Harvard Business Review. Jul/Aug2018, Vol. 96 Issue 4, p106-113. 8p. 1 Color Photograph, 1 Chart.
TECHNOLOGICAL innovations, INNOVATION adoption, BUSINESS models, MANUFACTURING processes, NEW product development, EMERGING markets, MARKET segmentation, and THREE-dimensional printing
We are entering a new era in additive manufacturing, or “3-D printing.” It has major implications for the adoption of the technology and for the choices of business models available to companies that take the plunge, says the author. Advances in the technology’s capabilities and expansion of the available materials and the supplier ecosystem have made it possible to produce a much broader range of affordable things—from the soles of running shoes to turbine blades—and, in many cases, in much higher volumes. As a result, 3-D printing is moving from a limited role (such as prototyping and making conventional machine tools) to a central place in manufacturing for a growing number of industries. Strategically, that means additive is becoming a full-fledged competitive weapon: It can be used to hold on to market leadership, to dethrone the dominant player, and to diversify by exploiting a printer’s capability to make products for different industries. Consequently, leaders need to understand additive’s capability and potential and the choices open to them in the near future. This article presents them with a playbook and explores six possible business models that have emerged. INSETS: ADVANCES THAT ARE TAKING 3-D PRINTING MAINSTREAM.;THE TEMPTATION OF INDUSTRY 4.0.. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Harvard Business Review. May2015, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p40-48. 9p. 2 Color Photographs, 1 Graph.
MANUFACTURING processes, STRATEGIC planning, TECHNOLOGICAL innovations, PRODUCT design, SUPPLY chains, BUSINESS ecosystems, BUSINESS process management, COST control, THREE-dimensional printing, 3-D printers, and MATERIALS
The use of 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has moved well beyond prototyping, rapid tooling, trinkets, and toys. Companies such as GE, Lockheed Martin, and BMW are switching to it for industrial production at scale. More companies will follow as the range of printable materials continues to expand. Already available are basic plastics, photosensitive resins, ceramics, cement, glass, numerous metals, thermoplastic composites (some infused with carbon nanotubes and fibers), and even stem cells. In this article the author makes the case that additive manufacturing will gain ground quickly, given advantages such as greater flexibility, fewer assembly steps and other cost savings, and enhanced product-design possibilities. Managers, D’Aveni writes, should now be engaging with strategic questions on three levels: Sellers of tangible products should ask how their offerings could be improved, whether by themselves or by competitors. Industrial enterprises should revisit their operations to determine what network of supply chain assets and what mix of old and new processes will be optimal. And leaders must consider the strategic implications as whole commercial ecosystems begin to form around the new realities of 3-D printing. Many of the biggest players already in the business of additive manufacturing are vying to develop the platforms on which other companies will build and connect. Platform owners will be powerful because production itself is likely to become commoditized over time. Those facilitating connections in the digital ecosystem will sit in the middle of a tremendous volume of industrial transactions, collecting and selling valuable information. INSETS: The Tipping Point in Patents;Three Ways to Wade into 3-D. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]