Report brings together views and opinions from within Additive Manufacturing industry

April 20, 2020

The full report by Dr Jennifer Johns is available to read and download free of charge via Issuu (Courtesy Dr Jennifer Johns)

A report, undertaken by Dr Jennifer Johns, Reader in International Business at the University of Bristol’s Department of Management, UK, has sought to collate and interrogate the opinions of those within the Additive Manufacturing industry to address a number of key questions surrounding the state of the technology, its position in the manufacturing sector today and how that could change in the future.

Over recent years there has been consistent media and industry interest in Additive Manufacturing, fuelled by reports of high growth rates and publicity around exciting new applications, states Johns in her introduction. There are two concurrent stories to tell about AM, she adds, first the development of the AM sector itself – a high-technology industry with its own developmental trajectory, needs and aspirations. Second, the broader context in which AM is situated.

The research for the study was conducted between September 2017 and July 2019, with a total fifty-three interviews undertaken across three case study countries, the US, UK and Germany. Four questions were asked:

  1. What are the constituent parts of the AM industry and how do those parts fit together and interact? – This allows for the charting of the AM global value chain.
  2. To what degree can we observe a shift from prototyping to functional, volume manufacturing? – This addresses the application of AM in manufacturing in general and considers a range of application types.
  3. What are the business models underpinning the use of AM? – This interrogates some of the assumptions made about what conditions AM is applicable and the degree to which it makes business sense to be applied and takes into account some of the concerns around unrealistic promotional applications.
  4. To what degree is the use of AM changing the geographies of production? – Primarily focused on international supply chains, the question engages with the rhetoric around AM leading to reshoring of manufacturing back to Western Europe and North America.

The initial findings of the report were presented at the AMUG 2019 conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA, with the author reporting a positive response from the audience. Some of the comments and feedback are said to have been integrated into the final report. The report was also covered, in-depth, in the Spring 2020 issue of Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine (Vol. 6 No. 1).

The full report by Dr Jennifer Johns is available to read and download free of charge via Issuu.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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