Replique announced a new partner network for authorized materials that is a bit different.
Replique is a BASF venture that has developed a powerful system for rapidly implementing digital inventory. That’s a relatively new approach to spare parts where you store the digital design file and print on demand, rather than keeping physical warehouses full of spare parts that may or may not ever be used.
The new partner network initially includes some familiar 3D print material providers, including: LEHVOSS Group, Evonik Industries, Forward AM and igus GmbH. No doubt there will be more joining in the future.
Replique’s manufacturing platform will now use the approved materials, as you might suspect, but there is more to the story.
Replique wants to act as an intelligent layer between the materials vendors and the clients. For example:
“Within the collaboration, Replique analyses customer business cases and requirements. By this, the company identifies, where adjustments or improvements of current materials or the development of new options are necessary to meet the exact needs of end-customers, for example with application specific material tests.
Via its platform, Replique provides the material partners with an anonymized overview of used legacy materials from screening activities in customer onboarding phases. With this knowledge, the partners benefit from an accelerated and more targeted material development process, tailored to the needs of Replique’s customers.”
Replique explained that their customers would thus be the first to benefit from new materials developed within the relationship.
This is quite different from many other distributed manufacturing networks, where the choice of materials is effectively made when choosing the network participant, aside from selecting the type of material. The establishment of a dedicated set of authorized materials used across the entire network provides clients with great assurance their freshly printed spare parts will meet quality standards.
That, in turn, will encourage more companies to delve into the still-new world of digital inventory. While the approach may provide very significant cost savings on part production and warehouse expenses, it is quite different. That difference may be enough of a barrier for some companies to discount digital inventory as a potential solution. However, by ensuring proper materials will be used, Replique adds extra assurance.
That may be just the thing that tips the scales in their favor during sales negotiations.