The Role of Additive Manufacturing in Industry 4.0: An Exploration of Different Business Models

Badr Elhazmiri, Nida Naveed*, Naveed Anwar, Mir Irfan Ul Haq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
The rising interest in the integration of digital advanced manufacturing and production systems in the Industry 4.0 context is one of the main factors in the introduction of Additive Manufacturing (AM). The novel technology might change the way firms operate, and the way they interact with consumers, opening new horizons for an improved profit margin and more sustainable business models. The research presented a comprehensive review on the potent role of AM in adhering to customers’ complicated and unique needs using various technologies and techniques, as it discussed the role of AM in introducing new business models that increase the business competitiveness and profitability through an optimisation of production processes. In addition, AM is grasping with innovative solutions varying from waste reduction to shorter supply chains to longer products lifecycle, incentivising firms to adopt it for the economies realised on materials, energy, and costs. Notwithstanding, AM implementation is still in its infancy and faces technical challenges of capability, IT integration, and outcomes.

Design/Methodology/approach
This research is based on a quantitative approach that was administered online by means of a highly structured online survey, which aim was to collect primary data that fills the gaps of the research hypotheses due to the lacking nature of research papers exploring them. Therefore, the literature review was a paramount phase in acquiring empirical knowledge about the problem background and concept boundaries that shaped the topic's core objectives and research questions from the lacking nature of explored areas.

Findings
This research investigated the role of AM in industry 4.0 by exploring its impact and intersection with AM firms’ business models while exposing the limitations and challenges to its adoption within industrial contexts. The study highlighted that the AM positive impacts on companies’ business models on the value chain and turnover. This study also revealed the eco-design prospect of AM that will be helpful for different firms to rethink their business models shaping them to be more cost-efficient.

Originality
This research gave insight on AM technology through a quantitative survey that mainly aimed to classify knowledge and to investigate the role of AM as a lever in improving firms’ value chains through an exploration of possible intersections with business models and impacts of implementation, possible sustainability scenarios and challenges it may face within Industry 4.0 context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Operations and Computers
Volume3
Early online date26 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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