"3D printing is a real passion for me".
Marty McGough is an innovative operations executive and process improvement professional with more than 20 years of hands-on experience applying Lean Startup and Continuous Improvement techniques to manufacturing, product design, cost reduction, system enhancement, and customer satisfaction problems for high-tech companies. He has personally introduced more than 31 products that generated over $1.1 billion in sales with gross margins of up to 45%. He has engaged in five successful scaling or turnaround efforts with companies of various sizes.
In the additive manufacturing space, Marty led a Lean 6 Sigma Transformation for all 3D Systems operations that reduced product costs, improved on-time delivery and supplier quality, decreased product cycle times, increased factory capacity, improved product reliability, and increased customer satisfaction.
After that, Marty founded and ran his own consulting company for 10 years providing support to additive manufacturers and other clients to improve their operation, processes, strategy, and overall performance. Improvements included designing and implementing new product upgrades, designing and implementing process control systems, supplying engineering, analytical, quality, project management services, and guidance on strategy and new product applications. He has also been successful at advising multiple startup operations in the high-tech market space. Currently Marty is the Chief Operations Officer for 3DEO, Inc., an AM direct metal startup company.
Throughout Marty’s McGough’s career in 3D printing, he always searched for manufacturing applications that would bring 3D printing into the mainstream of manufacturing, and ultimately compete head-on with traditional manufacturing. Prior to discovering 3DEO, Marty worked primarily with 3D printing plastics, which he explains was difficult due to variability and inconsistency. Even with those obvious challenges Marty had a hand in the two proven plastics manufacturing successes - Align Technology’s 3D Printed clear aligners known as Invisalign, where they produce over 65 million unique aligners annually and he played a pivotal role in changing the in-ear hearing aid industry by helping the manufacturers develop their 3D printed hearing aids.
So Marty was intrigued when he was introduced to Matt Sand, the President and one of the three co- founders of 3DEO. Marty was immediately impressed with the technology:
“When I first saw the process and what 3DEO was doing, I got excited...I saw a true volume manufacturing process that could easily be quality controlled and have repeatability in the output … a process that could compete in the traditional marketplace.”
At the time, Marty was impressed with the reasonable price of the printers and the use of standard MIM powder, both factors that indicated a low, cost-effective technology. Additionally, 3DEO’s focus on selling parts was important to him because it meant that 3DEO can control for the environment and all variables in the production process, as well as build geometries that they understood. In essence, 3DEO is unique in that it has complete control over the quality of its printed parts.
However, the standout quality about 3DEO that attracted Marty was the team. Specifically, Marty was impressed by the well-rounded team, with experience across all domains necessary to scale a company, especially the engineering team’s creativity and brilliant understanding of additive manufacturing and material science. The only piece missing was an experienced operations expert, which is where Marty entered the picture.
“Everybody knew what they were doing and there was a certain amount of trust that they had for each other. We did not duplicate efforts...Everybody has different skill sets and my skill set is completely different from everybody here… [but it] all works together”
3DEO Today and in the Future
While Marty is currently serving as the Chief Operations Officer, he didn’t start out that way. In fact, Marty wasn’t part of the company at all -- he served as an advisor.
Out of the five startups Marty was advising at the time, 3DEO interested him the most. After months of advising, Marty was invited to join the executive team.
In the beginning, Marty states that the company’s main goal was “just to make the machines work” with a focus on creating an environment that reduced variability. Now the company is scaling up volumes to routinely ship 10,000+ piece orders.
Currently, Marty is leading the efforts in implementing a Lean 6 Sigma culture and philosophy by standardizing the production process and controlling all variables. Marty’s main goals are to increase throughput of the system. Marty is “developing a comprehensive process control plan to understand predictability of performance and to understand any variation to that predictability before it happens.” This effort includes increasing mean time between failures and honing in on the root causes of defects to eliminate them completely. 3DEO’s process, he believes, is uniquely able to eliminate defects and scale to high-volume production.
Marty also implemented an ERP system within 3DEO in order to manage the collection and automation of the data. Marty emphasizes that every technician and engineer takes classes on process control in order to understand the importance of quality.
Marty highlights that 3DEO’s most competitive advantage is the flexible hardware and software combination. 3DEO built its hardware to be controlled by software and disciplined processing that can easily be adapted per customer application. They call the outcome of this combination Intelligent Layering®. Marty explains that this Intelligent Layering® approach gives 3DEO a tremendous advantage when expanding into new materials and new applications.
“This flexibility we have in our hardware and the power built into our software allows us to optimize the equipment without making major changes so that we have the ability to move fast in that area”
What’s in store for 3DEO and production metal 3D printing?
“Nail it, then scale it”
In Q1 of 2019, Marty plans to bring all critical processes in-house, including machining and finishing. 3DEO’s next milestone is to catch the next generation of machines up to the current processes. 3DEO has printed and shipped many thousands of parts and this is just the beginning as the company targets the traditionally manufactured parts markets.
In addition, Marty hopes to introduce automation into more steps of the process to improve standardization, repeatability, reduce variability due to human error and ultimately achieve a predictable performance outcome with ever higher part yields. He knows that this will play a critical role in optimizing 3DEO’s overall costs and quality.
3DEO is also working towards ISO certifications. Marty defines the company’s culture as a “continuous improvement methodology” -- continually searching for new and innovative ways to improve the current process.
Marty believes that 3DEO can only improve from this point onwards. “I like to win” Marty says, “3DEO is winning and...we’re competing against ourselves to get better and better everyday.”