Henkel Consumer Goods Leverages Additive Manufacturing To Increase Productivity, Reduce Lead Time And Cut Costs
The Henkel Consumer Goods team utilized a labeling bottle plate, a customized component that houses bottles while the labels are secured. Traditionally, this component was manufactured using CNC machining. This method posed some challenges for the team because the lead time for a single component was 12 weeks.
In addition to the long lead-time, each part was made from stainless steel or aluminum. Making these parts using CNC machining requires a new block of material every time, resulting in astronomically high material costs, machine usage, and significant waste.
The team working in the supply chain for Consumer Goods needed to find a
new solution to reduce lead time, cut costs, and reduce waste.
The Consumer Goods team needed to move away from traditional manufacturing methods to solve their problems. Utilizing Additive manufacturing, specifically the DLP process, allowed the team to minimize inventory and reduce costs by printing replacements on demand. The team ultimately choose LOCTITE 3D 3172 HDT50 High Impact in Gray as the most suitable material from the LOCTITE 3D Printing portfolio. A durable photopolymer, LOCTITE 3D 3172 enables the creation of functional parts with high stiffness, superior surface finish, and excellent impact resistance. Additionally, parts made in this material can be machined, tapped, or polished, making it ideal for industrial applications.
The new and improved labeling bottle plates were created by leveraging LOCTITE 3D 3172 and the DLP printing process on the Stratasys Origin One printer. Using an additive process instead of more traditional subtractive manufacturing methods, the Consumer Goods team accelerated go-to-market time, reduced costs, and eliminated the tooling limitations. Additionally, the team learned that using photopolymers is much more efficient than other technologies while still providing the excellent surface finish and dimensional accuracy required for this particular part.
The Consumer Goods team realized an additive manufacturing process’s key benefits: significant savings and lead time reduction. They also gained first-hand experience with photopolymer printing, learning that LOCTITE 3D materials withstand real-life environmental factors better than traditional CNC machined parts.
With the combination of the exceptional print quality achievable on the Origin One and highperformance resins from LOCTITE, the team reduced lead time by eight weeks for replacement parts. They also enjoyed newfound freedom to create on-demand replacements, eliminating the need to carry inventory. Additionally, they can continue to improve product performance over time with the ability to iterate designs quickly with an Additive Manufacturing process, enabled by LOCTITE 3D Printing materials.