By T Murrali
The 3rd edition of Stratasys India User Forum in Bengaluru recently had participation from over 620 industry leaders and end-users. Organised by Stratasys, a global leader in 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing (AM), the Forum was a platform for professionals to exchange views on the latest 3D printing trends, applications, and best practices across key sectors in India.
Michael Agam, President South Asia, Stratasys, said, “The User Forum brought together several leading brands such as Maruti Suzuki, Ashok Leyland and Honda Cars in the Indian ecosystem, that have used our products to innovate, take their businesses to new heights and improve the overall customer experience. This reiterates why India is a key market for Stratasys and what kind of opportunities we look forward to in 2020.”
Leading customers from the automotive, healthcare and education sectors attended the event and delivered keynotes. Ganpat I Patel, President and Patron-in-Chief, Ganpat University, emphasized the need for constant innovation and announced plans to set up a new ‘3D Printing Centre of Excellence’ at the University in partnership with Stratasys India.
Saurabh Singh, Head of Design Studio at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, highlighted how the brand has been able to leverage 3D printing to provide high quality, ergonomically suited and distinctly personalized offerings, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience.
Sundaresan, Vice-President, Electric Vehicles and eMobility Solutions, Ashok Leyland, said, AM helped the company save about 14,138 days of hour-utilization and nearly Rs 74 lakh in manufacturing costs. He said Ashok Leyland has made clutch housing using AM to carry out fitment checks and it helped to contain the time to three days against close to 60 days in the conventional method. AM helped also to keep the time schedules for the development of blower cover and meet the CMVR regulations. The company made prototypes and parts for the initial production lot. The whole exercise was completed in a couple of days against 90 days in the conventional method. Similarly, the three-axis intake pipe was made in a day against three months. It also made scaled concept of seven-speed gearbox having geometric complexity. For electric vehicles the company made traction motor stator sector in AM, which helped in physically measuring slot-fill, evaluate ease of winding and measure external portion of end-winding. “For smaller volume also AM is economical,” he said. For advanced mobility it plays a key role in combustion chamber, Sundaresan added.
Bhushan Chandna, Manager, Business Excellence, Honda Cars, spoke about how the brand has spearheaded the use of additive manufacturing in the auto sector, especially with the use of 3D printed jigs and fixtures.
Dr Rahul Jain, Associate Consultant Department of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Medanta – The Medicity, shed light on the impact of 3D printing on facial reconstruction and how the quality of healthcare services offered in India can be enhanced with this technology.
Gina Scala, Marketing Director, Global Education, Stratasys, said, India has a huge advantage due to its large number of young people. What the industry wants is a sufficiently well prepared workforce, which can be achieved by bridging relationship between students and future employers. Stratasys is positioned to get the best of industry grade equipment and skilled workforce.
On the success of the Forum, Guy Yair, EVP, EMEA & APJ, Stratasys, said, “The 3D printing industry is on a growth trajectory and we expect high double-digit growth in India during the next five years, despite the economic slowdown. The Stratasys User Forum offers a great opportunity for innovators and decision makers to put their minds together and I am happy to note that we continue to witness higher participation with each passing year.”
Addressing the media during a roundtable on the sidelines of the event, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Stratasys India & SEA, said, “According to 6Wresearch, the Indian 3D Printer Market is projected to record $79 Million by 2021. This growth is anticipated to be driven primarily by the adoption of industrial 3D printing in prototyping, manufacturing (jigs & fixtures) and end-use parts. We plan to add 50 more customers in 2020 and are also seeing an increasing demand for 3D printers and related technologies in Tier-2 cities such as Trivandrum, Trichy and Sonepat. We believe this is a great time to be in the 3D printing industry and look forward to capitalizing these opportunities.”
Other senior leaders including Fred Fischer, Director of Products, Applications and Technology, Stratasys, and Ben Klein, Medical Models Product Manager, Stratasys, delivered keynotes at the event. During the discussions at the Forum, the Stratasys leaders shared insights on the company’s strategy for 2020 and said how the company sees a $12 billion opportunity in the metal 3D printing industry. They also mentioned how the company invested about $90 million in research and development in 2018, one of the biggest budgets in the industry.