When most companies consider an equipment purchase, a big concern is how quickly the equipment will pay for itself. Fortunately, when The Boeing Company’s air vehicle design division in Mesa, Ariz., estimated the return on investment on its SLS system, it found reason to celebrate. The system had paid for itself in less than a year.

“If I were to add up all the tooling costs we’ve eliminated, all the secondary rework we didn’t have to perform, all the post-processing steps we’ve eliminated, all the parts we’ve made, and all the man hours we’ve saved by using our SLS system to create prototypes and parts, I could easily say we’ve saved enough to pay for the system—and potentially even a second machine,” says Jerry Clark, manager of the Air Vehicle Configuration Design, Integration and Rapid Development Department of The Boeing Company in Mesa.

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