Case StudiesIndustrial Additive Manufacturing

Tradex uses 3ntr 3D printing to evolve production cycle

Sometimes we come across companies that, through their direct experience with 3D printing, are able to present concrete proof of the advantages offered by the technology. Labeling company Tradex, which signed a partnership with 3ntr to introduce 3D printing in its production cycle, is one such company.

Based in Gallarate, Italy, Tradex S.r.l. is a specialist in the labeling and product marking sector. At first glance, this particular market doesn’t fit the typical application field of 3D printing, but the reality is different. The digitization process initiated by Tradex, with the support of 3ntr, demonstrates that there are no sectors in which 3D printing technologies cannot provide a concrete benefit.

Tradex 3ntr

The collaboration between these two companies started about two and a half years ago with a focus on prototyping. However, this rapidly evolved with the introduction of 3ntr’s machines within the production cycle (specifically, an A2 and an A4).

“The collaboration with 3ntr was born 2 years ago at a prototype level because we had never had a similar experience, but soon we realized the potential of this technology. So we introduced this 3D printing in our production chain,” explained Marco Giuranna, Corporate Tradex Supervisor. “Usually, our products were made by aluminum or metal, but thanks to the 3ntr’s 3D printing solutions we could also use plastic polymers in our field. This guaranteed total flexibility during the design of the required component, while maintaining the hardness and dimension requested by our applications.”

Tradex 3ntr

By actively employing additive manufacturing, Tradex has expanded its business model, with two main advantages. First, a significant reduction of the production costs and turnaround times for the product itself. The integration of an FDM system in the production process has solved some situations related to “non-standard” parts, usually ordered with a minimum quantity to amortize construction costs. A perfect example of this is the creation of a plastic label applicator, a product that was once removed from the Tradex list because of its low cost-demand ratio but, with the use of 3D printing and its freedom of design, has now been created as a more efficient version.

The second aspect, perhaps even more interesting, is linked to the product customization. With 3D printing, Tradex introduced a new project focused on direct response to the needs of customization of its clients. In short, it’s a service offering, starting from the study of the required component, to the design of the required object and its production. Thanks to the collaboration with 3ntr, Tradex is able to provide complete customization of both the packaging and the products themselves.

Tradex 3ntr

“The use of 3D printing helped us to expand our business,” highlighted Giuranna. “Before using this type of process, we used to think according to the standards imposed by our system: everything out of standards was much more complicated to manage. Now, we can operate as a kind of service, starting from the study of the suitable solution up to the realization. This is a real change of paradigm: we can respond to all our customers needs.”

The path implemented by Tradex and 3ntr demonstrates how 3D printing technologies do not really have an application limit: every company, regardless of the sector of interest, can improve its business even with a gradual integration process. And, more importantly, with immediate effect.

[The original article was published on Replicatore]

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Matteo Maggioni

Matteo brings extensive experience as a professional tech journalist to 3DPBM’s Italian editorial website, Replicatore. He has been involved since the very beginning, and has continued to cover the AM industry and its many evolutions. He keeps an eye on its potential to reach the consumer target. Matteo lives and works in Milan, Italy and received his degree from Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

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