The days of people immediately associating Fuji Xerox purely with photocopiers are well and truly numbered: if not done and dusted. When Engineering News visited its New Zealand head office in the heart of Auckland, the company’s display 3D Printer offering quickly put paid to that – proud and plump and at the front.
The prime positioning to greet visitors is not by chance. It backs up an already established statement in product direction, and of a future intention – fully supported by intensive research and development – and through it Fuji Xerox is helping to pioneer one of the world’s most innovative industries.
The company has left no leaf unturned when researching the market, choosing 3D Systems – the “established worldwide market leader” in the 3D printer market, to partner with.
And through it, the awards are stacking up.
“We’re at the 3D tipping point,” says Gavin Pollard, managing director of Fuji Xerox New Zealand following winning awards at the recent 3D Systems Partner Conference. “We’re talking about an industry which the Gartner Group estimates has an annual growth of over 20%, and we at Fuji Xerox New Zealand intend to take full advantage of the opportunities and lead the journey, which we believe will end in a revolution both in the home and in countless industries of the future.”
Gartner Group also announced that in the years 2008 to 2013, additive manufacturing – the 3D industry – quadrupled to be a US$2.3 billion industry and is estimated to be $17.2 billion by 2020.The Partner Conference in Hong Kong, which included representation from China, Japan and Australia was a highlight for Fuji Xerox and the two prestigious awards shines the spotlight on the innovation they promote.
The international recognition for the company being seen as a key player in the New Zealand 3D market is but another component adding to a ‘complete package’ business environment. Products, albeit incredibly innovative and cutting edge, are just part of what’s on offer.
One of the biggest issues facing the 3D printing industry in New Zealand is the lack of local support, with the wait for spare parts often taking months, says Alexis Parker, Fuji Xerox
national business development manager – 3D solutions.
“So we’ve made a strong focus on the business relationship in terms of service and finance, local support and local consumables,” Ms Parker tells Engineering News.
“What we are doing is bringing the service side back into a traditional business model, so businesses can rely upon a working machine, serviced quickly, if required, to reduce downtime.”
With the face of 3D changing rapidly within New Zealand, Fuji Xerox believes it has the edge via machine leasing options.
“You don’t have to outlay CAPEX to purchase a technology that is changing at such a fast rate. That can make a huge difference to our customers,” adds Ms Parker.
Ms Parker says that machines of high interest to an engineering industry, available through Fuji Xerox, are the, “metal machines, which we are focussing on developing strongly at the moment. We expect to have a number of these into customer sites by the end of the financial year.”
Unlike the perception many may have of the 3D industry – often driven by mainstream media – as a “small, entry level,” industry, the main producers are actually concentrating on production machines: bigger and faster for use with a wider range of materials.
Common applications for machines are investment casting, silicone moulding and
printed tooling for short run injection moulding.
“There are three sides to the 3D industry; functional prototyping, which is enormous, the manufacturing of parts that are used (usually small and short run like crowns in dentistry) and rapid tooling,” she says. “Additionally, direct to CAD 3D scanning makes reverse engineering and design optimisation a breeze.
“We really do offer the full digital thread and it’s an industry that is not only exciting but shows huge growth potential for all involved. It’s been a dedicated approach that Fuji Xerox has undertaken to invest significant time, money and resources into the 3D industry and it’s just the start,” says Ms Parker.
“To unleash the full potential of 3D Printing
– that’s our commitment. And that means providing access to the broadest range of 3D printers, solutions and price points. No matter what your application, if you can imagine it, you can print it, and we can help.”
Contact: Fuji Xerox New Zealand,
Phone +64 9 3773834,
or email [email protected]