SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTION
Imagine a scenario where lives depend upon a mission being flown off the deck of an aircraft carrier, far out at sea. The only available jet has just been grounded with a failed critical component, and there is no replacement part inventory on-board the vessel.
Traditionally, Moog, a worldwide designer and manufacturer of precision control components and systems for the military industry, would be at the mercy of a costly and complicated supply chain in order to receive the required part, with projected lead times of six weeks or more. They needed a solution that offered better streamlining and cost-efficiency in the procurement process.
Quickly realizing that supply chain inefficiencies could not be easily overhauled, a more sophisticated and innovative solution materialized. Rather than wait for a part to be forged, machined, and shipped, on-board 3D printing technology would enable on-site manufacturing in a matter of days or even hours rather than months.
By effectively reducing the supply chain to a single step – one where specialized parts aren’t manufactured and delivered according to their traditional supply chain but, instead, 3D printed on an as-needed basis – relationships with original equipment manufacturers evolved as well. OEMs would continue to create and maintain ownership of replacement parts, but as digital files available for download, instead of physical inventory.
The uniqueness of the project required the creation of an entirely new decentralized marketplace to deliver digital files while maintaining security and reliability and satisfying significant regulatory requirements.
Moog made a deliberate decision to be a disruptor versus being disrupted. 3D printing technology and enablement upended lethargic business models and bloated supply chains by investing in emerging technology and innovation. Cost and time savings alone have given back tenfold to the company. Fixtures that cost thousands of dollars to procure in the past can now be manufactured on-board for hundreds in a fraction of the time.