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Awaited SAP Distributed Manufacturing Ecosystem for 3D Printing Launches

After announcing it late last year and establishing high profile partnership in the AM industry, enterprise software global leader SAP launched SAP Distributed Manufacturing, a new application resulting from its co-innovation with customers and service providers to make 3D printing a seamless part of digital manufacturing.

“As 3D printing technology advances beyond prototyping, more companies are rethinking their manufacturing and supply networks to take advantage of cost-effective local production, customization and rapid delivery to meet changing customer expectations,” said Dr. Tanja Rueckert, executive vice president, IoT and Digital Supply Chain, SAP. “After successfully co-innovating with our customers, we are now delivering a solution for manufacturers to have a standard and scalable business process to intelligently manage design, material, pricing, procurement and logistics decisions in a collaborative network to drive more effective Industry 4.0 strategies.”

A collaborative environment that standardizes industrial preproduction and approval, the application connects engineering design and procurement teams with 3D printing service providers to optimize design and integrate order creation and procurement.

Part of the SAP Leonardo portfolio for the Internet of Things (IoT), SAP Distributed Manufacturing provides a scalable process for manufacturers to collaborate with 3D printing companies, service and materials providers, and OEMs in open or private environments. Through integration with SAP S/4HANA, it supports the entire end-to-end, quote-to-contract process, enriching standard procurement objects with all required details on how to make the part through additive manufacturing. The general availability of the application follows successful validation in early access and adoption phases with more than 45 participating customers and service providers, including UPS.

Expanding Ecosystem

As part of the announcement, SAP also showcased expanded partnerships with HP Inc. and Jabil. SAP and HP share a common vision for reinventing the enterprise supply chain, unlocking the breakthrough economics of 3D production at scale and accelerating time to market for end customers. As a showcase SAP partner for 3D printing of industrial-quality plastic parts, HP plans to collaborate on eliminating friction in the process of evaluating and sourcing 3D print technology through integration with SAP’s enterprise systems and network of partners.

Jabil is co-innovating as both customer and partner with SAP to create end-to-end industrial digital manufacturing with real-time visibility to the machine level on the production floor. Combining Jabil’s manufacturing expertise with SAP Leonardo and manufacturing solutions, Jabil can create a digital twin to effectively manage the entire lifecycle of a part from design to production and recycling.

Among the first to collaborate with SAP in auditing and certifying the processes of 3D printing service providers in the network is TÜV NORD, a Hannover-based technical services provider with operations in more than 70 countries, which plans to offer ISO 9001 certification adapted for distributed manufacturing.

“For customers it’s enormously important that the manufactured components should be of consistently high quality so that they can be safely and reliably used,” said Ulf Theike, general manager of TÜV NORD Systems. “To this end, demonstrably reliable processes and certification from trusted providers provide assurance that customers require.”

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to the boardroom, warehouse to the storefront, desktop to a mobile device – SAP software empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

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