Insights from Fictiv’s 2023 survey shed light on sustainability in manufacturing, specifically in the realm of 3D printing.

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Fictiv, a leading player in the 3D printing industry, has recently released a survey that delves into the sustainability practices of manufacturing businesses. Partnering with Dimensional Research, Fictiv sheds light on the challenges and goals that industry leaders face when it comes to adopting environmentally friendly practices. The survey reveals that 87% of industry leaders agree that sustainability should be a priority, with 42% of manufacturers actively investing in reducing carbon emissions.

However, the survey also highlights a gap between intention and action within engineering departments. While many in the industry express a desire to be more sustainable, they are often faced with roadblocks. Lack of funding, cited by 36% of respondents, is a significant barrier in their sustainability journey, making it difficult to meet new sustainability standards. In addition, one-third of leaders admit to a lack of expertise in creating solid sustainability plans.

On a positive note, the survey reveals that 40% of manufacturers are increasing their investments in sustainability data tracking and analytics. Furthermore, 60% are investing in technology to improve operational efficiency, directly contributing to sustainability efforts. Artificial intelligence (AI) is seen as a key technology in this regard, with 85% of respondents either planning to adopt or already embracing AI technologies. A staggering 97% anticipate that AI will revolutionize product development and manufacturing.

Materials and packaging are also a key focus for manufacturers. Half of the surveyed manufacturers are prioritizing sustainable packaging, materials, and energy solutions. This demonstrates a growing industry-wide recognition of the importance of considering environmental factors throughout the production phase and product delivery.

When it comes to supply chain visibility, 55% of respondents consider it a top priority. However, 54% struggle with maintaining sustainability standards in their supply chains. Sustainable packaging and materials also take the spotlight for half of the manufacturers, emphasizing the industry’s increasing awareness of sustainability beyond the factory floor.

Interestingly, small businesses seem to be lagging behind in sustainability efforts. Only 20% of small firms prioritize sustainability, compared to 53% and 54% of medium and large enterprises investing in renewable energy solutions, respectively.

On a positive note, the survey indicates that more manufacturers are reporting no difficulty in meeting their sustainability goals compared to previous years. In 2023, 17% of manufacturers have reported no challenges in achieving sustainability goals. This suggests that businesses are taking a holistic approach, considering environmental impacts during cost-benefit analyses and integrating sustainability into their operations.

Nate Evans, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Fictiv, highlights the importance of sustainable production. He emphasizes that achieving national and global emissions targets requires persistent focus, industry support, and access to tools and technology.

As a leader in custom manufacturing, Fictiv plays a significant role in the rapidly growing 3D printing industry. Their digital platform connects organizations with specialized manufacturing needs to a global network of providers. Leveraging the advantages of 3D printing, such as waste reduction and resource optimization, Fictiv’s survey findings provide valuable insights into the additive manufacturing sector. As more companies adopt 3D printing technologies to meet sustainability goals, understanding the barriers and investment priorities in the broader manufacturing industry can guide strategies for more eco-friendly additive manufacturing practices.

The survey serves as a wake-up call for the industry, with leaders recognizing the importance of sustainability but also highlighting big obstacles such as funding and knowledge. By working together to share information, make smart investments, and better manage sustainable practices in supply chains, the manufacturing industry can become more environmentally friendly.

To stay informed about the latest news in the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third-party vendors, it is recommended to stay updated through reliable sources.

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