Dual Sourcing with Additive Manufacturing

  • Nils Knofius (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a computer-controlled production process, in which a
complete item is build up layer by layer from basic materials. In practice 3D printing is
an established synonym for AM. Various institutions attribute AM a bright future. In
general, AM technologies are becoming faster, cheaper, safer, more reliable, and
environmentally friendly (Gibson et al., 2010). This clearly demonstrates the value to
get acquainted with the technology and its opportunities.
The low-volume, high-variety spare parts business is often identified as one of the
prime beneficiaries of AM technology. This perception stems from the believe to
substantially increase the responsiveness of spare part supply chains with AM
technology. For instance, consider the option to print spare parts on demand. In the
future, this concept may render high safety stocks and obsolescence risk a problem of
the past. Also, we may think about the option to print spare parts with multi-purpose
AM equipment close to the customer site. As a consequence, expensive emergency
shipments or decentralized stocking may not be efficient anymore to satisfy high
service level requirements.
Unfortunately, AM technology is not ready for this transition yet. Printed parts are
often less reliable and way more expensive than conventionally manufactured (CM)
parts. In our presentation, we describe what could be considered as a compromise
application. Namely, a Dual Sourcing approach which accounts for the current benefits
and drawbacks of AM technology. Therefore, we will stress required model
characteristics and outline our method. Also, we will present first results and therefore
partially answer the question under which conditions Dual Sourcing with AM may become a viable option for spare part supply chains.
Period3 Feb 2017
Event titleMaintenance Research Day 2017
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, NetherlandsShow on map