Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi consider ten leading companies’ activities in 3D printing.
One of a company’s most important attributes is its reputation. Interestingly most of the companies in the Global 100 Reputation Track are familiar to readers of Fabbaloo.
RepTrak 100 is the world’s most comprehensive reputation study, compiled over the past 11 years.
“Stakeholders have access to more information than ever before, which is empowering them to make more informed decisions. Companies must not only deliver a quality product, but also show that they are doing so in an ethical and globally considerate way.” – RepTrack 100
Factors considered included relevancy, leadership, among other qualities that can be found here.
Here are the top ten RepTrack companies and their 3D printing activities. We have put together our own compilation of these reputable leaders and why the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry is integral in their success.
A class act, LEGO shines but doesn’t shy away from hard work either. An iconic brand that nourishes its heritage, LEGO doesn’t just manufacture toys, it also innovates with a proven commitment to communities via educational programs and sustainability through the reinvention of its products. LEGO makes extensive use of 3D printing technologies.
Every Rolex tells a story. And Rolex doesn’t just tell time, it tells history. The luxury brand watchmaker lives for greatness and its reputation is impeccable. No other watchmaker commands this level of popular brand awareness and the quality associated with it. Critical parts for vintage Rolex watches can be manufactured using 3D printing.
A luxury sports car manufacturer, based in Maranello, nobody needs to explain what Ferrari does. “Essere Ferrari,” means being Ferrari. “You are the fuel. We are the competition.” says the company’s tagline. And it’s right, Ferrari is the one to beat. Its namesake has become an adjective for anything fast and furious – anything driven.
Originally a workshop for precision mechanics and electrical engineering, Bosch has announced a relationship with Berlin-based BigRep to allow their 3D printers to work within industrial production operations. BigRep has been quite successful in this niche, as they’ve been able to identify a number of interesting use cases for their larger 3D printing equipment. Bosch can solidify this success.
Fulfilling dreams through motorcycling, Harley-Davidson rides on its distinguished products exceeding customer expectations. For over a century Harley has remained ahead of its competitors through the use of technology. In our recent article, we covered some of the 3D printing developments at the legendary company. With ongoing trade wars, Harley is a frequent target and, as such, uses 3D printing to balance global production.
A picture is worth a thousand words. With their firm belief that there are no limits to what an image can do, Canon has taken its imaging expertise into the 21st century. Technological advancements including 3D printing, as well as environmental-conscious decisions and community engagement give Canon an impeccable global reputation.
A 3D printed sneaker, just decades ago, would have been labeled as science fiction. Adidas has been helping change that. For example, the Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoe illustrates what technology and footwear can accomplish together. With its eco-friendly philosophy and strong financials, Adidas has been trending for quite some time now. Its reputation precedes it as well.
Whether it is an epic tale or a cosmic superhero, everyone has heard of Disney. Providing endless entertainment for about a century now, the reputable Disney conglomerate is known for its “magic.” All things Disney includes theme parks, resorts, movies, television, characters, games and much more. Tune in for Disney’s next great thing.
Microsoft has transformed our lives over the years – for the better. Whether it is the laptop, phone or whatever device you are using, Microsoft is the operating system of choice for so many global users. Bill Gates was a visionary. Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Nuance, the world’s leading special technology company, which will enable Microsoft to enhance all of its products.
Sony has been known for its high-quality televisions for decades now. But its reputation has grown and now includes almost all electronics (e.g., cameras, gaming, headphones, wireless speakers, home theater and so on). But it’s not all fun and games with Sony. Technology is an integral part of the company’s global success.
The Research & Development Tax Credit
Whether it is used for creating and testing prototypes or for final production, 3D printing is a great indicator that R&D Credit eligible activities are taking place. Companies implementing this technology at any point should consider taking advantage of R&D Tax Credits.
Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:
- Must be technological in nature
- Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business
- Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process
- Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives
Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.
On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit can be used to offset Alternative Minimum tax for companies with revenue below $50MM and, startup businesses can obtain up to $250,000 per year in payroll tax cash rebates.
Living Up To One’s Reputation
The global brands listed above have all established themselves through hard work, technological advancement, and some sort of innovation and inspiration in their respective fields. For these global giants, their reputations often precede them. If they want to live up to their reputations, they will continue to pursue advanced technologies, including 3D printing and additive manufacturing. It is imperative that 3D printing is an integral part of many of these companies’ activities and their excellent reputations, in turn, stand to benefit from 3D printing investments.