3D PRINTING IS HERE TO STAY
“Our most ambitious digital project to date is the creation of a 3D printing laboratory (see photograph) within our R&D department.” For Antoine Virdis, Managing Director of Frewitt, the growing success of 3D printing is proof positive that this new manufacturing process is now a viable option. “3D printing is starting to turn conventional blueprinting on its head, and offers many more possibilities than existing processes. So that we are in a position to anticipate future shifts in the industry, we now have to make sure that our teams are wellequipped to work with this new technology. Before, we would outsource these activities to a local partner.”
The machine manufacturer is also working on an online design tool for its distributors and agents. As Virdis explains: “We want to leverage the potential of IT so that we can develop our services more effectively.” Like many other SMEs, Frewitt has recently outsourced its IT architecture. It is already reaping the rewards: “Not only have we gotten a firmer grip on our operational costs, we also benefit from the outstanding security expertise of our IT provider. Outsourcing these skills lets us concentrate on our core business of developing high-tech solutions to mix, meter and transport powders of all kinds.”
The Fribourg company has turned this manufacturing process into a fine art. Indeed, it won the 2016-2017 Canton of Fribourg Innovation Award in the SME category for its modular FreDrive-Lab system. Designed with the pharmaceutical, fine chemicals and food industries in mind, this single machine can perform up to six different milling processes.