Tata Technologies partners Stratasys for 3D additive manufacturing

Indian manufacturing gets access to faster prototyping and short-run parts

The Stratasys J55 3D printer that’s aimed at design offices producing prototypes and looks to be about the size of a small fridge freezer.
The Stratasys J55 3D printer that’s aimed at design offices producing prototypes and looks to be about the size of a small fridge freezer.

On 7 July 2021, Pune-based Tata Technologies stated that it is partnering with the US founded and Israel headquartered Stratasys, a 3D printing technology company to provide additive manufacturing capabilities to Indian manufacturers. Tata Tech’s leverage in the manufacturing sector will use Stratasys solutions to assist concepts, prototyping, and manufacturing in the country. Stratasys has had a presence in Bengaluru for several years.

The Tata Tech press release states, “The partnership will combine complete capabilities and offerings of Stratasys’ in the polymer space in terms of products designed to yield functional prototypes in multi-color.”

Tata Tech president and global head of technology solutions, Anand Bhade, sees 3D additive manufacturing affecting quick prototyping and manufacturing positively. 3D additive printing is a disruptive technology that uses inkjet type arrays to lay down materials in subsequent layers to create contours and solid objects in various materials. It is already used in the country for dentistry and the manufacture of prosthetic components, and the prototyping of consumer products.

While the 3D output of machine parts and models is well established for the last two decades, the full-size prototyping from computer-aided design is relatively new, especially from materials such as plastic resins, metal, fiber, and ceramics. There are already European manufacturers of food processing and packaging equipment that no longer provide spare parts but instead permit their 3D manufacture by their customers by providing an output file and material specification for a 3D printer.

Tata Technologies’ press release adds, “The manufacturing sector in India has been fraught with various challenges to meet the contemporary needs of end-users, which include higher precision, faster time-to-market, mass product customization, and automation.” It stated that rapid prototyping and 3D printing from computer-aided designs using various raw materials such as plastic, thermoplastic, metal, fiber, resin, and ceramics could produce sophisticated designs at minimal costs and lower raw material usage.

Rajiv Bajaj, managing director for Stratasys India and South East Asia, said that the partnership with Tata Technologies shows the company’s commitment to Indian industry in driving the adoption of additive manufacturing. He expects this to be one of the viable solutions to address vulnerabilities in manufacturing and supply chain logistics. “We welcome Tata Technologies, one of the most trusted brands in India, to our ecosystem and are confident that this partnership will accelerate technological transformation in Indian industry and academia with best-in-class Stratasys technology,” he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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