Activity: Talk or presentation › Oral 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.