Impact of additive manufacturing on aircraft supply chain performance: A system dynamics approach

Abhijeet Ghadge, Georgia Karantoni, Atanu Chaudhuri, Aravindan Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
249 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of additive manufacturing implementation on aircraft supply chain networks. Additive and conventional manufacturing spare part inventory control systems are studied and compared, revealing insights into supply chain performance.

Design/methodology/approach: A leading global commercial airline’s SC network data is used to model the research problem. A system dynamics simulation approach is followed, drawing out insights for managers.

Findings: A significant improvement in supply chain efficiency is observed through the implementation of Additive Manufacturing (AM), rendering it a worthwhile investment for global supply chains. AM helps to balance inventory levels, increase responsiveness while decreasing disruptions and carbon emissions in the supply networks.

Practical implications: The paper offers guidance on the adaption of AM in aircraft supply chains and AM’s impact on spare part inventory systems.

Originality: The study provides robust evidence for making critical managerial decisions on supply chain re-design driven by a new and disruptive technology. Next generation supply chain and logistics will replace current demand for fulfilling material products by AM machines.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing; 3D Printing; Rapid Manufacturing; System dynamics; Aircraft supply chain; Supply chain performance; Spare part inventory

Paper type: Research paper
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Early online date11 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Apr 2018


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