Financing innovative & sustainable eyewear production

Scaling up additive manufacturing with technology and finance from Siemens

3D vision: additively manufactured eyewear

With the global eyewear market estimated at around 140 billion euros, start-up You Mawo wanted to leverage this to offer its own bespoke frames.

 

Before the company could fully concentrate on this growth course, it first had to overcome an important challenge: creating sufficient printing capacity. For this purpose, You Mawo founded the joint venture Additive Scale together with AM Global to offer a priority solution chain of 3D printing systems, surface, coloring, finishing and software. The result: Additive Scale produces customized eyeglass frames with reproduceable part properties.

Additively manufactured eyewear fits perfectly and requires significantly less material. Compared to conventionally produced eyewear, we can reduce the carbon footprint by up to 58 percent through additive manufacturing.
Daniel Szabo, Founder, You Mawo

Additive Scale: making the frames

The expansion will see You Mawo realize its vision of becoming a driving force in the German and international eyewear market.

 

As the company’s capacities were quickly reached, they required immediate support to continue their growth trajectory. This is where Siemens stepped into the picture.

 

Siemens brought to the table its comprehensive portfolio of automation and digitalization solutions as well as the necessary financing to make it happen.

Seeing double: simulation with the digital twin

In the first step, the factory planning experts from Siemens Advanta worked with Additive Scale to create a digital twin of the production that contains all process steps and machines. This allows different approaches to material flow and production layouts to be simulated - for example, the transport of parts from one machine to the next via conveyor belts or robots. It also allows  production profitability to be tested risk free.

 

The eyeglass frames are printed using selective laser sintering on EOS machines. For surface finishing and coloring, the specialist DyeMansion is on board.

 

EOS, DyeMansion and Siemens have a strong history of collaboration, working together on innovative projects to automate and digitalize production facilities. Each project aims to accelerate the industrialization of additive manufacturing for more efficient production and to ensure more agile processes. 

We can learn a lot from our manufacturing expertise in our own production facilities and use this know-how to enable end-to-end automation and digitalization for our partners.
Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital Industries

Tackling initial investment barriers – a customized leasing arrangement

Financing for the factory’s industrial 3D printing machines was provided by Siemens Financial Services. The customized leasing arrangement offers the dual benefits of lowering the immediate investment hurdle while enabling scaling as production needs grow.

 

Specifically, the lease guarantees the uptime and capability of the agreed service areas, at a fixed monthly cost. This takes into consideration sub-components such as fire protection, security, energy efficiency and ventilation, but also applies to the turnkey contract for the entire property. During the contract period, service, maintenance and insurance are included, protecting against events such as fire and lightning strikes. The customer is guaranteed a fixed monthly cost, a supplier contact manager and unitary invoicing, all while avoiding large capital investments that would affect liquidity.

An expert financing partner

Integrating financing into an ecosystem approach like this, where all the right partners come together from the start, allowed SFS to create a smart leasing solution at the start-up’s pace. The financing arrangement also offers the flexibility to adapt in line with market demands.

 

Involving a financing partner from the beginning who understands the technology used also makes it easier to scale and adapt the leasing model as needed, paving the way to develop further financing solutions down the road – such as dynamic pay-for-outcomes models.

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