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Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts


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  1. @kmanstudios You kindly asked "During developmental cycles how long does it take to have a change go from notification to implementation? An example would be the change from the white slider blocks to the black slider blocks on the UM3 Series. Could you say anything about what process is in place?" This depends on the part and scope of the change. R&D perform advanced life-cycle testing (ALT) and this takes a differing amount of time for different parts. Sometimes a change can be tested in a few days (by printing) and other times we need to work with first and second tier suppl
  2. We currently train people in relevant roles in the concepts of lean six sigma. Most of the Supply Chain & Manufacturing team now have at least a white belt, with 20 yellow belts, 6 green belts and 2 black belts. With a common understanding we apply lean six sigma methodology and continually improve our process throughout the value stream. In addition to this we always test every single printer that is produced to ensure that it is 100% conform to specification before shipping it to customers.
  3. We analyse our impact on the environment and make conscious choices about material selection and freight in the supply chain. In addition 3D printing itself often helps our customers to reduce wastage versus traditional moulding technologies.
  4. We are always looking to use 3D printing, until now we have exploited this much more within our own production process than within the product itself.
  5. There are no challenges, only opportunities? In this case we are working to achieve the highest possible quality for the aluminium build plate and this is taking a little longer than anticipated.
  6. The R&D team is always working hard to improve the customer experience, reliability and quality get the highest focus. as much as possible we try to use common parts, such as with fans, but also here the quality is the leading decision variable.
  7. The established products have a more predictable sales pattern than new products. We do however use the insights of the sales team and their sales partners to produce to an acceptable stock level for all printers. Our goal is to always have printers available when a customer wants to purchase, we are prepared to invest in inventory to ensure this service level.
  8. The assembly of the housing was a significant improvement, with self locking flat head screws for speed and aesthetics. We can now use a single hand with an electric screwdriver, instead of having to use two hands to hold and tighten screws.
  9. The Ultimaker S5 is BIG! As well as allowing the customer to benefit from a larger print volume it also brings new challenges to how we move semi and finished products around. We have therefore developed lifts that also operate as trolleys, this allows the team to more easily and safely lift and move the S5 through the assembly process.
  10. Assembly operators continually learn and as a result get more consistent and speed up, this has over the course of the last 18 months absorbed a lot of the increased demand. We do however recruit and train new employees on a regular basis and we have a really solid team of trainers who produce excellent work instructions for the operators to refer to while working.
  11. The total throughput time including; picking, pre-assemblies, quality control and boxing ranges from 400-550 minutes. The Ultimaker 2+ is currently the most simple and quickest printer to assemble. The S5 is now quicker than the smaller dual extrusion UM3, because the manufacturing engineering team has made improvements to the assembly process.
  12. There are two flows of parts to the person who picks and populates the production trays for assembly. One flow is individual parts directly from the warehouse. The other flow is pre-assemblies, which we picked as parts and then assembled in to a combined part. The feeder for example is picked and produced from flow racks, then booked back on to a warehouse location before being re-picked as a single (assembled) part for main assemble the following day.
  13. The packaging is tested by an external certified body and it is an industry standard. Avoiding any damage to the printer is of course the basic requirement, but the packaging itself must also be able to withstand multiple impacts and still be intact.
  14. Great question. We actually work in cells, with every operator trained and able to assemble every model of printer that we produce. They have work instructions for each printer and assemble one full printer at a time. This is a little different to line manufacturing that is often used for higher volume production. The S5 is transported to each cell using the same conveyor as all other products, but due to the size of the parts it requires a few extra trays per printer.
  15. Yes that is correct! Local for local as much as we can...
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