Life and work in the COVID-19 world is different. Digital technologies assume a new significance in the face of new workflows, where home and workplaces morph, and so do professional and personal commitments. In this new emerging world, 3D Printing is becoming an integral part of an engineer’s workspace/home office. RIZE, a next generation 3D Printing company, adapted to the new normal by creating a new digital operating rhythm and moving industrial 3D Printing to the engineers’ home offices. It was possible to do this safely because RIZE has the only 3D Printer in the world certified by UL for health and safety in indoor environments, including materials which are non-toxic and will not impact anyone at home adversely. RIZE Engineers are not only able to work and be productive from their home offices with their normal engineering tasks, but also started contributing to the COVID-19 response by designing and creating new RIZE face shields for healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers. Balancing productive work with contributions to the greater good has given a sense of purpose in difficult times. This is the future of work.
We had the chance to catch up with Andy Kalambi, President and CEO of RIZE, Inc. who’s sharing his story during 3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey Episode 2, launching tomorrow.
Navigate the Future: Andy, tell us how RIZE was initially impacted by the onset of COVID-19?
Andy Kalambi: At RIZE, COVID-19 came as much of a challenge as it did for everyone else. We are a growth stage start up in industrial 3D printing with big dreams, unique technology but limited resources. These resources became even more restricted in the COVID-19 crisis. However, we started adapting to the new ways of working and realized that speed and flexibility were of essence to devise a new workflow to stay productive. We did not go about this with a big plan or strategy, but what emerged over the weeks was the makings of one…and we discovered a new way to work which was sustainable, inclusive and most importantly helped keep everyone safe and healthy.
Like many companies, we decided to move our entire team in early March to work from home. The one challenge was that as a systems company which makes hardware, software and materials, in order to be productive we needed the infrastructure for prototyping, testing and validation of parts.
Navigate the Future: How difficult was the pivot to an all-remote environment?
Kalambi: Little did we realize that we might have been preparing for this time from the inception of the company. Sustainability is at the core of our mission statement and our technology is purpose-built for safety with zero emissions 3D printing, non-toxic and recyclable materials – all of which had enabled us to become the first 3D printing company in the world to get the UL GreenGuard certification for safety and sustainability.
We extended our home offices to become prototyping labs and micro-factories. Our engineers set up XRIZE 3D industrial 3D printers in their basement/living room/kitchens and continued not only their day jobs of designing and developing new parts, materials and software for our printers but also stepped up to contribute manufacturing desperately needed PPE for our COVID heroes – healthcare workers and essential workers.
Navigate the Future: How did collaboration technology contribute to your team’s effectiveness and ultimately impact your business?
Kalambi: A key enabler in this was the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform which helped the team collaborate in real-time and create a virtual office/lab/factory. The Collaborative Innovation apps on the platform helped us become closer through impromptu video chats, blogs and messages. ENOVIA Apps helped us with the more formal development processes. Our workplace now includes our families, who join us sometimes in the video chats especially the informal sessions. One of our colleagues has a dog who insists joining our Friday afternoon virtual lunch.
The last few months have been the most productive for the RIZE team churning out printers -RIZE 2XC which was launched on June 25th ; materials – RIZIUM GF – a glass fiber based composite material launched on August 13th, which has become the first of its kind in the industry for printing large, functional color parts; new AI driven applications in life sciences – orthopedic medical models. Other developments that will soon be launched are the RIZE 7XC which is a large format 3D printer. On June 16th, the World Economic Forum honored us with the recognition as one of the top 100 Technology Pioneers in the world.
We feel more inclusive as we are bonded as a team within ourselves, with our community and our partners. Our sustainability focus is helping us create a flexible way to work in an adaptive environment. And we have stayed productive both for the company and the community. We believe this new way of working will define our future…and maybe the Future of Work.
To learn more, register for the session The Future of Work is here….and now! presented by Andy Kalambi, President and Chief Executive Officer of RIZE.
The full catalog of Episode 2 sessions from 3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey, Fueling Innovation in the New Agile Enterprise, will be available on-line beginning August 26th. Register here for free access to all episodes when they drop and to watch the on-demand sessions from previous episodes.
3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey schedule:
- July 29th: Manufacturing and Supply Chain.
- August 26th: Fueling Innovation in the New Agile Enterprise.
- September 23rd: Modeling & Simulation.
- October 14th: Enabling Business Continuity Via the Cloud.