Protolabs has invested in a new manufacturing model that will help its growing customer base access advanced production capabilities, reduced part costs, and, importantly, higher volumes.
Protolabs has combined its own, state-of-the-art digital factories in the UK and Europe with a distributed network of manufacturers that is powered by Hubs, transforming the way production at all volumes can be achieved quickly and to the highest quality.
Customers across aerospace, automotive, construction, medical, and renewables can benefit from the new capabilities across CNC machining, injection molding, and 3D printing services by tapping into the digital network.
This complements the low-volume, on-demand manufacturing services already available from Protolabs sites in Telford in the UK and Putzbrunn in Germany.
“As a business, we are fortunate to speak and work with thousands of customers,” said Bjoern Klaas, Vice President, and Managing Director of Protolabs Europe.
“Whether in Europe or worldwide, customers have told us that speed is still a priority when producing parts to support their product innovation or mitigate supply chain pressures.
“However, with the pressure of reduced budgets comes an increased demand for cost-efficient parts, particularly at higher volumes and longer lead times. Our digital network directly addresses that need.
With volume pricing options, customers can lower their overall piece-part price as quantity increases for machined and molded parts. The new manufacturing model provides:
• CNC machining: Tolerances down to ±0.020 mm are available, as is decorative and hard anodizing, surface treatment (black oxide, nickel, painting, chromate coating), and larger quantities. Parts as large as two meters (2000mm x 1500mm x 200mm) and as small as 0.5mm are also supported.
• Injection molding: Demanding molding projects, in need of larger, deeper parts (1200 mm x 700 mm x 300 mm) and more complex parts, are also catered for.
• 3D printing: Fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing is now available via the network for rapid prototyping of cost-efficient parts. This is in addition to Protolabs’ six other plastic and metal additive manufacturing technologies offered through its digital factories.
All of the enhanced manufacturing capabilities are now live and available to customers, who can access the new CNC machining and 3D printing capabilities through protolabs.com, and expanded injection molding options directly through hubs.com.
“Never before has the industry seen a digital manufacturing model quite like this. Protolabs has combined the speed and quality of a service bureau built from the ground up with a highly vetted distributed network of global manufacturers,” said Alex Cappy, Vice President and CEO of Hubs.
“We’re pushing the envelope further than ever before to provide a truly seamless service to customers in the UK and Europe.”
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