CORPORATE OVERVIEW

molecular_devices

At 3D Systems, a leading additive manufacturing solutions company, artificial intelligence is powering fast and predictive service that helps the company meet uptime demands while empowering engineers on the job. For over 30 years, 3D Systems has been delivering cutting-edge 3D printers, print materials, on-demand manufacturing services, and manufacturing software that allow companies to optimize their designs, transform their workflows, bring innovative products to market and drive new business models.

CUSTOMER QUICK FACTS

Company:
3D Systems

Industry:
Mechanical Engineering

Size:
1,001 – 5,000 employees

Headquarters:
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Website:
www.3dsystems.com

“All our new products are connected. We are using that data to proactively know what is going on. The better the data is, the better the printing system is. Now we can maintain uptime and resolve customer issues much more quickly.”

Mark Hessinger
VP of Global Customer Services

Challenge

“Everything in manufacturing now depends on service,” Mark Hessinger, 3D Systems’ VP of Global Customer Services shared. “Customers want guaranteed uptime.”

As the expectation for zero unplanned downtime and reliable technology grew, 3D Systems knew they needed to dramatically change their services organization to keep pace with customer needs.

One goal was to deliver quicker response time on service needs. Another way to leverage technologies to maximize uptime, increasing productivity, and saving money by reducing repeat service visits. Lastly, the team needed to analyze historical item usage, to better forecast future demand.

Solution

To achieve these goals, 3D Systems turned to ServiceMax to track their installed base, run their work order management, and leverage reporting capabilities. In concert, they also rolled out an artificial intelligence tool from Aquant to further power excellent service; leveraging Aquant’s diagnostic and predictive capabilities to increase service speed and reliability.

These two tools allow 3D Systems to proactively predict service needs—something that would be virtually impossible to do without AI-driven technology collecting data, observing patterns, and anticipating needs. Everything in manufacturing now depends on service, and executives knew that customers want guaranteed uptime.

Because most of the printers that 3D Systems operates are Internet-enabled, they can continuously collect data on how they’re performing and will find out immediately when a customer is running out of certain printing materials or the printer isn’t working properly. That way, issues can be mitigated before the customer becomes aware of them.

All of their new products are connected – they have over 500 assets enabled with IoT. They are using that data to proactively know what is going on. The better the data is, the better the printing system is. Today, they can maintain uptime and resolve customer issues much more quickly.

Results

Now, 3D Systems can find the most cost-effective solution for each failure incident. No longer does a new service request automatically mean a technician will be dispatched. Instead, the system investigates the failure, offering up likely solutions based on its analysis of historical service data. Many times, technicians can resolve the issue remotely, and if not, they have an accurate description of the problem and the parts they’ll need before arriving on site. “As the asset talks to us more and more, we’re shifting from being reactive to proactive to predictive,” Hessinger shared.

This has led to reduced truck rolls, reduced parts consumption, improved FTF and mean time to repair rates, and an increase in customer satisfaction. In the last 2.5 years, their NPS score has grown from 22 to 65, a 195% increase!

Other results include a 62% reduction in parts usage and a 39% decrease in repeat visits. Most importantly, 3D Systems has benefited from increased equipment uptime due to a more accurate and rapid response mechanism using ServiceMax and Aquant.

“With artificial intelligence-driven insights, resolving customer challenges has become more efficient and accurate, ultimately driving improved service profitability,” says Hessinger.