Jabil, one of the largest manufacturing service providers in the world, is overcoming production challenges with cost-efficient Ultimaker 3D printers. By incorporating Ultimaker into their workflow, the team at their Auburn Hills facility was able to cut production time down by an impressive 80% and saw a 30% reduction in the cost of tooling.
Jabil’s Auburn Hills engineers understood early on that having to wait three weeks for a machine shop to produce a tool—up to two months for complicated parts—was significantly reducing their ability to create custom products in a timely manner. In order to better serve their healthcare and industrial customers, it was essential that they found a way to speed up production time while also cutting costs.
Additionally, Auburn Hills engineers often needed to produce one-off products and tools that were unnecessarily expensive to outsource and faced issues with sharing sensitive customer design information with outside vendors. Always striving to implement the latest technologies, Jabil’s additive manufacturing team realized that 3D printing was the solution to these challenges; one that would allow them to achieve larger batch sizes with greater product longevity.
A low-cost, high-quality solution
When they integrated Ultimaker into their processes, Jabil’s Auburn Hills team saw almost direct benefits from in-house 3D printing. After a simple setup process, they were able to print spare parts that same day and noticed the quality immediately. "Ultimaker’s 3D printers enable Jabil to bring production of tooling, fixtures and manufacturing aids in-house,” says Tim DeRosett, Director of Product Management, Jabil Additive.
“We were drawn to Ultimaker by the combination of low cost, ease of use and high-quality output of their printers. This enables us to accelerate the new product introduction process, which results in better outcomes for customers.”
The decision to incorporate Ultimaker as an affordable, professional alternative to traditional methods reduced production time from weeks to a mere four days. Now, they're able to quickly create the parts and tools they need at a fraction of what it would cost to outsource to a machine shop.
Enhanced production and design versatility
With design freedom and flexibility at their fingertips, engineers at the facility have the capacity to iterate swiftly and optimize machines for greater production needs. The seamless integration of 3D printing also allows their designers to take customer product CAD models and create tooling ahead of time, preparing well in advance to shorten the production process.
One of their first successful 3D printing and CAD design projects was for a medical technologies customer that needed to improve efficiency for their mobile imaging system. With the ability to model and print fixtures and tools quickly using Ultimaker, Jabil engineers found the product testing phase much easier when ensuring quality and part performance. Within hours, the engineers created a working, validated assembly to present to the customer; a process that would’ve previously taken the team months to complete.
As they continue to further integrate 3D printing into their workflow processes, Jabil is excited to see what the future holds for additive manufacturing. John Kawola, President of Ultimaker North America, is also eager to see how Jabil will continue to grow into the 3D printing space.
"We are thrilled to have Jabil as a valued partner as desktop 3D printing finds its way into applications beyond just prototyping. As one of the leading manufacturers in the world, we are pleased that they are benefiting from what we offer and we, in turn, have learned a great deal from their use and applications.”
Download Jabil’s case study to learn more about how 3D printing has transformed their Auburn Hills facility.