As the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened and factories worldwide have shut down, many businesses have lost the support of key suppliers – even as demand for critical medical parts and products, from face shields to ventilators, has skyrocketed.
Where can companies find replacement suppliers in such a difficult environment? And how can consortiums of companies from different industries facilitate instant collaboration? Many are turning to 3DEXPERIENCE Make, an online marketplace that matches buyers with qualified suppliers of 3D printed, CNC milled, injection molded, laser-cut, and formed sheet metal parts through a collaborative platform.
“What we are seeing are many people who have lost their supply chain, often because the providers are subject to public health orders to shut down,” said Benoit Schildknecht, Global Marketplace Director for Dassault Systèmes. “These people are going to 3DEXPERIENCE Make, which is our public marketplace, to manage their daily business, helping buyers find new suppliers and suppliers find new buyers.”
Schildknecht’s team also is working with several newly formed consortiums of companies – automakers and ventilator manufacturers, for example – who need shared workspaces to enable their life-saving collaborations. These consortiums can be supported through the private side of the marketplace, 3DEXPERIENCE Make Enterprise.
“If you are creating a consortium of companies from completely different industries to increase the supply of critical medical products, you have no existing ways to work together,” Schildknecht said. “How will the medical device designers contact the factories? How will you share models and data? How will you plan how to retool the factory or train the assembly workers? 3DEXPERIENCE Make is great for this because we can quickly set up a private, dedicated ecosystem for the consortium that provides everything its members need to collaborate on such tasks, almost immediately.”
In addition to sharing models, developing strategies and keeping everyone informed about a project’s progress, the marketplace helps participants identify qualified suppliers, solicit quotes and award work. Consortium members can invite their own suppliers into their ecosystem, or involve any of the suppliers who are already participating in 3DEXPERIENCE Make to join their initiative.
After uploading a 3D model, a user on either the public or private marketplace selects a process for making their part and the material used to make it. 3DEXPERIENCE Make then identifies only those suppliers prequalified to perform the work. Some suppliers provide instant, automated quotes. By making small changes in their design, users can instantly see how the pricing changes. Or they can choose up to three suppliers and invite them to submit custom bids.
Once a supplier is chosen, all collaborative work happens through the marketplace, eliminating the need for emails and automatically recording the complete project history.
The marketplace works with 3D models created in any CAD system. For SOLIDWORKS and CATIA users, the marketplace can be accessed directly from the user’s CAD software. SOLIDWORKS requires a special add-in, which is currently being offered free here to SOLIDWORKS users. Access to the public marketplace, 3DEXPERIENCE Make, is available here.
COVID-19 consortiums seeking to establish a private ecosystem should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“If you are working against COVID-19, just contact us as that address,” Schildknecht said. “We have seven people staffing it, and we will do whatever we can to help.”