Additive MES software provides several benefits, from the optimization of material and machine resources to the end-to-end traceability of printed parts.
Some benefits concern only the manufacturer; the maximization of throughput, for example, results in businesses processing more production jobs and increasing their profitability. Other benefits concern the customer as well as the manufacturer, either by directly improving the end product or by providing information and transparency to both parties.
Different additive MES solutions may put more or less emphasis on certain benefits depending on what kind of end user they are designed for.
Connection and standardization
Most additive MES software is built to connect processes like order management, machine management, and post-processing, using standards and protocols to ensure smooth communication between each step.
Users benefit from grouping these separate processes under one piece of software, rather than having to move information manually between different stages through emails, vocal instructions, or other means.
Optimization of resources
Working without MES requires these jobs to be assigned based on human calculations, or worse, arbitrarily.
Good MES software ensures jobs are completed efficiently, using the least possible power and printing materials, leading to cost savings.
Maximization of throughput
Strength and weakness identification
For example, MES software can keep an accurate log of print failures; machines with an above-average failure rate can then be given maintenance, replaced altogether, or simply used less frequently.
Control over production
This also allows users to seamlessly make dramatic shifts in production strategy based on market trends, which is a core principle of agile manufacturing.
Additionally, suites are often compatible with a range of third-party hardware. This means users can, for example, schedule jobs for Multi Jet Fusion systems in one room and Selective Laser Sintering systems in another.
MES software also provides a pathway to Industry 4.0, where 3D printers can be digitally linked to other robotic factory equipment.
This is beneficial to manufacturers — who can improve their internal organization to increase efficiency — and to customers, who can get a clear picture of the provenance and lifecycle of their parts.
Simplified up-front quotes
Providing fast responses to customer RFQs can benefit both parties: customers get shorter turnarounds, which gives them incentive to use the manufacturer’s services.
Accurate delay prediction
Customers benefit from knowing when their order will arrive, and this reduces the need for ongoing dialogue between the two parties via calls or emails.
Compliance and certification