HP and Jabil: A 3D printing partnership to revolutionize…

HP and Jabil: A 3D printing partnership to revolutionize…

Sep 2, 2016

“HP and Jabil: A 3D printing partnership to revolutionize manufacturing”

Stephen Nigro, President 3D Printing HP

Although you might not immediately recognize the name, Jabil Circuit Inc. is one of the largest and most operationally advanced design and manufacturing solution companies in the world. You probably use office electronics or carry a smartphone that was designed, manufactured and/or assembled by Jabil for one of its many brand-name customers. And, as a top Jabil executive told a crowd of over 80 industry analysts last week at the HP Industry Analyst Summit in Boston, they’re extremely excited to be among the first users of the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, the world’s first production-ready 3D printing system.

“We’ve been a partner with HP on a variety of manufacturing fronts for many years,” John Dulchinos, Jabil’s Vice President and General Manager of Global Automation and 3D Printing, told me on stage at IAS. “We have tremendous respect for HP’s innovation, technical prowess, and ability to deliver solutions. So when we first heard HP was coming to market with a 3D printer,” he said, “they kind of had us at hello.”

The feeling is mutual. It’s fantastic working with Jabil. They’re a lot like HP, with strong corporate social responsibility values, a world-class supply chain, a great culture of innovation, and a clear vision of the future. Jabil has already adopted 3D printing in its quest to make factories that are more responsive, more flexible, and more adaptive to its customers’ needs.

So, I asked John, why is Jabil so excited about our introduction of the HP Jet Fusion 3D printers and processing stations? I wanted the analysts who cover HP to hear his answers, of course, but I also want to share his enthusiasm with everyone who wasn’t in Boston.

“Only HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printers offer the speed, quality, cost efficiencies and open innovation platform needed to disrupt a $12 trillion manufacturing industry in the next decade,” John stated.

“When we look at other 3D solutions on the market today,” John said, “they’re not viable at scale, and not viable to be able to take products to market.” He cited HP’s three decades of expertise in inkjet printing, precision mechanics, materials science, and global supply chains that make HP the ideal, reliable partner.

“That’s at the relationship level,” he continued. “And then, as we started to peel back the onion and look at the technology, we were captivated by it. What HP’s Multi Jet Fusion platform allows is for the first time to be able to take products and produce them at cost, level of quality, level of integrity and a surface finish that we could actually use.”

“And of course we love the roadmap, the idea that in the future we’ll be able to produce and control product design at  the single voxel level,” he said. “That’s very impressive.”

Yes, the Mighty HP Voxel is indeed impressive. As I told the audience in Boston, it’s the magic ingredient that makes our 3D printers unique today and in the future. With the ability to individually address up to 340 million voxels per second, HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printers are up to 10 times faster than any other 3D printers on the market today, with unprecedented quality measured by precision and strength, and at the lowest cost per part produced.

And all that is on top of an open technology platform that will accelerate the adoption of 3D manufacturing and unlock the as-yet unimagined potential of the technology to reshape the world.

When Jabil committed to partner with HP on 3D printing, it validated our vision. But I wanted to ask John about Jabil’s vision: How will this $17.9 billion, 200,000-employee global powerhouse use HP’s Jet Fusion 3D Solution three years from now? Ten years from now? 

“As we think about the next three years, yes, mass customization will allow us to create some really cool geometries,” he said. “But what’s really captivating is that [3D printing] is going to support low-to middle-volume manufacturing.”

“What really surprised us, as we went through the analysis with HP, was how we looked at our supply chain,” John explained. Jabil operates thousands of injection molding machines, and spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year in the delivery of injection-molded plastic parts. “And what really shocked us was that a significant percentage of them made economic sense for conversion,” he said. “Moving those parts over to Multi Jet Fusion printing in the next few years will save time and money and improve the overall efficiency of Jabil’s operations.”

At HP we know that’s true: Up to half the custom plastic parts of our new Jet Fusion 3D printers are printed and produced with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. Printing our own gears is simply better in terms of raw economics, and that doesn’t even count turnaround time benefits or inventory cost benefits.

That’s today. What about 10 years from now?

“When you take 3D printing and combine it with the trends of miniaturization and integration of electronics, and combine it with automation, the impacts are far reaching. It is going to redefine manufacturing,” John said. “We will be able to create geometries, parts and business models that are completely different than what we have today. It will support differentiated footprint opportunities and untold efficiencies. ”

Today, we have about 100 factories spread around the world,” John said. “Ten years from now we may have 1,000 factories, or 5,000 factories, all smaller, and all concentrated in locations that are closer to where our end-markets are and where customers are, allowing us to produce products on demand.”

“That’s what’s exciting to us,” he said.

Us too.


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