Many products and industries cannot tolerate a failure during normal operation. In these instances, a product or operation must have redundancy built in. An extreme example of this is in the aircraft industry. If a critical component fails and there is no backup, the plane will crash and lives will be lost. Because of this, aircraft manufacturers include one or more backups for critical systems like flight control. A similar approach can have great benefits for the slightly lower stakes world of manufacturing.
On a factory floor, having a critical piece of equipment go down can have disastrous effects if there is no way to continue operations without it. The floor can come to a halt until the equipment can be brought back into action. One way people get around this problem is to have multiple pieces of each type of equipment or alternate methods that can be used to carry on until repairs can be made. While production may slow, it does not cease and a company can keep money flowing through the door while machines are serviced.
When a manufacturer decides to add additive manufacturing capabilities to their floor, they have to consider the consequences of having issues with the equipment. With many solutions on the market today, you get one build volume for a given amount of floor space. We discussed this in a previous post. One downside to this approach is that if the printer has any sort of problem, all of the parts coming off of it will have defects, or operations could halt altogether.
The Print Pod, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Rather than providing one large build envelope, it provides six smaller ones. These envelopes are large enough for many applications and come with the benefit of adding redundancy to the process. If one 3D printer has a problem, it can be removed (without tools) for service while the remaining five continue without interruption. Once the problem unit is fixed, the printer can rejoin the pod and get back to work.
Another way that the Print Pod brings a level of redundancy to shop floors is the optional UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply). With this option installed, the pod can continue working for several minutes in the event of a power outage. This gives enough time for power to come back on if the outage is short or for your emergency generator to kick on. This means that it is possible for production to continue even if your primary power system fails for a time.
When production and cash flow are on the line, having a certain amount of redundancy built into your operations can be immensely important. With the Print Pod’s modular design and optional UPS, you can all but guarantee that work can continue even in the face of failures and power outages.
Want to learn more how the Print Pod can fit your business needs? Have an expert representative contact you today.