Cecilia Wandiga Reveals Insights on Business and Industry for 3d Printing Paris France
http://www.globalectropy.com | @CWandiga
What do you do?
Founder & CEO of Global Ectropy, a service firm dedicated to promoting and showcasing green and socially responsible manufacturing practices. Our focus is on small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. We have a particular interest in firms that want to stay local while collaborating globally. 3D Printing manufacturing networks promise to be the mechanism which will make this possible. http://www.wsj.com/articles/small-firms-get-new-manufacturing-edge-3-d-printing-in-the-cloud-1432317840
What do you see as the biggest opportunity in your industry?
Manufacturing has always been at the center of societal transformation. The way we make things drives everything from the look and feel of our physical world to how we consume things. Manufacturing production and distribution systems also affect the distribution of wealth (who has jobs, who has material goods), health (who has safe equipment, who has clean environments, who has toys, clothes and things we need for emotional well-being), and advancement (the skills needed to make goods that meet current and future needs require educational systems that develop holistic humans). Green manufacturing and social collaboration are now technologically possible in manufacturing. At the dawn of the industrial age, we bemoaned the loss of localized rural and agrarian communities due to the need to cluster and live near large factory centers. At the dawn of the collaborative capital age, 3D-printing technologies and cloud based networks can be the mechanism to alleviate urban congestion by allowing production to occur anywhere. As exciting as this opportunity is, we must also make sure the high quality production as well as environmental health and safety standards are an integrated part of the Maker Movement. In addition, our future sustainability a focus on renewables (both materials and energy) and management of these through globalized cloud computing platforms http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~ricardob/papers/icdcs14.pdf
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What impact will changes in your industry have on consumers? the world?
In “the old days” you could go to your local blacksmith and say, when you have extra time, could you fashion me a hinge that looks like this? Once the blacksmith had downtime from large orders, your custom piece would get made. Just like not everyone is a lawyer or a poet, not everyone knows how to make things right. During the mass production large, factory era consumers lost the ability to interact with professionals who are experts at making things right. Ironically, this network of local makers is still strong in developing countries that missed the mass production era. As a result, by leveraging modern communication, 3D-printing and cloud based networks, there is an excellent opportunity for symbiotic learning. Small manufacturers in developing countries can learn advanced manufacturing skills as well as World Class production standards. Small manufacturers in high income countries can re-learn the magic of being consumer focused producers instead of just suppliers to large firms as well as mutual support. Here is an example from Kenya http://migrationology.com/2011/07/jua-kali-kenyan-informal-labor-sector/
What is your biggest goal right now?
Overall we are focused on helping small scale producers bring to market green manufactured consumer goods and sustainable industrial materials. We are piloting a project in Homa Bay, Kenya where we work through local partners to improve production capabilities in sisal by establishing a “cradle-to store- to upcycle” sustainable ecosystem (i.e. from farming to manufacturing to store shelf to reuse). 3D Printing fablabs are an integral part of this plan http://fablearn.stanford.edu/fellows/blog/3d-printing-kenya
What kind of support or types of people do you need to accelerate your success?
Experts in remote facility set up (establishing remote factories), remote training for manufacturing skills, manufacturing equipment that runs on renewable energy/distributed power, cloud networks, supply chain managers, low-cost manufacturing equipment (in addition to 3D printers) and patient capital investors experienced in rural Kenya production initiatives.
What makes you or your work different from everybody else?
Most business talk is about negative competition (destroy opponents). While we fully acknowledge it is not wise to give away a firm’s secrets, we also maintain it is possible to find opportunities to grow through collaboration and mutual support. Large firms do this through strategic partnerships and consumer engagement. Small and mid-sized firms can leverage the same approaches to their advantage. We have heard a lot of complaints that there is no support for small and mid-sized firms in this area so we are here to help as much as is possible for a for-profit firm.
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