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Leveraging Additive Manufacturing to Take Control of the Supply Chain in Renewable Energy

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Unprecedented disruptions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have spotlighted the brittle global supply chain, and proved manufacturers need an agile and innovative approach with technology. One example of a manufacturer that has taken control of its supply chain with technology is Vestas — the world’s largest on- and offshore wind turbine and blade manufacturer, employing more than 7,000 people with headquarters in Denmark, several regional offices and 23 manufacturing plants worldwide. 

Vestas needed a better solution for manufacturing inspection-gauge tools and end-use parts. Wind turbines are massive and expensive machines that must function reliably with minimal downtime in order to be as effective as possible. Prior to adopting 3D printing technology, Vestas relied on numerous inspection gauges at its manufacturing facilities and installation sites, sourced from multiple vendors around the world. The finished parts were sent to the various Vestas sites, inspected for compliance and, once approved, put to use. Unfortunately, some of the final parts supplied by local manufacturers were not 100% up to the correct specifications and failed final inspection, resulting in cumbersome delays. 

Vestas turned to Markforged, creator of The Digital Forge, and found itself a true partner in achieving its vision of direct digital manufacturing (DDM). Representatives from both organizations will provide an in-depth review and analysis of how additive manufacturing transformed the Vestas manufacturing process, while providing key takeaways to help other manufacturers evaluate how 3D printing can create unprecedented efficiencies. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Apply learnings shared and assess specific steps that can be taken to improve their manufacturing processes, while taking control of their supply chain.
  • Evaluate and implement additive manufacturing solutions — hardware, software and materials — to solve their own, unique supply chain and manufacturing issues.
  • Gain information enabling them to review their current manufacturing strategies and compare those to benefits realized through shift to a distributed manufacturing model.
  • Greg Iannuccilli
    Enterprise Client Executive
  • Jeremy Haight
    Principal Engineer & Specialist of Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Concepts