Hartfiel Automation – 3D printing for product development to cut costs and save time

Case Study

//Hartfiel Automation – 3D printing for product development to cut costs and save time
Hartfiel Automation – 3D printing for product development to cut costs and save time2018-12-07T15:42:56+00:00

Hartfiel Automation uses Ultimaker to save time and money, creating tangible prototypes for customers.

Hartfiel Automation is a specialized high-tech provider of pneumatics, motion, and mobile control solutions. With the addition of an Ultimaker 3D printer to their product development process, Hartfiel Automation was able to save time and money while diversifying their services with product offerings like hydraulics, aluminum extrusions, robotics, and additional automation solutions.

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Brian Hagar, Outside Sales, Hartfiel Automation

“In a matter of minutes to hours, we can have an idea printed and ready for client presentations—much faster than machining or using a third-party source. Lead time to present ideas is dramatically decreased with Ultimaker and provides more control.”

Brian Hagar, Hartfiel Automation Outside Sales Manager

Hartfiel Automation – Introduction

Hartfiel Automation is a high-tech provider of pneumatics, motion and mobile controls, and robotic solutions. Creating a wide range of solutions to service industries like agriculture, speciality machine, medical, and mobile equipment, they understand the value that comes from consistent and reliable design iterations. As they continue to diversify their hydraulics, robotics, and automation offerings, the Hartfiel Automation team is quick to adopt innovative technologies like 3D printing.

Once they began iterating prototypes on the Ultimaker 2 Extended they saw the immediate benefits of a streamlined production process, enhanced efficiency, and hands-on product testing during customer meetings. Hartfiel Automation is now able to prototype pneumatic manifolds, robotic cell pick and place stations, end of arm tooling, and customized hardware for their manufacturers. Machining these products directly without prototyping would cost an average of $3,500 while also increasing the risk of mistakes and redesigns. With Ultimaker printers in-house, the Hartfiel Automation team is able to save hundreds of dollars and days of production time.

Challenge

Outsourcing designs to machine their products would cost Hartfiel Automation an average of $125 per component, and would take one to two weeks to complete with an external supplier.They needed to solve manufacturing pain points and utilize unique return on investment tools through cost-efficient means, generating prototypes for hands-on customer meetings.

Solution

Incorporating Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printers to their workflow lowered their prototyping costs from an average of $125 to an average of $4 per part. In addition to saving money they drastically reduced the time spent creating their component designs from days or weeks to mere hours, and they now have the ability to test and discuss designs with customers.

Results

Hartfiel Automation Outside Sales Manager Brian Hagar states, “Having a tangible product to touch and place into a system for size inspection helps our customers visualize what the end solution could resemble.” The reliability, performance, and fine precision of their Ultimaker 3D printers creates a worry-free work environment for Hartfiel Automation designers and engineers.

Hartfiel Automation Saving Costs using Ultimaker 3D Printers

Hartfiel Automation is able to 3D print prototypes and designs for client presentations in a matter of hours while saving money in the process.

Outsourcing In-house Ultimaker 3D printers
Cost per component
$125
Cost per component
$1 – 2
Time per component
1 to 2 weeks
Time per componet
3 to 5 hours
Hartfiel Automation Outside Sales Manager Brian Hagar states, “Having a tangible product to touch and place into a system for size inspection helps our customers visualize what the end solution could resemble.”

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