industry is one of the largest sectors in UK manufacturing and our AddParts service compliments the industry perfectly but traditionally we’ve struggled to supply components into it because of the specific requirements for low cost, fast turnaround, durable, blue, food contact components. But now we can.”

Addition Design is set to officially launch the groundbreaking process later this month at the PPMA Show in Birmingham – the largest processing and packaging machinery exhibition in the UK.

Tom said: “We’re excited to be taking AddParts to this year’s PPMA event. From our initial conversations with industry, the response has been really encouraging. It’s a conundrum the 3D printing sector has been trying to solve for a long time, and we can’t wait to showcase our unique solution in the coming weeks.”

AddParts, which is delivered exclusively by Addition Design, supplies digital spares for automated production lines on demand through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing.

AddParts set to make its mark at PPMA

Addition Design, an innovative design and additive manufacturing business, is gearing up to introduce a brand-new service at this year’s PPMA Show.

AddParts, delivered exclusively by Addition Design, supplies digital spares for automated production lines on demand through the use of 3D scanning, digital data management and industrial 3D printing. It gives customers across a number of sectors a competitive advantage by reducing downtime on automated production lines.

Based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Addition Design was one of the first businesses in the country to invest in the exciting new 3D technology and spark the start of the AddParts service.

The investment in new equipment, and in subsequent expert personnel, complements AddParts unique methodology of unlocking the benefits of industrial 3D print technology to provide new opportunities and deliver even higher performance components with reduced lead time offering a really focussed solution that manufacturers can truly benefit from.

Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said: “With over 25 years of 3D design experience, a custom-made design and production facility and a dedicated quality management system our world-class design services deliver the broad range of quality products, devices and components demanded by the world in the 21st century. We provide solutions that require production ranging from a one-off piece to tens of thousands of parts and beyond.

“To build on this work, over the last year we have invested heavily in three key areas of our business to create AddParts. This includes the high-res 3D scanner which quickens downtime for customers as well as a portal system providing a virtual stock room of components and in-production technology to ensure the back-end processes run as smoothly as possible.

“We’re really excited to now be in a position to showcase what our new service can offer and the PPMA Show gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this end-to-end process. Customers will be able to see for themselves how AddParts can supply accurate, durable replacement components in days, not weeks as our team will have the 3D scanner on the stand with them.

“We’re looking forward to showing what we can do at PPMA and meeting as many people as possible.”

AddParts will be on stand F11 throughout the PPMA Show.

 

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