Proto Labs Inc.
The time-saving benefits of advanced manufacturing technology are being applied by Proto Labs Inc. to the prototyping and production of parts. “Our mindset around manufacturing is different from a traditional manufacturer,” President and CEO Victoria Holt emphasizes. “We are focused on prototypes and low-volume production. We’ve reinvented the manufacturing process to be more cost-effective and efficient with low volumes. Instead of eking out every millisecond of cycle time and running a 96-cavity tool and getting those parts out, we’re really focused on having good, consistent changeover and to efficiently move hundreds of custom parts through our manufacturing process.”
This is done by mating manufacturing with advanced, proprietary software. “We’ve really taken manufacturing and intersected it with information technology,” Holt continues. “We’re right at that forefront. It’s a really exciting place to be, and we’re a leader there. When you look at manufacturing over the next couple of decades, digital manufacturing is going to be very prevalent in how we continue to drive productivity using software.”