3D Hubs, an online manufacturing platform that provides engineers with on-demand access to a global network of Additive Manufacturing, injection moulding and other technology partners, has opened two new warehouses in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands to provide engineers with low-risk access to overseas manufacturing.
The openings come as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to force companies to consider diversifying and distributing their supply chain. The new Chicago and Amsterdam warehouses are expected to enable 3D Hubs to eliminate customs delays by managing customs clearance, and enable additional quality inspections for its global network of manufacturing facilities.
Over the last twenty years, the appeal for engineering businesses to outsource their production overseas has dramatically increased, the company explains. China’s global manufacturing output has increased by 11% in the space of ten years, and India’s manufacturing economy is anticipated to be worth $1 trillion by 2025.
This growth is due, in part, to the cost competitiveness these countries can offer, as well as the manufacturing expertise they have developed over the past decades. Supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have only accelerated this trend, as companies seek to spread risk and build a resilient supply chain.
However, outsourcing overseas has traditionally posed several risks and challenges, including the identification and quality vetting of dependable suppliers, and the management of communications across time zones and languages.
In addition to eliminating these challenges, which would often fall to engineers and disrupt workflows, 3D Hubs is said to be the first online manufacturing platform to successfully remove two of the biggest challenges related to overseas production: customs delays and quality assurance.
The Chicago and Amsterdam locations will handle all customs clearance, as well as hosting a quality control centre to review all parts and ensure they are to specification before reaching the customer.
Bram de Zwart, CEO and co-founder of 3D Hubs, stated, “For a long time, companies have sought to outsource their manufacturing overseas, but this has come with the risk of customs delays and inconsistent quality.”
“This year we decided to solve this industry challenge once and for all,” he continued. “By opening these new warehouses, 3D Hubs grants engineers and supply chain managers truly reliable access to overseas manufacturing.”