Japanese logistics and express delivery company Yamato is installing 3D printing facilities at a Tokyo fulfilment centre, which will offer clients a faster solution for ordering industrial and medical 3D printed goods.
Similar to UPS’s recent move towards 3D printing in the U.S., Yamato's 3D printing facility will be able to produce and deliver products to medical institutions in about three days – compared to
the typical seven to ten day lead time required by traditional specialty manufacturers.
The Tokyo-based company has installed a fleet of USA-made industrial 3D printers at its Haneda Chronogate fulfilment centre in Tokyo, where it will start offering its 3D printing services as early as next month.
Advantage in speed
Yamato said it is equipped to receive patient-specific data from medical institutions, and can then 3D print the model and have it shipped and delivered within about three days. Other specialised additive manufacturing companies which offer a similar service usually take 7 to 10 days to deliver, Yamato said.
The company said it aims to expand the service to industrial and other goods and reach 10 billion yen (US$87.2 million) in annual sales in fiscal 2025.
3D printing networks are the future
UPS has been a forerunner in the adoption of 3D printing technologies and services since 2013 and the company meanwhile has teamed up with German software developer SAP to set up a nation-wide on-demand 3D printing network. UPS recently announced it will expand these services within Europe and Asia.
Meanwhile, Yamato Holdings earlier this month reported that its group operating profit fell about 10% year-on-year to around 56 billion yen (US$478 million) not in the least caused by higher costs related to recruiting more drivers to deliver the growing number of e-commerce packages. The courier firm has been hiring additional staff and plans to have 4,000 more drivers, some hired through temp agencies, during the year through this coming March.
Nol van Fenema