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DSV's 3D Exploration Lab

With a new 3D Exploration Lab opening in the Netherlands DSV explores how 3D printing can benefit our customers now and in the future.

New technologies are emerging and disrupting every industry. Transport and logistics are no different and DSV has already implemented several new technologies like Automation and Internet of Things. With our new 3D Exploration Lab, DSV is looking into how 3D printing in the supply chain can add value to our customers’ operations.

The 3D Exploration Lab is based in Moerdijk, the Netherlands, and will be a hub for discovering and mapping the opportunities 3D printing – also known as an additive manufacturing technology - can bring to DSV’s service offerings. Business Development Director, Erik van Wunnik explains:

 “As the name indicates, we will explore how to use 3D printing in the supply chain through real customer cases. We will examine how to leverage technology and get a better understanding of the cost-to-serve price. The knowledge will be extremely valuable when creating a service offering for our customers if - or when - they need transport and logistics services related to 3D printing.” 

Exploring together with our customers

At this point, five large DSV customers have joined the Exploration Lab to explore which additive manufacturing initiatives could add value to their supply chains. The 3D printing company, Stratasys, is closely associated with the 3D Exploration Lab and takes part in exploring and mapping each customer’s specific options within 3D printing through workshops and ongoing testing.

3D printing of spare parts

As an end-use manufacturing technology, 3D printing is still in its infancy, but advancements and new types of implementations are happing fast. Combined with synthetic biology and nanotechnology, 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the dynamics of production, logistics, stock management and more.

3D printing could benefit supply chain operations in many ways, but especially within manufacturing and storing of spare parts it may create a real change in the operation. Erik van Wunnik, comments:

“Maintaining inventories of infrequently ordered parts is an expensive expenditure for many suppliers. By 3D printing spare parts locally and on-demand, directly at the warehouse, and then transporting it directly to the consumer, would both save inventory cost and create higher end-customer satisfaction. I see a lot of potential in 3D printing and I am very excited to go on this journey with our customers”

  

The first pilot project to implement a 3D printing solution for a DSV customer will begin in early 2018.

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