Challenges to implementing additive manufacturing in globalised production environments
by Iñigo Flores Ituarte; Siavash H. Khajavi; Jouni Partanen
International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise (IJCENT), Vol. 5, No. 3/4, 2016

Abstract: This paper presents the current state of additive manufacturing (AM) implementation in complex supply chains, focusing especially on the globalised consumer electronics industry. A literature review sought to identify bottlenecks to technology transfer, while a qualitative study was carried out using interviews with case company personnel. Finally, an industry survey was used to quantitatively evaluate current production costs and delivery times for AM units. The results highlight the considerable barriers to transferring AM technology to engineering applications. However, there is an untapped potential for manufacturing applications in small-series and pre-series production at the product refinement stages. Furthermore, future projections of AM production throughput and cost reductions will disrupt organisational supply chains. This will lead organisations to create faster design, development and manufacturing cycles, unlocking novel applications and introducing new possibilities to change product architecture at any stage of the product development while compressing the supply chain and allowing for quick responses to changing customer demands.

Online publication date: Thu, 16-Feb-2017

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