How additive manufacturing allows products to absorb variety in use: empirical evidence from the defensive industry
Ng, Irene; Davies, Philip; Alves, Kyle; Parry, Glenn
Philip Davies email@example.com
Kyle Alves Kyle.Alves@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Operations Mgt.
Glenn Parry Glenn.Parry@uwe.ac.uk
Academic Associate Lecturer - BAM
The operations and supply chain management the normative assumption holds that a product's structural and functional elements are fixed pre-production to support efficiency of operations. Firms moving from manufacturing to service are faced with delivering resource for customers in context and absorbing variety in use provides them with a number of challenges. This paper examines AM as a technology that efficiently provides high variety that meets emergent user demand. A single case study is undertaken, drawing upon design change data and in-depth interviews with industry experts. Findings show that in non-digitised environments, introducing design changes to modular products through life creates complexity, where complexity refers to increasing interdependencies between components in the product architecture that lead to increased coordination costs between internal and external supply chains. We find that advances in AM can act as a supply chain solution, managing complexity and allowing products and supply chains to efficiently and effectively adapt close to context of use. Findings suggest that existing theory must expand beyond the normative assumption that the physical product is fixed and the intangible service elements adapt to absorb variety, to include cases where the tangible product can absorb variety to meet emergent need.
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|APA6 Citation||Ng, I., Davies, P., Alves, K., & Parry, G. (in press). How additive manufacturing allows products to absorb variety in use: empirical evidence from the defensive industry. Production Planning and Control,|
|Keywords||servitization; variability; modularity, additive manufacturing; supply chain management|
This file is under embargo due to copyright reasons.
Contact Kyle.Alves@uwe.ac.uk to request a copy for personal use.
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