ICYMI: Avnet's Exclusive One-on-One with HP's CSCO Stuart Pann

Pann talks 3D printing, sustainability and HP's evolving managed services strategy
Monday, May 7, 2018 9:33 am MST

In the April 2018 edition of Avnet's Supply Chain Navigator journal, Avnet featured an exclusive interview with Stuart Pann, Chief Supply Chain Officer, HP Inc. Pann shared his insights on some of the supply chain strategies that he believes have been crucial in driving the “reinvention” of HP.

Here's an excerpt:

SCN: A recent study by HP and ATKearney estimates that $4-6 trillion (USD) of the global economy will be disrupted and redistributed in the next 10 years due to the accelerating growth of 3D printing. What is your take on the additive manufacturing opportunity?

SP: As a supply chain manager, when I look at a relatively new technology like 3D printing, I say, ‘show me the numbers.’ If the math, in terms of economies, doesn’t make sense, I am not going to do it. Honestly, I have been somewhat surprised by how quickly the price/performance ratio has improved with each new iteration of this technology. When we produced our first 3D printer, we determined that it made more economic sense to 3D print nearly half of the parts for that printer. That meant around 60 parts in the printer being produced with Multi Jet Fusion. Now, because the economics have become more compelling, and our design techniques have advanced so much, our second-generation printer now has 140 3D-printed parts, and we expect that number to keep growing. It’s essentially the printer that prints itself. There is real poetry to using your own technology to generate competitive advantage. We are creating a microcosm with our own business for the way we see the entire $12 trillion global manufacturing industry being digitally transformed from top to bottom.

I think the aspect of 3D printing that many people may not understand is that this is not just about replacing metal parts with plastic parts. Additive design is an entirely different approach. So, we can look at an old unit and find a section that had maybe six different parts, 14 screws and a couple of gaskets. We have figured out how to turn that into a singular 3D printed part, which is a massive efficiency on many levels. It enables us to realize significant cost savings by reducing the overall number of parts in a bill of materials (BOM). Then by doing what we call topological design, we further increase the efficiencies by removing all the excess material that is not essential to the operation of that part. In many cases, these parts don’t just work “as well,” but better than the original because there is no unnecessary weight or mass.

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