How AM lends itself to Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing
Dematerialised Supply Chain
With its digital-only input, AM is geographically-independent. Production is not restrained to the location and availability of a manufacturing chain. Instead, the location can be chosen to minimise the transport costs of the end parts or based on the availability of a locally sourced suitable feedstock. The digital file can sent digitally and built anywhere.
Reduced setup and changeover time and cost
AM is a 1-step production technique. Although some form of post-processing is usually required, industrial machines do not rely on tooling to produce parts. Compared to more conventional manufacturing, the benefits for AM is a shorter delivery time, reduced setup as well as significantly cut down changeover times and costs.
Optimised functional development and reduced number of assemblies
A key incentive to use AM is its design freedom. Components built using AM technologies can be specifically designed to minimise assembly and improve parts functionalities. This greatly reduce operational costs, manufacturing steps and delivery schedules.
Economical production of one-off parts
The result is that one-off parts, such as decommissioned parts, slow moving parts of high value equipment (planes, ships…) can still be produced at comparatively low costs. AM allows the manufacture of parts in cases where production methods/chains have disappeared, eliminating the need and costs to store them.
Efficient use of material, reduced waste
With its layer-wise deposition, AM produce net-shape or near-net-shape components and uses selective material deposition for an efficient material usage. As long as the AM machine is setup with the suitable powder, building ad hoc components doesn’t require sourcing additional feedstock, or planning of additional tooling.
Flexible production location
The digital input files for AM can be made available anywhere in the world an dproduction location chosen to reduce internal or external logistic costs.
Quality, repeatability management [1-3]
AM can lead to standardisation of production chains that are traditionally regarded as more manual and craft-based. Regardless of world locations or number of batches required, the AM standardize logistic operations, in which the raw material, equipment and production requirements are the same at all production locations, leading to greater control over product quality.
Adopting AM allows the production of customized parts in batches: think of it as multiple variant of one product built simultaneously. This saves handling and manual customising tasks while multiplying outputs.
AM is slowly but significantly improving the manufacturing environment. Using AM will reduce material distribution and inventory costs for work-in-progress (WIP). It is a commercially suitable candidate for the production (and optimisation) of high-value parts where production methods are obsolete, specifically in the aerospace sector, where plane and components have a long shelf life. Finally, it allows the production decisions to be based on location and costs in order to minimise logistics.
 Liu, P., Huang, S. H., Mokasdar, A., Zhou, H., & Hou, L. (2014). The impact of additive manufacturing in the aircraft spare parts supply chain: Supply chain operation reference (SCOR) model based analysis. Production Planning & Control, 25(13–14), 1169–1181.
 Tuck, C., Hague, R., & Burns, N. (2007). Rapid manufacturing: Impact on supply chain methodologies and practice. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 3 (1), 1–22.
 Oettmeier, K., & Hofmann, E. (2016). Impact of additive manufacturing technology adoption on supply chain management processes and components. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 27(7), 944–968.
 D. E. Eyers, A. T. Potter, Industrial AM: a manufacturing systems perspective, Computers in Industry 92 (2017) 208–218
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