Imagine a patient is rushed to the hospital, in desperate need of a customized medical device. Traditionally, patients have waited days for their medical information to be sent to an off-site manufacturer, and for the device to be custom-fitted and returned to the hospital.
In the future, with SAP HANA and 3D printing, that device can be built on-premise, completely customized, in record time.
This is just one example of SAP’s new vision for manufacturing, a world where SAP HANA’s super-fast data analysis comes together with 3D printing technology to build tailored products in real time. In healthcare, SAP HANA can provide personalized medical data that, when combined with 3D printing, will empower doctors and researchers to develop customized treatments and save lives.
In the rest of the manufacturing industry, 3D printing will transform the supply chain, perhaps eventually eliminating factories as we know them. The SAP HANA platform will assemble data, and 3D printers will build products at the end point, for the end user.
“Ship your products as bits, not atoms,” said Sam Yen, global head of design and user experience at SAP.
Yen was invited onstage during Vishal Sikka’s keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Fl., which topped off a week of visionary plans for SAP. Sikka focused on how SAP’s newest innovations are streamlining businesses while also solving social problems around the world. The experience of the end user, he said, is most important.
In industries like manufacturing, SAP is adapting to new paradigms in order to maximize the end-user experience. SAP has historically played a major role in manufacturing, helping companies manage the supply chain, oversee factory operations, and respond quickly to customer demand. Today 3D printing is transforming many elements of this process. Although it is now primarily used for rapid prototyping, manufacturers are increasingly employing 3D printers to create specialized parts, such as tools for injection molding. Someday consumer objects may be printed on-demand at the point of sale.
For now, healthcare is showcasing some of the biggest impacts of 3D printing on the consumer. 3D printing companies like MakerBot can build prosthetic limbs, facial implants, fake teeth, and someday maybe organs. When the necessary medical data is analyzed in SAP HANA’s in-memory database, the time-to-value is nearly immediate—which will transform the primitively slow healthcare field, said Sikka.
“The patient shouldn’t have to be patient,” he said.