In English

Distributed Production of Spare Parts Using Additive Manufacturing Opportunities and Challenges for Volvo Group

Alexandra Nybonn ; Tina Halkjaer
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2018. 105 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; E2018:023, 2018.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Introduction It is argued that challenges facing the automotive service market could be relieved with the help of additive manufacturing (AM) owing to its flexibility and possibility for low volume production. AM could also enable production of parts closer to the point of demand through distributed production, which aims to shorten the supply chain. Volvo Group wants to explore distributed production in relation to the company's service market supply chain. The purpose of this study is hence to contribute to the understanding of the effects of distributed production using additive manufacturing of spare parts at Volvo Group. Methodology This study had a qualitative focus with quantitative elements. Firstly, an investigation in to the background of the study was performed, from which the purpose, research questions and the scope were defined. Following were a literature review and empirical data collection. The findings were then compared and contrasted in the analysis, from which conclusions were drawn. Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework supported and guided the data collection. Recent published literature on AM and distributed production was compiled, to establish an understanding for the general opportunities and challenges with the technology combined with distributed production. Established literature on spare parts in the automotive industry and on supply chain management was furthermore reviewed to apply the previously described theory to Volvo. Empirical Findings The empirical data collection methods of the study included: Internal and external interviews regarding the current supply chain structure at Volvo and the viability of AM and distributed production, Internal and external study-visits and workshops related to the development of AM, Correspondence with AM service providers and Data accessed through internal systems to enable a case study. Analysis and Results From the theoretical and empirical findings, six potential opportunities and six potential challenges of distributed production using AM have been identified and are hence included in the analysis. The opportunities include: Improved supply chain reliability and flexibility, Reduced inventory related costs, Decreased transports, Reduced lead times, Increased service levels and Increased customization possibilities. The related challenges include: Network interdependencies and risks, Ownership and information management, Quality management, Digital infrastructure and copyright infringement, Organizational maturity and Return on investment. iv Conclusion The study concludes that distributed production of spare parts using AM can be a longterm goal for Volvo, which is viable once the presented challenges can be sufficiently managed and the AM technology and supply market have developed. A gradual and iterative process of increased AM maturity and understanding of the benefits, but most importantly of the limitations, of AM and distributed production are important in Volvo's continued AM adoption.

Nyckelord: Additive Manufacturing, Distributed Production, Distributed Manufacturing, Spare Parts, Service Market, Supply Chain Management, Automotive Industry

Publikationen registrerades 2018-06-15. Den ändrades senast 2018-06-15

CPL ID: 255119

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