Mar 11, 2016 | By Kira

In a recent interview, CEO of HP Inc. Dion Weisler made two things abundantly clear: that 3D printing has the potential to democratize manufacturing by displacing the injection molding market; and that HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology will be the driving force in getting us there. He went on to outline a three-pronged approach to 3D printing as well as overall company success: to focus on the commercial rather than consumer 3D printing market; to establish strong co-development partnerships with 3D printing customers; and above all, to maintain a resilient R&D team that will “keep the innovation engine alive.”

Weisler remained confident as ever while discussing the future of the newly independent HP Inc., even as it recovers from disappointing first-quarter financial results and prepares to lay off nearly 3,000 employees by the end of this year. If anything, and though it may not be apparent right now, he believes that splitting-off from HP Enterprise was a key strategic move, as it allows HP Inc. to be more reactive, agile, and to respond to market changes at lightening speeds.

As its core business of selling PCs and printers slowly dwindles, one of those market changes is the growing demand for 3D printing technology — though ‘lightning speeds’ may not be the best way to describe HP’s response.

HP’s ‘groundbreaking and disruptive’ Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology was first announced nearly two years ago, yet still isn’t expected to launch until later this year. However, Weisler defended HP’s slower entry to the market by reiterating its focus on the commercial, not consumer 3D printing market. “The real money and opportunity is in the commercial side of the business in prototyping and production,” he said. “Yes, others did get into it faster, and they are making $300 desktop-based printers. We never saw value there.”

Indeed, HP Inc.’s vision is to be a market leader in commercial manufacturing, solving the problems of quality and cost that have held the industry back to date. “Today, 3D printing is like a $5 billion or $6 billion market. It’s not going to change the trajectory of the business. But what will is when we can start tapping into the $12 trillion injection molding market. We get to democratize manufacturing with 3D printing,” he said.

With its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer, which is said to be ten times faster than any other 3D printer on the market, producing parts that are unbelievably dense with accuracy down to 21 microns (one tenth the size of a human hair), HP believes it can get the market to a "point of inflection", where it will actually be more cost-efficient and effective to go to 3D printing rather than traditional injection molding.

Weisler also revealed that HP has signed five “co-development” partnerships with companies in fields ranging from apparel to manufacturing. These will potentially work alongside HP to develop and apply its 3D printing technology. Though Weisler remained tight-lipped about who these companies are, he assured that they are “companies you will know when we announce them” later in the year.

Despite this focus on 3D printing as a driving force for the company, HP Inc. is not abandoning its core business of making and selling personal computers and inkjet printers. On the contrary, its plan to lay off nearly 3,000 employees between now and the end of 2016 was motivated by a need to “take out non-revenue generating parts of the business and keep the innovation engine alive,” said Weisler. “Our strategy is anchored around core growth for the future. The core is the vast majority of our $55 billion in revenue. It’s core PCs and core printing.”

The layoffs are thus targeted at areas that are not creating new products, marketing, or go-to markets. Research and development, on the other hand, will remain untouched. By pooling its remaining resources into R&D, HP Inc. hopes to find innovative solutions for strategic growth, both in its core markets, and in the emerging business of industrial 3D printing. As Weisler succinctly put it: “this is serious stuff.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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Bob Andweave wrote at 3/19/2016 8:51:43 AM:

"lightening speeds." Hilarious!

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