Industry 4.0 software and services firm 3Diligent has opened a beta program of its new ProdEX Connect and Shopsight Connect applications to all qualified users, after successfully concluding its pilot.
The new applications aim to fulfill 3Diligent’s ongoing commitment to empower distributed manufacturing. ProdEx is a manufacturing-as-a-service platform for companies looking to acquire custom manufactured parts on-demand. The software utilizes technologies such as CNC machining, sheet metal forming, casting, and injection molding, alongside its 3D printing offering. The firm’s Shopsight software aids job shops, machine shops, and service bureaus to manufacture and deliver custom parts through quoting project management, and quality assurance tools.
Key to the new offerings is the facilitation of job opportunities between ProdEX and Shopsight users through 3Diligent’s team and proprietary matching algorithms. Additionally, the applications will utilize integrated sharing tools, including Zoom video conferencing, to provide enhanced connectivity throughout the product development cycle.
“Connect represents an exciting step forward for our ProdEX and Shopsight applications,” said 3Diligent CEO Cullen Hilkene. “In our current economy, it is crucial that people in purchasing or product development can still stay connected to their contract manufacturing partners. ProdEX Connect and Shopsight Connect increase that connectivity to levels surpassing even pre-pandemic times.”
3D printing expertise
Founded in 2014 as developers of the Vulcury Digital Manufacturing Platform, 3Diligent has since provided numerous additive manufacturing services, alongside CNC machining, casting and injection molding offerings for custom components, prototype designs, tools, and replacement parts.
Last year, 3Diligent launched a 3D printing consulting service to work with manufacturers to develop additive manufacturing strategies and designs. Before this, the Californian firm announced an expansion to its manufacturing network, which contains 1,200 machines, with the qualification of 250 facilities across six continents.
Aiding the transition to Industry 4.0
According to a global search and assessment of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) production lighthouses carried out in 2018 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and McKinsey & Company, digitization of the manufacturing process is expected to create up to $3.7 trillion in value to global manufacturing.
Elsewhere, 3D printing software developer 3YOURMIND is also helping users harness the power of digital manufacturing. The Berlin-based company expanded its existing end-to-end workflow management platforms at the tail end of last year. Furthermore, on-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry, launched its European instant quoting on 3D printing services in February.
3Diligent’s new collection of services are designed to ‘unleash the power’ of distributed digital manufacturing, enhanced by the latest ProdEX and Shopsight additions.
ProdEX users can choose to submit RFQs in three different ways, one of which involves requesting a ‘ProdEX Auto’ instant quote for rapid prototyping. Alternatively, customers can invite the ProdEX team to assist as project managers through requesting a ‘ProdEX PM’ quote, or can choose to request a ‘ProdEX Connect’ quote.
Those who submit their RFQ through ProdEX Connect can release their request directly to their preferred suppliers through the portal at no charge or can be introduced to qualified suppliers in the ProdEX production network for a fee. Free extended trials of the Shopsight software can be granted to suppliers and manufacturing partners outside of the ProdEX network as part of the Connect workflow.
Once the request is submitted, customers can liaise with their suppliers via the software’s communication and data management tools, while suppliers can engage through the Shopsight management portal. Each application provides video communication and screen sharing through the Zoom platform as well as RFQ and order tracking from request to delivery.
Hilkene added: “We want to empower companies with their transition to Industry 4.0. Especially, for products that are in development or regulated industries, manufacturing challenges are often best solved when the customer can directly engage the machine operator.
“With ProdEX Connect features, engineers and buyers benefit from our Industry 4.0 tools, whether they are working with longstanding suppliers or seeking new partners from our vetted ProdEX production network. In turn, the operators using Shopsight benefit from greater opportunities to create and grow their customer base, and a suite of tools to help them assess, quote, and fabricate more effectively.”
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Featured image shows metal parts 3D Printed using 3Diligent’s global manufacturing network. Photo via 3Diligent.