Additive Manufacturing Technology: Realities and Strategic Perspectives From India

Additive Manufacturing Technology: Realities and Strategic Perspectives From India

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India) and Sanket Atre (National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.2020010101
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The authors studied strategic aspects pertaining to adoption drivers, challenges and strategic value of Additive Manufacturing Technology (AMT) in the Indian manufacturing landscape. An exploratory qualitative study with semi-structured in-depth personal interviews of experts was completed and the data was content analysed. Indian firms have identified the need for AMT in R&D and prototype generation. AMT implementation helps Indian firms in mass customization and eases the manufacturing of complex geometric shapes. This study insights would help AMT managers in emerging economies to enable adoption drivers, overcome challenges and add strategic value with AMT. This is one of the very first studies on AMT with theoretical perspectives on the Miltenberg framework, adoption drivers, challenges and strategic value in the Indian manufacturing landscape.
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1. Introduction

Additive Manufacturing Technology (AMT) or 3D Printing is a manufacturing process where the final object is manufactured by addition or deposition of the material layer by layer to build an object from a 3D Computer Aided Design file (Rayna and Struikova, 2015). AMT can be classified into seven types: (1) Stereo Lithography (SLA) (2) Digital Light Processing (DLP) (3) Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) (4) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) (5) Selective Laser Melting (SLM) (6) Electronic Beam Melting (EBM) (7) Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) (Vasquez, 2015). These typologies differ on the basic principle of functioning that is the method in which the layers are added over each other (Vasquez, 2015).

AMT has extensive benefits in terms of providing a vast range of design opportunities to the manufacturing companies using it (Klahn, Leutenecker and Meuboldt, 2015). One of the main advantages of AMT is that it provides a flexibility towards production of engineered to order parts without incurring heavy wastage of material while manufacturing (Koren, 2006; Dolgui and Proth, 2010; Berman, 2012). With AMT, the limitations of conventional manufacturing do not constrain designers. The designers get a better level of flexibility with geometry and shape of the final object (Schumpeter, 2012). AMT can reduce the production life cycle material mass, energy, and water consumption by eliminating scrap (Cozmei and Caloian, 2012). Further, Cozmei and Caloian, (2012) argued that AMT has a positive impact on sustainability and is a step towards green manufacturing. AMT also provides a certain degree of repairing and refabrication of old and worn out parts thus enhancing the cause of sustainability (Kakati, 1997). Further, AMT helps in sustaining higher mechanical and thermal stresses (Klahn, Leutenecker and Meuboldt, 2015).

AMT literature is also rich with nuances of AMT adding business value. AMT adds value in different industries in different manners. AMT adds value in the aerospace industry by increasing the performance efficiency by weight reduction (Cozmei and Caloian, 2012). Similarly, AMT also is beneficial in military applications as more complex and dynamic life-saving tools can be manufactured without high risk (Cozmei and Caloian, 2012). Application of AMT has been successful in the field of space technology as it enabled manufacturing of parts with different composites and alloys (Koren, 2006; Dolgui and Proth, 2010; Berman, 2012).

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