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Ultimaker AMA: Quality Control & Assembly - May 16th 5pm CEST

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'Hi, I'm Steve Harris. SVP Supply chain and manufacturing at Ultimaker. I am leading global Lean Six Sigma projects, planning, purchasing, logistics, manufacturing, manufacturing engineering and quality assurance teams. Over 130 people working in the Netherlands and US to deliver customer value while reducing both waste and variance.'

and..

'Hi, I'm Erin Oliver (@fbrc8-erin) from FBRC8. Operations director at FBRC8 and oversee the day to day operations in the Assembly, Tech Support, Quality Control, Shipping, and Inventory departments. FBRC8 is responsible for warranty support for all generations of Ultimaker printers in North America.'

 

Exciting!! 

 

We'll have both Steve and Erin ready for you on May 16th (5pm CEST). I will be here as well and together with Steve and Erin we'll try to answer all questions you have for us! Do you have any questions regarding quality control?

Are there any differences between Europe and the US?

What type of special tools are required for assembling an Ultimaker or how do we prepare for a launch? 

 

It promises to be an interesting AMA! See you on May 16th, 5pm CEST! 

 

- If you have any questions you already want to get off your chest, feel free to post them below. Answers will follow on the16th. 

- If you want to be sure you don't miss anything, click the follow button at the top right corner :)

- If you have any questions about AMA in general; please post them here so this thread stays clean. 

 

Thank you! 

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Ok heres my question, Was printing quicker and maintaining the same quality of prints ever explored? If not why not.? Also why does no one in filament exploration experiment making nice filaments that easily smooth with say...acetone. seeing as your filament back in 2016 was the best. Even better than colorfabb, as we (I) know the blends of pla and pha produce effortless amazing results. also are the fans on the Ultimaker S5 the same as on the Ultimaker 2 / 3? How do you decide to source a new part or continue to use an existing part?

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I have a question regarding transport boxes. 

 

As we all know, transporters are not known to be really gentle with what they transport. So i'm wondering how is the transport case for the printers designed? Is it tested (punched, kicked, thrown etc...).

 

I guess it's kind of expensive but the foam box for the 2go is really great, would it be adaptable to the S5 for example?

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One more thing, regarding quality control. 

 

I know that all printers are very well controlled, and that all of them have one test print or two (the actual sample that is shipped with all printers). 

 

So is there some kind of more in depth tests done on random printers? I mean would it happen that some printers get more print hours than others before being sent to distributors?

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2 hours ago, DidierKlein said:

I have a question regarding transport boxes. 

 

As we all know, transporters are not known to be really gentle with what they transport. So i'm wondering how is the transport case for the printers designed? Is it tested (punched, kicked, thrown etc...).

 

I guess it's kind of expensive but the foam box for the 2go is really great, would it be adaptable to the S5 for example?

The most challenging element of designing packaging is that the supply chain differs dramatically by country. For this reason we are careful to collect global requirements when designing packaging and including all stakeholders. After considering all requirements three potential suppliers provide solutions which we then fully test in an independent laboratory. Tests always include dropping the box on various sides and corners, as well as vibration to simulate both road and air freight.

 

The Ultimaker 2Go user case was based on a transportable printer, the Ultimaker S5 is now so heavy that it should not be carried by a single person. In addition it is used on a more professional environment and not moved. There is therefore no substantial benefit to developing a similar foam box to the 2Go. It would be an interest challenge though!

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2 hours ago, DidierKlein said:

One more thing, regarding quality control. 

 

I know that all printers are very well controlled, and that all of them have one test print or two (the actual sample that is shipped with all printers). 

 

So is there some kind of more in depth tests done on random printers? I mean would it happen that some printers get more print hours than others before being sent to distributors?

The testing process during development is much deeper and more broad, these are printers which are not later sold. For mass production we have an optimised test print that we designed to prove all aspects of the print quality. All printers get the same testing and 100% of printers are tested at the end of the production cycle.

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@kmanstudios asked, How does the Netherlands and North American  manufacture offices (And others if there are) stay in sync with all functions? i.e. materials, changes, structural operations and office operations?

 

We have regular meetings to discuss any upcoming changes, or issues we see. There’s a constant feedback loop going between the production, quality control, and technical support. This means any issues seen at any point in the process can be investigated and a cause can be determined and the best course of action can be agreed upon and implemented.

Edited by fbrc8-erin
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2 hours ago, DidierKlein said:

I have a question regarding transport boxes. 

 

As we all know, transporters are not known to be really gentle with what they transport. So i'm wondering how is the transport case for the printers designed? Is it tested (punched, kicked, thrown etc...).

 

I guess it's kind of expensive but the foam box for the 2go is really great, would it be adaptable to the S5 for example?

 

11 minutes ago, gr5 said:

I know that Ultimaker3's are made both in Netherlands and USA.  Is the same true for the S5?

Yes that is correct! Local for local as much as we can...

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4 minutes ago, SteveH said:

Tests always include dropping the box on various sides and corners, as well as vibration to simulate both road and air freight.

 

Hi @SteveH, are there standardized rules of measurement that help you determine whether or not a certain packaging passed the test, or is it mostly just our own subjective observation after unpacking? 

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2 hours ago, cjs said:

Another question of mine would be what scheme dfo you use for the assembly of your printers. Does each person assemble one complete unit or does each person assemble a specific part. Do people move through the manufacturing facility or do they stay at there desk ?

 

@cjs Most of the printer is assembled by a single technician working at their desk, which is ESD safe. However, some parts of the printer are assembled separately ahead of time to help make the assembly process go more smoothly while the technician install it all into the printer. Many parts require specialized tooling and we have specialized pre-assembly areas set up with those parts and tools to keep the process as smooth as possible.

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