Additive manufacturing implementation in healthcare systems : a supply chain perspective

Chaldoupis, K ORCID: 2018, Additive manufacturing implementation in healthcare systems : a supply chain perspective , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Additive Manufacturing (AM), or “3D Printing”, also called the ‘Third Industrial Revolution’, allows companies and individuals to “print-out” solid objects layer-by-layer based on access to 3-dimensional computer data. Several authors have pointed out that AM has the potential to reduce the number of stages in the traditional supply chain and to fundamentally revolutionize manufacturing operations and supply chains. Evidence suggests that AM technology as a driver of supply chain transformation it can achieve precision, speed, affordability, and materials range. Therefore, it has the potential to redesign products with fewer components and to manufacture products near the customers. Production applications of AM technologies can be found mainly in aerospace, automotive, medical, and consumer goods. Although a number of companies are already using AM technologies they face particular difficulties in the implementation process. In particular, studies on AM implementation are disappointingly absent, especially in relation to supply chain. Most studies on supply chain focus mainly on the potential disruptions of AM in distribution/logistics and therefore on location of manufacturing. Hence, an investigation on the key AM implementation factors within the various stages of a supply chain from the selection of raw material-equipment suppliers towards the customers needs to be examined.

This study proposes an AM implementation framework on supply chain. It focuses on the healthcare sector and medical device manufacturers. Healthcare organisations must constantly monitor supply chain performance to add value across entire supply chain. AM presents an effective and promising commercial proposition to respond to the increasing healthcare demands in the developing world by providing customized products, which can improve medical care, reduce healthcare costs by decreasing time spent under direct care and improve success rates. It is carried out through a case study research approach combined with background theory on advanced manufacturing systems. Three case studies were conducted to examine the AM implementation process on supply chain.

The most significant contribution of the research is the proposed AM implementation framework from a supply chain perspective. At the time of writing this is the first study which examines the AM implementation process on the supply chain of medical device manufacturers. Hence, AM medical device manufacturers can use it as a guide to develop their own implementation plans.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Polychronakis, Y (Supervisor) and Sampoutzis, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: K Chaldoupis
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2018 08:45
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:50

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