Title: Additive manufacturing technologies as a reshoring enabler: a why, where and how approach

Authors: Luciano Fratocchi

Addresses: Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics, University of L'Aquila, Via G. Gronchi, 18 Zona Industriale Pile, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

Abstract: The paper aims to investigate the hypothesis that additive manufacturing technologies (AMTs) may enable manufacturing reshoring, i.e., the repatriation of manufacturing activities earlier off-shored to foreign countries. Since the paper has an explorative nature, a two-steps, desk research strategy was adopted. In the first, a comparison between the extant literature regarding the two investigated phenomena (AMTs and manufacturing reshoring) is implemented according to a '2W & 1H' ('who', 'why' and 'how') perspective. In the second step, 11 cases of relocation of production activities supported by AMTs are deeply analysed and discussed. Collected evidence seems to confirm that AMTs may enable manufacturing reshoring decisions since their benefits are consistent with motivations ('why' perspective) inducing companies to repatriate production activity. At the same time, the two phenomena are diffused in the same industries ('who' perspective). In contrast, the effects in terms of governance modes (i.e., insourcing vs. outsourcing - the 'how' perspective) are still not completely clear.

Keywords: reshoring; additive manufacturing technologies; location decision; 3D printing; back-shoring; off-shoring; manufacturing; who; why; how.

DOI: 10.1504/WRITR.2018.093565

World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, 2018 Vol.7 No.3, pp.264 - 293

Received: 31 Oct 2017
Accepted: 02 May 2018

Published online: 29 Jun 2018 *

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