AM enables new liberties in industrial production, like for example constructions that wouldn’t be possible with conventional manufacturing techniques based on assembling. Compared to the domain of the materials and engineering sciences, AM is a relatively new area of research.
The area of research Additive Manufacturing at the chair of Business administration and Information systems I covers the contemplation of three levels (see illustration 1).
AM impacts each of these levels either directly or indirectly, which is stated in the following.
Strategy and Business model
AM offers many starting points for novel business models in partially new business areas. In this area the chair examines, how AM influences the strategic frame conditions of enterprises. Here, the research focus lies on the question which capabilities are required to realize the business models rendered able through AM. In addition to that the issue is pursued, how new business models can be created in context of AM on the basis of existing capabilities
Product lifecycle / Business processes
The use of AM isn’t limited to effects in the production process but relates to all sections of the product lifecycle – from the pre-phase (product idea) to recycling. The fragmentation of the steps of the value chain ranks among the aforementioned consequences: design, construction and production can be separated and provided by different stakeholders of the value chain as a service. Currently, there is a lack of concepts to lift this potential. Especially the methodical, functional and data-related separation of the product design and the product functions is a prerequisite to involve customers efficiently in the development of products.
The effects that AM has on business models and processes have in turn effects on the information management. Changes in process and product structures lead to modified information needs and thus to changes regarding the requirements concerning information and communication systems (ICS). For example, enterprise resource planning systems and subsequently the planning of the production program, the production process and the material requirements are mostly based on bill of materials. A product produced solely by AM does not possess such an extensive bill of materials, for it is produced holistically without assembly. Due to these characteristics of AM, there exist largely new functional requirements for information management.
Goal of the AM-based research of the chair is the design of the information management through development and evaluation of concepts in order to increase the competitiveness of industrial enterprises. The research occurs in close cooperation with partners in praxis, like producers of production facilities, user companies and software producers. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact us.