Xometry released a survey with a rather incredible finding about offshoring.
Xometry is a growing manufacturing service that makes extensive use of 3D printing among other making technologies. They’re one of the top companies on our weekly 3D print leaderboard. They periodically do surveys of industry to help guide their strategy, and they often publish the results.
Their survey found that an astonishing 67% of medical device manufacturers have intentions of reshoring their operations within the next twelve months.
This is quite a change from prior years when the game for many years was to lower costs and increase speed by offshoring manufacturing to other regions with low-cost labor and equipment.
Evidently the effects of the pandemic hit this particular industry hard: supply chains were broken and parts could not be obtained for long periods. This would have been particularly difficult for the medical device industry, where some patients can’t really wait for their medical implant.
As a result, the survey found these companies intend on building up their own capabilities locally to avoid future supply chain problems.
However, setting up a comprehensive manufacturing operation is a daunting task and it’s likely that many of these companies would be hard-pressed to do so within their own company.
That’s where Xometry comes in, as they can provide a variety of manufacturing services to take on that role. This could be temporary, while a company gets their own operations up to speed, or permanent if not.
In addition, the survey found growing interest in advanced manufacturing tools. Xometry said:
“As they seek to shore up their domestic operations, American medical device manufacturers surveyed are turning to additive manufacturing, injection molding, and CNC machining. These processes offer customization, speed, and cost-effectiveness, which are crucial for navigating a constantly changing marketplace, the benchmark survey finds.”
While this report shows intent in the medical device manufacturing space, it is almost certainly taking place in other industries as well. The pandemic caused a great shock to the long-established supply chains, and revealed them to be far more fragile than assumed.
Smart companies are now establishing their own manufacturing operations in areas where they can have more control over the system.
And many of those new operations will be using 3D print technology.