Smart additive manufacturing: the path to the digital value chain

Nuno Araújo, Vânia Pacheco, Leonardo Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to characterize the impacts of Smart Additive Manufacturing (SAM) on industrial production, digital supply chains (DSCs) and corresponding digital value chains (DVCs), logistics and inventory management. The method used consists of a critical review of the literature, enriched by the authors’ field experience. The results show that digital transformation of manufacturing is affecting business models, from resource acquisition to the end user. Smart manufacturing is considered a successful improvement introduced by Industry 4.0. Additive Manufacturing (AM) plays a crucial role in this digital transformation, changing the way manufacturers think about the entire lifecycle of a product. SAM combines AM in a smart factory environment. SAM reduces the complexity of DSCs and contributes to a more flexible approach to logistics and inventory management. It has also spurred the growth and popularization of customized mass production as well as decentralized manufacturing, rapid prototyping, unprecedented flexibility in product design, production and delivery, and resource efficiency and sustainability. SAM technology impacts all five Fletcher’s stages in DVCs. However, the need for clear definitions and regulations on 3D printing of digital files and their reproduction, as well as product health, safety, and integrity issues, cannot be ignored. Furthermore, investment in this technology is still expensive and can be prohibitive for many companies, namely SMEs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTechnologies
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Industry 4.0
  • Smart additive manufacturing
  • Logistics
  • Inventory management
  • Digital supply chains
  • Digital value chains

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