By Merit Ibe    

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) in partnership with the University of Lagos and stakeholders in the manufacturing sector have announced plans to organise the first international additive conference scheduled to hold on 26 and 29 September 2022 in Lagos.

The move according to the Council, would showcase the economic potentials of additive manufacturing in the nation’s manufacturing sector and its impact on cost reduction in production activities.

The Director General and Chief Executive Officer,  RMRDC Prof Hussaini Ibrahim, who was represented by the Director in Lagos office, Mr Tokunbo Habeeb, at a press briefing said the Council showed interest in the collaboration because of the huge saving in foreign exchange that additive manufacturing can save for the country as a cost effective system of manufacturing that holds hope for 4th industrial revolution.

He also stated that reports have showed that additive manufacturing can bring down their cost of manufacturing operations by at least 30 per cent.

Indeed, manufacturers have been bedevilled with myriad  of challenges hindering manufacturing activities, hence the conference would have not come at a better time where manufacturers are seeking innovative ways to boost their profit margins while also reducing their cost of operations.

A Professor at the University of Lagos who also doubles as a member of the Additive Manufacturing Group (AMG), Prof. Funso Falade, said additive manufacturing is a newly developed manufacturing technology that is widely accepted worldwide in the advanced world, saying that it is revolutionising the industrial production landscape. 

“On the one hand, it makes entirely new products and services possible, and on the other hand, the creation and production of innovative products becomes extremely quick, customer-oriented and flexible.”

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Additive manufacturing therefore has a long-lasting, disruptive effect on the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the economy. If companies can identify and harness the potential of additive manufacturing it can strengthen the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the economy in the long term.”

He added that additive manufacturing necessitates not only that the general business ecosystem cooperates, but also an interdisciplinary approach in the value creation chains, pointing out that in Nigeria, a few companies, at this early stage, have embraced this technology. 

“We believe that AMT is Africa’s biggest opportunity to industrialise. This technology will permit Africa in general and Nigeria in particular to leapfrog over existing non-acquired manufacturing technologies and propel it into the new era of 4th industrial revolution,” he said.

He, however, stated the need for effective collaborations between university and industry for the realisation of quality outcomes of the promotion of additive manufacturing in the nation’s industrial sector.

Earlier, the Director General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Segun Ajayi Kadir, represented by the Director of Corporate Services, MAN, Ambrose Oruche, said manufacturing additive would make Nigeria manufacturers more competitive when it competes with other African countries on the continent.

“Some of our members are already using the technology. The sector is struggling to survive because of the numerous challenges hindering the sector. The forex and energy challenges are hindering the sector. I must commend the manufacturers that are still in business because it is a tough terrain, but we are hopeful that this technology would reduce the cost of our production significantly,” he said.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is the construction of a three-dimensional object from Computer Aided Design (CAD) model or a digital 3D model. It can be done in a variety of processes in which material is deposited, joined or solidified under computer control, with material being added together, typically layer by layer.

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