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The Impact of Direct Digital Manufacturing on Supply Chains - Essay Example

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The Impact of Direct Digital Manufacturing on Supply Chains Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) is yet another example of changing paradigms in the world of technological innovations touching new heights. Serious doubts have been raised over the impact of DDM on logistics systems in the coming years…
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The Impact of Direct Digital Manufacturing on Supply Chains
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Download file to see previous pages Eyebrows are getting raised over the potential of DDM in cutting the demand for logistics services, as products would be manufactured at the place of demand or use. Effect of DDM would be felt in all industry sectors for meeting urgent product needs, providing customized products and parts of products, which were earlier supplied in bulk through the logistics industry. The crucial question before the logistics businesses worldwide is whether DDM would affect the business of logistics industry for transporting goods from one location to another. Naturally future repercussions of the innovation in technology cannot be denied. When customized parts could be accessed from the local DDM in a cost-effective and faster way, who would like to order it through a logistics process? Possibility of getting parts supplied locally becomes more evident for implementing changes in the designs of products. Actually, the risk to logistics business is genuine because no company would like to pay airfreight for getting a part from abroad when it can be produced locally but the business of DDM depends on innovation in concepts; only genius is not enough. If an idea is good enough, it will take time in proto-typing. 3D printing also requires time to process a concept into a product. It would start a war-like environment for safeguarding intellectual property. Imitators and innovators, both would make attempts to present their products fast to the market (“3D Printing” par. 27). For getting competitive edge from the given scenario, only those companies would get the leverage that would plan a long-term marketing strategy without considering the profit factor. Delivery of products would demand accuracy of timing in taking the products to the customer locations (“3D Printing” par. 30). A look at the business growth of DDM can help in evaluating the potential of new technology sweeping the stakes of supply chains. Seeing the latest market trends on manufacturing solid products by 3Dprinters, business in additive manufacturing reached $1.2 billion in 2008 and the possibility is that it could double in size by 2015. For understanding the impact of DDM business on logistics, some crucial data analysis is mandatory such as 75% of the sale of 3D printers has been registered for producing common sort of products while the balanced sale of the 3D printers has been made for producing industrial products. With the approaching time, there would be increase in the sale of cheap 3D printers, which can be to the tune of 90% market as price depreciates and functionality improves of 3D printers. Demand of the DDM machine is increasing not only for model-making and rapid prototyping, but for all types of machines for producing finished products as well (“A factory on your desk” par. 4). The only difference between the industrial revolution of the 1800s and the seeming-revolution of the future is that the manufacturing industry won’t be able to get the benefit of economies of scale that comes with bulk production. Another difference would be seen in the distribution of capital, employment, and intellectual property, thus, indirectly affecting the logistics business as any impact on various industries would get reflected in logistics, affecting its business potential (“Print me a Stradavarius” par. 9). Have a look at the success story of a U.S. company. Seeing the current status of rapid manufacturing (RM) in the business of making invisible dental braces, U.S. based Invisalign ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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