Cumberland Additive Pivots Deepen Relationships During COVID-19
9 Mar 2021
News, Media, Manufacturing
Like many companies in early 2020, Pflugerville’s Cumberland Additive, a leader in industrial 3D printing realized they would need to quickly pivot in the wake of COVID-19. The additive manufacturer’s largest clients were in the aerospace industry – an industry that contracted as a result of a steep decline in air travel throughout the U.S. and the world.
“We have an AS9100 and ITAR accreditation and are proud to serve our existing aerospace clients. We continue to see future growth opportunities in the market but had to pivot quickly to maintain our pre-COVID production numbers in light of current trends,” said Bill Freyvogel, VP of Sales and Marketing.
Cumberland Additive previously implemented a hands-on approach to customer service, looking to add value and deepen relationships. The approach served the company well and opened doors for them to expand their work in the energy sector during COVID.
“We quickly pivoted to help establish and grow a new product line for a client in the oil and gas sector. This proprietary line of products is being sold throughout the country, advertised as being ‘engineered high-performance parts that result in installation savings and improved efficiency and reliability,’” said Mike Celardo, VP of Engineering and Business Development.
Using additive manufacturing, products can be modified with quick turnaround times for design changes, and the needed customization is delivered with speed and durability giving clients a competitive advantage, Celardo added.
In response to the defense budget increase to stimulate the economy, Cumberland Additive expanded their work in the defense sector providing current customers with additional products and services, while also growing their customer base within the sector. By collaborating with their customers to match their needs with Cumberland’s capabilities, the company was able to respond and capture more business and save their clients time as well.
“We 3D Print a diverse set of metal alloys and plastic materials across many machines. A lot of contract manufacturers focus on one type of technology or materials (like a certain type of metal), so we have a wider net we can cast. By being more interactive with clients, we open their eyes to the possibilities of what value Cumberland Additive can create for them. We have an engineering department to create whatever a client needs, do it quickly, and look at the process from 360 degrees for a successful long-term project,” said Celardo.
It is common for companies to rely on multiple suppliers for different facets of their project, which can result in a lack of information sharing between parties. Celardo says the ability to work on a project from design to testing and large-scale production is strategic and an asset to their clients.
“By doing everything in house we are able to share knowledge between the designer, engineers and production team. This ultimately results in a better product for our clients,” added Celardo.
According to the company officials, additive manufacturing expedites and simplifies the development process and results in a positive impact for the product and the customer.
“We are consolidating the supply chain. They issue one PO and get a finished part instead of going to multiple places. The design for AM engineering expertise coupled with the series production capabilities is key to a successful and profitable long-term project,” added Freyvogel.
With clients located throughout the United States, Cumberland Additive has chosen to locate in Pflugerville, Texas.
“We are centrally located in Pflugerville. Customers in the west and east coast see us as being near them, rather than on the opposite side of the country. We are also able to drop ship products to our energy clients from Pflugerville, saving them time and money,” said Celardo.
From a workforce perspective, the city has offered other advantages as well.
“There is a huge technical base in Austin and a lot of people have semiconductor experience. This translates well to the work that we do with 3D printers and sophisticated machinery. When we put out a job listing we receive many - sometimes 100+ - applications,” he said.
The company also sponsors and donates parts to the Formula SAE Club at The University Texas Austin and is working with Austin Community College on their advanced manufacturing curriculum, both of which provide additional exposure and links to graduating students.
Being located in Pflugerville also means being part of a larger manufacturing ecosystem that has benefited the company. For example, Cumberland Additive uses the machines and powder produced by EOS of North America, an additive machine manufacturer also located in Pflugerville.
“They (EOS) are a global leader in 3D manufacturing. We are highly interested in deepening our relationship and increasing our partnership as they continue to improve their technology,” said Celardo.
He sees EOS and Pflugerville’s manufacturing cluster as an advantage for 3D manufacturing companies looking for a new location, and adds “everything you need is here, from the support structure to workforce, space, suppliers and economic incentives.”
Cumberland Additive is pleased with their decision to relocate to Pflugerville from California a decade ago. Their forward-looking approach served them well at the time and has continued to do so, as demonstrated by their strength and resilience during a global pandemic.
“Our company has done well during a challenging year, and we are strategically positioned for growth. Our entire team is working diligently to achieve our aggressive growth plans of expanding in our existing and new markets,” said Bill Freyvogel.
With their ability to pivot quickly, the company is certainly on their way to doing so.