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Here comes ‘3D Printing’- A boon for the Indian manufacturing sector

Here comes '3D Printing'- A boon for the Indian manufacturing sector 1

Challenging the conventional way of how an idol is made, Webel-Fujisoft-Vara Centre of Excellence (CoE), an initiative of the Government of West Bengal in association with the Department of Information Technology & Electronics and Directorate of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of West Bengal recently unveiled a deity of Maa Saraswati, which was completely crafted and printed in the laboratory of the CoE, through Additive Manufacturing. This symbolic project demonstrates the distinctive benefits of Additive Manufacturing and the scope it has in the Indian manufacturing sector. 

BENEFITS OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING 
§	Allows for greater design capabilities and removes some of the constraints that come with traditional methods

§	Can accelerate production and the time it takes to get to market

§	Allows for innovation such as very complex designs or much lighter parts

§	Allows unlimited complexity to be delivered without adding on cost. Printing without the need for joints means stronger parts

The CoE which is a state-of-the-art facility in Kolkata, has been developed by Fujisoft Vara Private Limited, a joint venture between Fujisoft Inc., Japan and Vara Technology, India. It is India’s first platform that harnesses the full scope of the technologies of Industry 4.0, to power industries through innovation, incubation, and develop future-ready talent, delivering an unmatched value proposition through collaboration with the world’s finest institutions and knowledge organizations.

The CoE has collaborated with one of the world’s leading 3D equipment manufacturing company, Stratasys, to set up a state-of-the-art 3D Printing lab with 7 industrial grade machines- the first of its kind in the Eastern part of the country. The CoE offers services in 3D consulting, design, and printing services to corporates and MSMEs to transform their ideas into quick reality. The large number of industrial grade machines available in the CoE also allows for batch manufacturing capabilities. The CoE offers a variety of courses to train young graduate engineers and professionals in all aspects of additive manufacturing and 3D Printing as well as design. With certification from Stratasys and Dassault Systemes, the courses in the CoE equip students with industry validated certification and the skill set that is most relevant and in-demand.

Dr. Rashmi Sharma – Head, Webel Fujisoft Vara Centre of Excellence: Industry 4.0 said, “Our clients come from automotive, consumer products, aerospace and defense, healthcare (dental and medical as well as medical devices), sanitary ware, oil and gas, IoT and electronics, electricals, industrial production sectors, among others. The CoE has seen steady increase in demand for 3D Printing services since it had commenced operations.”

3D Printing in India is being used by various industries including automotive, consumer products, aerospace and defense, healthcare, industrial production, among others. The focus and efforts to increase domestic production through the Make in India Campaign, the rise in demand for lean manufacturing and increasing penetration of 3D Printing across different sectors will propel its growth forward.

ADVANTAGES OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING / 3D PRINTING

§	High speed production: 3D printers can work around the clock with almost no manual input. Production time can be drastically reduced as compared to traditional manufacturing. 3D printing also allows for faster iterations and modifications to prototypes and/or parts.

§	Cost –efficiency: 3D printing allows for manufacture of only those products that are needed, eliminating cost of storage through production on demand

§	Wide range of materials: A wide range of materials that can be used, suited to different types of products. New materials are being developed which have new mechanical properties. These include polymers, composites, metals and ceramics.

§	New levels of Customization: The ability to produce complex geometries also provides for entirely new level of customization. 3D printing allows for made-to-measure products for a range of items including food, fashion, high performance gear, shoes, and 3D printed models of body organs, among others

§	Efficiency in providing spare parts: 3D printing allows for easy and unlimited access to spare parts. This can allow for improved after-sales service. The ability to supply new parts to replace those that have gone out of normal production may also extend the lifetime of the machine

§	Reduced risk: Because of the ability to do rapid iterations, there is reduced risk of losses due to errors.

§	Environment-friendly: Additive Manufacturing methods cause less wastage of material. Some materials are recyclable and manufacturers are constantly working on developing new materials that have reduced environmental impactDr. Rashmi Sharma further added “The rapid and exponential increase in demand for 3D Printing services will also see a sharp increase in demand for professionals trained in skills related to 3D production and design. This field has huge potential for young engineering graduates and design students. What is today a technology in its nascent stage, will become mainstream in a very short period. 3D Printing will become an essential part of prototyping, design, and production in most manufacturing sectors. This is the perfect time to develop skill and expertise in this technology in order to be well-placed as the demand for professionals scales up.”

The CoE works with organizations to develop people, products, processes and technology. It brings together Government, academia, graduate students, professionals, start-ups, leading industry organizations and technology providers in order to a) generate pertinent skills for Industry 4.0, b) help organizations transform to be future-ready, c) connect MSMEs to a global partner, d) to network, e) to work with start-ups to turn ideas into businesses and f) to carry out R&D. The CoE has partnered with leading technology providers, Universities, start-up ecosystems, technology experts and academicians from around the world, thus having a profound expertise in developing talent and delivering specific solutions for students, MSMEs, corporates and start-ups.

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