3D printing firms SLM and EOS partner with SAP in distributed manufacturing effort

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Germany-headquartered 3D printing specialist SLM Solutions Group is partnering with business software giant SAP in a distributed manufacturing effort, joining fellow 3D printing technology developer EOS.

SLM Solutions (UK agent Laser Lines) will use the beta version of the SAP Distributed Manufacturing application and will, in turn, provide SAP with feedback. SAP Distributed Manufacturing is part of a cooperation between SAP and the logistics enterprise UPS and aims to strengthen 3D printing in the industrial manufacturing sector.

SAP opened up ‘early access’ to use of the application in January, with SLM’s involvement flowing from that and explains its effort thus: “The SAP Distributed Manufacturing early access programme intends to provide discrete manufacturers, industrial 3D printing companies and service providers, materials providers, postal companies and global logistics networks with standard and scalable business processes for digitising, approving, certifying and manufacturing digital parts in an end-to-end digital manufacturing process. The application is part of the SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio [of applications].”

Explains Henner Schöneborn, member of the board of SLM Solutions Group AG: "When SAP offered us the cooperation, we accepted immediately. We are happy to support the further development of the software SAP Distributed Warehouse. SAP has the same goals as SLM Solutions: the further strengthening of 3D printing in industrial manufacturing."

German 3D printing firm, EOS, is also involved in the early access effort. Says Nikolai Zaepernick, senior vice president, EOS Central Europe: “This SAP program is a perfect fit for us. It provides an ideal collaboration platform to merge supply and demand for the industrial 3D printing technology we offer. As a leader in this field, EOS contributes a wealth of deep and long-standing technology experience. The platform [SAP Distributed Manufacturing], on the other hand, enables us to integrate our technology into existing supply chains and production environments on the way to becoming an established way of manufacturing.”

Some 30 companies are working with SAP in its early access programme, and the business software expert is expanding the initiative to offer more organisations the ability to test and approve 3D printing prior to the anticipated general availability later this year of the new application from SAP.

The company says of involvement in the SAP Distributed Manufacturing early access programme: “Participating companies can explore opportunities to drive innovation by rethinking product design, optimising manufacturing and logistics processes, and creating new business models. They can ‘right size’ their inventory for slow-moving parts while meeting time-sensitive customer needs, take advantage of opportunities to easily produce unique custom goods, and improve production consistency with high quality, low-cost certified parts.”