The department of Design Production and Management has among others a strong focus on user centered design and was one of the early adopters of AM technology within the University. Research is conducted towards design for AM (DfAM), generic AM process & product quality and the development and first exploration of novel AM processes.
One of the research fields within the department IEBIS (Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems) is decision support for after-sales service supply chains for capital goods. A key cost driver in such supply chains are the spare part inventories required to reduce downtime in case of an unexpected, critical failure in a system. The combination of a large number and diversity of spare parts, low demand rates, high part values and long lead times typically leads to high spare part inventory investment. Additive manufacturing offers opportunities to streamline the spare part supply chain by a strong reduction in lead times, up to the possibility to manufacture parts on demand and on location rather than to manufacture them using conventional technology to stock. Also, AM may be a good alternative in the final phase of an asset’s life cycle when regular supply is often disrupted because of low demand volumes. We develop quantitative optimization models to support decisions where, when and how AM can contribute to a more effective and efficient spare part supply chain.
Within the SINTAS project (Sustainability Impact of New Technology on After sales Service supply chains), we study the impact of additive manufacturing on spare part supply chains for advanced capital goods. The project is a collaboration of Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at UT, and Industrial Engineering at TU/e. Industrial partners are Fokker Services, Thales, Defense, NLR, and Additive Industries. The project consists of three work packages with one PhD student each
- impact of AM on failure behavior and maintainability,
- impact of AM on network design
- impact of AM on spare part inventory policies at various stages of the life cycle.
Project duration: November 2014-November 2019. See http://www.dinalog.nl/project/nwo_project_sintas-1/