On this segment of Scale with Sergio, host and Marketscale’s Executive VP of Operations, Sergio Reyes, visits once again with Dr. Raymundo Arróyave. Boasting a BS degree in Mechanical & Electrical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estuidios Superiores de Monterrey, and an MS and PhD in Materials Science from MIT, Dr. Arróyave is currently a Professor of Materials Science at Texas A&M University. This Scale installment is not only a follow up of a previous episode where Arróyave and Sergio discussed the critical role a secure supply chain can play in a company’s success, but today, the two long time friends also talk about the positive and lucrative implications 3D printing can have on that supply chain.

Crucial to any business that makes and sells products, a supply chain represents the steps it takes to get a product or service from its original state to the customer. It’s the vital link between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product to the final buyer—covering everything from inventory to sales—and includes different activities, people, entities, information, and resources.

Organizations are always seeking ways to optimize their supply chain and gain a competitive advantage, however, in today’s world, supply chains have not only been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but trade agreements and other current world events are affecting the cohesion of global and domestic supply chains on a daily basis. 3D printing technology (or additive manufacturing), though, can provide these organizations with the edge they need to keep supply chains intact and remain competitive in an uncertain world.

For those that don’t already know, additive manufacturing is the process of making three dimensional (3D) solid objects from a digital file. By incorporating additive manufacturing, supply chains have the flexibility to scale inventory at will while decreasing a business’ reliance on warehouses. Simply put, when a part or product is required, the order is sent to the 3D printer and produced on the spot, reducing complexity, saving on production costs, enhancing lead times and improving time-to-market.

With an area of expertise that covers everything from computational materials science and simulation to machine learning-assisted materials discovery and design, Arróyave’s recent focus has been on the design of metallic alloys and processes for additive manufacturing. As such, he and Sergio discuss how the creation of an efficient and flexible supply chain is critical, how it can differentiate an organization from its competitors, and the many advantages to a supply chain that can be gleaned through 3D printing.

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