Title: Challenges to implementing additive manufacturing in globalised production environments

Authors: Iñigo Flores Ituarte; Siavash H. Khajavi; Jouni Partanen

Addresses: Department of Engineering Design and Production, Aalto University, School of Engineering, Otakaari 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University, School of Science, Otakaari 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland ' Department of Engineering Design and Production, Aalto University, School of Engineering, Otakaari 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland

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.

Keywords: additive manufacturing; 3D printing; advanced manufacturing technology; AMT; rapid manufacturing; digital manufacturing; technology transfer; supply chain simplification; supply chain management; SCM; globalisation; consumer electronics; product architecture; product development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCENT.2016.10003181

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, 2016 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.232 - 247

Received: 25 Aug 2016
Accepted: 23 Nov 2016

Published online: 19 Feb 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article