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    Additive Manufacturing Blog

    Additive Manufacturing
    in the Aftermarket 

    From Physical Parts to
    Digital Products and Services

With an increase in product variety and complexity, customers are now looking at the long-term benefits of a product before they’re making major purchases. Opting for something that will have a longer life, one of the industries to be majorly affected is going to be the spare parts industry. With such a large variety of parts and demand shifting away from physical to digital products and services, the traditional method of dealing with spare parts will have to change.

Nicolas Dill
Additive Manufacturing Consultant

What effect has this had on the after-market?

With this shift, we’re executing to see new business models emerging globally that are driven by three major new trends: 

  • Digitalized production
  • Efficient, on-demand, and sustainable production
  • Increased focus on aftersales and service. 

The effect of the pandemic on the current production market has meant that many businesses are having to rapidly adjust to survive the change. Moving forward supply chain costs, planning, production, delivery, and storage costs, are all going to start shifting demands away from the traditional methods of production and management that we’re used to.

How does additive manufacturing correspond to these predicted trends?

Digitalized products: Shift to new business models in spare parts management. Shifting spare parts to a digital space can enable greater stock management, reduce lead times waiting for unnecessary parts, and reduce overhead supply chain and storage costs. 

On-demand, sustainable production: The digitalization of parts requires negligible physical storage. Parts can be printed to order with the click of a button, minimizing wastage, lead times, and storage costs as well as allowing for flexibility of need.

Increased focus on aftersales and service: Customers are paying increasing attention to aftersales service and quality of care. Innovative service options like additive manufacturing can offer an edge in customer satisfaction that could make the difference in whether they chose to purchase your product, or not.

Additive manufacturing fits with the above trends really well and can offer some promising innovation in the after-market sector. Whether it’s print-to-order spare parts, innovation for current parts no longer in production, or creating a greener more sustainable option for customers: additive manufacturing is undoubtedly going to play a large part in the future of these trends and more.

In summary…

  • COVID-19 has greatly affected global manufacturing and prompted a lot of businesses to review their supply chains.
  • While we still haven’t seen the full extent of COVID-19’s effects on the manufacturing industry, trends are starting to emerge.
  • Additive manufacturing lends itself suitably for all of these trends and more making now the perfect time to make the switch.

If you’d like to learn more about these trends, and how additive manufacturing can enable your business to adapt to the changing market you can download the complete white paper here:


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