3D printing and traditional supply chain

Additive Manufacturing AM also know as 3D Printing innovation may have an innovative effect on the current supply chain set-up.  The innovation has the ability to reduce the need for heavy-volume manufacturing facilities as well as low-level assembling staff, while dramatically lowering supply chain costs. We can 3D print on sale in terms of effects on stock and logistical support. 

3D printing ensures that we no longer need to keep the produced goods packed on the shelf or stored in depots.  We often produce the required product anytime we need it. Conclusively, this brings down the supply chain to its smallest bits, bringing improved efficiency to the network. 

These efficiency gains span the whole supply chain, from manufacturing costs to production, storage and to the part itself. Thus reducing waste, optimizing flexibility, and enhancing production run hours.

3D Printing and Traditional Supply Chain Relation

The conventional supply chain paradigm is centered on existing market limitations, rapid manufacturing efficiencies, minimum price requirements, bulk assembly staff, etc. However, 3D printing circumvents such restrictions. 

3D printing recognizes its usefulness in small-volume manufacturing, consumer-specific products, products capable of far greater functionality than is achievable via conventional methods. It thus excludes both bulk volume manufacturing facilities and low-level manufacturing staff, effectively reducing the supply chain to half. 

From the above perspective, shipping goods around the world is no longer financially effective because production can be achieved virtually anywhere at the equivalent value or even cheaper [4]. 

Modern resources are virtual information, wired and linked computer produces quicker and much more effective products than ever before. Which requires a modern supply chain framework?

Including regional procurement help, 3D printing technology has the ability to cut existing global supply chain systems and reconstitute them as a modern, decentralized network. In addition, the innovation establishes an intricate partnership between development, sales and marketing. 

Now, Consider the discrepancies between contemporary more conventional supply chain relative to what it might look like in the coming future with innovative 3D printers and the supply chain

3D printing impact on the supply chain 

Decentralize production in 3D printing

The technique's 'portable' evolution will allow corporations to take production sooner to local markets or to clients. As nothing more than a consequence, the production would be in favor of more central manufacturing centers as we'll see a turn away from industrial manufacture in low-cost regions. 

As a result of this, Companies would be able to manufacture parts closer to the people, rather than depending on imported products. This is particularly pertinent in periods of economic uncertainty, for instance during a trade war where the cost of importing products will escalate exponentially worldwide.

Drive product customization in 3D printing

In the new world, 3D printing technology is considered a tool-less method that provides the suppliers unparalleled flexibility to customize products and deliver it to mark of consumer individual needs and improve customer service. 

It would also lead to far more flexible supply chains that can respond rapidly to market shifts. Ultimately there would be an amalgamation of design, manufacturing and delivery into one supply chain mechanism with better participation of the consumer in the whole cycle of design and development.

3d Printing reduces complexity and improve time-to-market

3D printing utilizes the application Computer-Aided Design (CAD), which involves human involvement on both the rear and front ends. It is for sure that someone has to build the simple drawings that are normally kept in the form of CAD files for users to print an object even in your homes using a 3D printer. 

The suppliers and developers are actually selling their CAD files to interested people. 3D printing technology also integrates the number of parts and the manufacturing processes involved. 

It would have a huge impact on overall world supply chains, declining complexity faced during the production, reducing overall processing and production expenses which in-turn leads to improving the overall lea time and therefore boosting time-to-market.

Improve resource efficiency  in 3D printing

As things progress at present, products are made in wholly different locations than where they are to be used by the consumers, which sometimes comes up as both the producer and consumer are in separate continents. 

Such products need to be shipped to the end consumers, whether by aircraft, truck, rail or road, all of which utilize gases that generate polluting emissions. Through pervasive 3D printing technology, most products can be built on computers and produced right at the consumer’s door, thereby minimizing both shipping costs and environment pollution. 

Therefore, 3D printing is a cleaner form of manufacturing and is both power-efficient and expense-efficient. This generates nearly negligible disposal, reduces the chance of oversupply and surplus demand. Arguably, costs for 3D printing at this moment are high, but they do not remain that way long.

Rationalize inventory and logistics in 3D printing

During the current days when the development of the products is on-demand call, it reduces the need to move products around regions and countries.

It would have a huge effect on business services and logistics, along with the reduced number of SKUs needed for development, which would have the ability to transcend tariffs.

Through 3D printing, the output can become more flexible and will be more suited to adapt to consumer demands. That ensures shipping and storage would be less work-in-progress and completed goods and less mechanization of current inventory. 

Though the price per package could be higher with decreased capacity and less obsolete inventory, the average expense of the supply chain network can be smaller than that of the conventional supply chain. 

3D Printing facilitates a digital production system built-to-order, which in certain situations enables product selection to be held back throughout the supply chain phase. 

International networks of 3D printing facilities would provide opportunities to companies for rapidly adapting the changes in consumer demand and to easily and efficiently launch innovative goods. 

A new wave of product creativity could allow more flexible production methods. The innovation has the ability to reframe conventional forms of production in the longer term. The idea of producing goods in big, intricate facilities may become out of date as businesses adopt the more versatile additive development model.

Consequences for the logistics industry  

  • The effects of this modern processing innovation for the logistics sector are immense:
  • North America and Europe might theoretically be 'near-sourced' to a percentage of the products that were historically manufactured in China or other Asian markets. This will reduce the levels of shipping and air freight.
  • Product configuration means a decrease in inventory prices when products are ordered. This will decrease the supply chain management needs.
  • The manufacturer-wholesaler-retailer partnership may be profoundly influenced by build-to-order manufacturing strategies. The retail environment will be significantly different in the future too
  • New logistics market will arise with regard to the collection and transportation of raw resources required for 3D Printing. As 3D Printers become more available to the general public, such materials will expand the home distribution demand
  • The Transportation Supply Parts industry will be among the first to be impacted as billions of funds are actually expended on holding stock 


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