Multinational printing firm HP has made several announcements in the lead-up to this year’s Formnext trade show, the first of which concerns a new partnership with cosmetics giant L’Oréal.
Together, the two companies are seeking to enable more flexible cosmetics production and explore “entirely new” cosmetics packaging and applications. HP also announced the expansion of its Digital Manufacturing Network (DMN) of parts providers in order to accelerate the shift towards mass production, while the momentum of its Metal Jet 3D printing platform is continuing in advance of its commercial availability in 2022.
“3D printing is unlocking new levels of personalization, business resiliency, sustainability, and market disruption,” said Didier Deltort, President of Personalization & 3D Printing at HP. “HP is excited to reconvene with the additive manufacturing community at Formnext.
“Together with our partners and customers, we will continue to pave the path to mass production with advancements to our Multi Jet Fusion platform, the commercial launch of HP Metal Jet, and investments in software, services, and partner capabilities.”
Making over the cosmetics industry
Through its new partnership with L’Oréal, HP is looking to increase production flexibility and create innovative new packaging and customer experiences within the cosmetics sector. L’Oréal turned to HP to help it respond more quickly to shifts in its manufacturing processes and production lines.
The companies worked together to rapidly design and scale-up large volumes of adjustable pucks to enable L’Oréal to transfer, fill, and label products with greater agility. Through this, L’Oréal saw a 33 percent cost reduction and time savings improved by 66 percent, while the ability to customize the pucks allowed L’Oréal to respond in a more agile manner to changes in customer purchasing behaviors throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Customer-centric innovation and sustainable products are at the center of all we do,” said Anne Debauge, Director of Digital Transformation, Packaging and Development, at L’Oréal. “We share HP’s vision to overcome our current limits through new technologies. 3D printing gives us this entrepreneurial freedom to offer new customer experiences.
“Thanks to this collaboration, we are already gaining in agility in our factories and wish to go further by creating new services.”
Going forwards, L’Oréal will leverage HP’s DMN to scale the pucks across its global supply chain, a move that will see it meet its sustainability goals by producing the parts on-demand when and where they are needed.
The companies are currently showcasing examples of the custom pucks at Formnext alongside unique textures for luxury cosmetics that are reportedly only possible thanks to HP’s 3D printing technology. Away from the show floor, the partners are continuing to explore the design and production of a range of new applications with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) platform, such as new textures and lattice packaging, in partnership with the Alternative and Atomic Energies Commission (CEA).
“Across large industries and new verticals such as cosmetics, our customers want to be more agile and address the growing demand for personalized products,” said Guayente Sanmartin, Global Head of HP’s MJF business. “With more than 100 million parts produced and growing, we are proud of MJF’s impact during these volatile times. Our work with L’Oréal is a bright example of the unlimited possibilities enabled by 3D printing. From increasing manufacturing flexibility to reimagining traditional products, there is an enormous opportunity to help transform markets.”
Expanding the DMN
In addition to announcing its partnership with L’Oréal, HP also revealed it is expanding its global DMN with new certified parts providers in a bid to ensure the highest standards for quality and reliability as demand grows for MJF production.
The DMN now includes both manufacturing partners and MJF professionals leveraging HP’s 3D printing technologies to design, produce, and deliver parts at scale. The likes of 3D printing service providers FORECAST 3D, Jawstec, Weerg, and ZiggZagg are now utilizing HP’s 3D printing offerings to optimize the management and automation of complex 3D printing workflows and large-scale 3D printing fleets.
ZiggZagg is the latest partner to leverage HP’s 3D-as-a-service (3DaaS) business model to rapidly scale its operations, which the firm says was “hugely beneficial” during the volatility of the pandemic.
HP and its DMN customers are showcasing final parts and new applications at Formnext this week, including a custom 3D printed bucket car seat developed by BASF 3D Printing Solutions and Oechsler. The seat was created using HP’s MJF technology and BASF’s ULTRASINT TPU01 powder and features a unique elastomeric lattice design. Also on display are clear dental aligners manufactured by invisible orthodontics manufacturer Impress using the HP MJF 5210, when is helping the company scale its production.
Meanwhile, several 2021 Purmundus Challenge finalists have utilized HP’s MJF technology to develop their applications, which include 3D printed climbing shoes, upper limb prosthetics, and an electronic saxophone.
HP Metal Jet’s continued rise
HP is also showcasing its Metal Jet platform during Formnext with new parts and updates on progress with partners like GKN and Volkswagen. The layer has integrated parts 3D printed via HP Metal Jet for the A pillar of its T-Roc Cabriolet which weigh almost half of conventional components and have passed crash certification.
HP is continuing to validate production applications with its partners and customers, with broader commercial availability for Metal Jet expected in 2022.
“Our early Metal Jet partners and customers such as GKN, Parmatech, Volkswagen, Cobra Golf, and others, are successfully demonstrating our metals mass production advantage,” said Ramon Pastor, Global Head of HP’s 3D metals business. “As we continue to advance our technology, materials, and capabilities, we remain on track to launch in 2022.
“We look forward to delivering industry-leading efficiency, cost savings, and design freedom to help the industry accelerate and scale digital manufacturing.”
Those attending Formnext this week can find out more about the latest announcements from HP at the company’s stand in Hall 12.1, booth D61.
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Featured image shows HP Metal Jet 3D printer systems. Photo via HP.